March 30, 2021
By Nouhaila Chelkhaoui, Canadian Immigrant
Canada’s economy is fueled by immigration. We rely heavily on newcomers for talent, new businesses, and disposable income or investment. The Canadian tech ecosystem, in particular, benefits greatly from newcomers and immigration. This is not surprising when you consider that newcomers bring new talent and diverse skill sets. Research indicates that immigrants are more likely to start businesses and create jobs than their Canadian-born counterparts. Starting a business is taking risk. And newcomers are, by definition, risk takers, having uprooted their life in their home country in search of an improved one elsewhere in the world. Overall, there is a strong consensus that newcomers fuel innovation and lead disruptive entrepreneurship, at a time we need it the most.
Newcomer tech entrepreneurs face challenges when they come to Canada including a lack of networks. Anyone who has launched a tech startup will attest to the importance of a relevant network. Whether it’s securing that first round of investment, getting into a fitting incubator, or building a strong peer community for support, connections can contribute significantly to the success (or lack thereof) of your startup. But connections are precisely what newcomers lack. Additionally, navigating the ever-expanding tech ecosystem and its abundant resources is challenging. If you’ve ever been to a store where the wide range of choices overwhelmed you, you know what I’m talking about. Now add one more layer to that: the legal, tax, and finance complexities in a new country.