The necessity of newcomer-owned businesses

Canada accepts hundreds of thousands of newcomers every year. 2022 was a record-breaking year, with Canada welcoming 437,180 immigrants.

Newcomers often have big aspirations when they migrate to Canada. This is why many pursue post-secondary education or start their own businesses.

Despite research and statistics proving their benefits to the Canadian economy, there are still xenophobic misconceptions and stereotypes towards newcomers. For instance, some believe that immigrants increase crime and exacerbate job shortages.

Although these perceptions are incorrect, the harmfulness fuels obstacles newcomers face when trying to find a job in Canada. For example, immigrants usually have to take lower-paying jobs once they reach Canada because the training and education they received in their country of origin are not transmissible to Canadian qualifications.

Other obstacles include language barriers and a lack of knowledge of Canada’s legal system and business procedures. Additionally, newcomers don’t have access to personal connections and communities in Canada.

An often-overlooked fact is that these obstacles further push newcomers to be self-employed or establish their own businesses. These self-employment ventures and businesses significantly contribute to the Canadian economy.

Canada is very particular about which newcomers are accepted. Often, the most welcomed immigrants are those aged 25-54 and placed under the economic category. Immigrants are placed under the economic category when their skills meet what is required in the labour market. Immigrants can also be placed under the economic category if they have a business plan.

In 2021, 56.3 per cent of immigrants welcomed to Canada were classified under the economic category. This disproves the misconception that immigrants are unqualified or not ready to work.

Immigrants also own more businesses and have higher self-employment rates than Canadian-born citizens. Statistics Canada reported that 11.9 per cent of immigrants are self-employed or own a business. In comparison, 10.1 per cent of Canadian-born individuals with immigrant parents have a business or are self-employed. This makes sense, given the barriers noted previously that immigrants face when getting a job.

In addition, immigrants represent 33 per cent of all business owners with paid staff. Over 260,000 immigrants that own a business have paid employees.

Businesses boost the Canadian economy by providing jobs, producing tax revenue, increasing GDP and putting money back into the community.

However, one of the main reasons why immigrant businesses differ from Canadian-born businesses is that they boost international trade.

According to a study by Statistics Canada in 2019, immigrant-owned firms tend to trade materials from the owner’s region of origin. This is particularly common in the manufacturing business. Immigrant-owned firms in the manufacturing industry import and export from outside countries at a higher rate than Canadian-owned businesses.

This is because immigrants are more knowledgeable about the trade system in their mother countries. They also have more social networks with individuals that live in their country of origin. Using their connections decreases transaction costs while maintaining the demand for goods from their region of origin.

Additionally, international trade is more comfortable for immigrants that own firms. This is because they understand their country of origin’s language, business culture and preferences. The result is not only economic benefits for Canada but also for the global economy.

Canadians must reject the negative misconceptions surrounding newcomers. The number of immigrant businesses and how they function showcase their economic value in Canada. They deserve to be supported, accepted and acknowledged for their contributions.

Not only do newcomers and immigrant-owned businesses benefit the Canadian economy, but they add to the diversity and vibrancy of Canada. Given that one in four Canadians are or were once immigrants, Canada would not be Canada without them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *