If you want to start a new business as a recently arrived immigrant you are not alone. According to Statistics Canada, 5.3% of immigrants owned their own private enterprise after having lived in the country for nine years.
Comparatively, only 4.8% of people who were born in the country owned their own business during the same year. Still, starting a new business is not a walk in the park. Here, we will provide the ultimate guide for newly arrived immigrants who wish to start their own business.
Tips on Starting Business as an Immigrant
First, you should work on building your credit score. You can sign up for a credit card and then proceed to use it in a responsible manner in order to quickly build credit. You will also need to embrace Canadian culture.
You will need to determine who your target demographic will be. You will also need to learn about what their needs are, what types of things they enjoy purchasing, as well as how they prefer to buy said items.
Try and get involved with local community groups. Volunteer, or join business associations and/or local worship centres, in order to mingle with people. A mentor may also provide connections, and will help motivate and teach you how to become an entrepreneur. There are many organizations that offer guidance, mentorship, and training to new entrepreneurs. Business options as an immigrant are myriad.
Creating a sound business plan is also a must. In order to gain valuable and essential knowledge about your target audience you will need to create a solid business strategy. Your projections and financial planning will help you in gaining the final backing/support that you need to start your business.
Developing a network is also a must, especially if you have recently arrived into the country. We would recommend that you start by talking to people who have an extensive background in the industry that you wish to enter. The networks, contacts, and friendships that you have fostered in your home country can also be used in order to help you start your new business in Canada.
It is also very important that you set yourself up for success. You will need a nest egg that you can access in order to support yourself while you are operating your new business. It may take several years for your business to become profitable.
In the meantime, you will need a sufficient amount of money in order to cover your personal living expenses. A good baseline is having at least 6 months worth of savings to help tide you over while you are still learning the ropes.
Finding a job may also be of great benefit to you. Perhaps you would like to send some money back to your family in your home country, or require money in order to sponsor your husband or wife.
Whatever the reason may be, having a job will help you while you are planning on launching your new business. The Government of Canada has a website called Prepare to Work, that is designed for newly arrived immigrants that need a job.
The website provides links to newcomer services that are provided for free. The website also teaches people how to find work as well as show them where they can take classes if they wish to improve their french or english. If you have a higher education degree then the website can also help you get your credentials assessed.
Business Opportunities for Immigrants
Agriculture is one of Canada’s largest and most lucrative sectors, accounting for $49 billion dollars of Canada’s GDP. There are currently many business opportunities for butchers, truck drivers, and farm workers.
There is also quite a bit of demand for workers in the hospitality and tourism sector, which is expected to boom once the pandemic has ended.
There are many food and beverage servers that have years, if not decades of experience. You can make use of their unique skill set when you start your new business.
A massive increase in retail and wholesale is also expected post-pandemic. Examples include gas stations, motor vehicle dealerships, and general merchandise.
The construction industry is also booming. Most of the demand is currently focused on the commercial rather than the residential sector. The demand for new development projects across the country may serve as a viable business opportunity for you and your clients.
Having a Can-do Attitude
Starting a new business can be very difficult for citizens, let alone immigrants. We hope that the guide that we have provided you will provide you with the skills and knowhow that you need to not only start a business but also help it thrive for many years to come.