You’ve likely heard of Canada as a perfect place to start a game of hockey but did you know it’s also a perfect place to start a business? Whether you are an immigrant entrepreneur or an established business looking to expand your global presence, Canada has numerous business and immigrant friendly programs, policies and advantages.
1. Liveability – health, education, and environment
The annual global liveability index is based on education, health care, culture & environment, security and infrastructure and includes 140 cities. Three of the top five cities and six of the top ten are Canadian cities including Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver. Civil war and terrorism are not day-to-day experiences for Canadians. Fresh air, decent education and the ability to seek medical help are. As a visitor you will experience many of these and once a permanent resident or citizen you will have the full Canadian experience.
2. Stable politics and economy
Canada’s reputation as a peacekeeping nation and one filled with polite people is not without merit. While our main political parties have some ideological differences, there is always a peaceful handover of power and orderly transition. No need to worry about drastic changes from one five-year term to the next. Our economy too is stable, we take a conservative approach and even in the 2008 recession, Canada didn’t experience the same financial collapses of companies and bankruptcies of individuals that were experienced around the world. Of particular note is Canada’s leadership in moving towards a low-carbon economy including a recently announced countrywide carbon tax. For many industries this presents an opportunity to showcase their technologies and for high-carbon industries there is a steady increase in the tax so time to adjust operations.
3. Diversity, inclusion, and immigrant supportive
Canada recognizes that with a low birth rate and aging population, immigration is the key to a robust labour force. About one in five Canadians are foreign born (highest in the G8) and we offer a number of immigration routes. This includes both a federal Start-up Visa program for business ventures supported by a VC, Angel or incubator and various provincial programs variously called business migrant or immigrant entrepreneur. Canadian schools teach children both English and French and we are on the path to reconciliation with our indigenous people. While many countries are experiencing a rise in xenophobia, Canada is investing in diversity and inclusion as a real net benefit to our citizens and country.
4. Government support
In the Ease of Doing Business rankings, Canada is consistently in the top 15% for overall ranking and is currently 22 of 190 countries. Of particular note is our 2nd best ranking in Starting a Business – a small amount of paperwork and it can all be filed electronically. Through the Canadian government’s Canada Business Network, there are a number of grants, loans and programs to support your business. While few provinces offer move-here type tax breaks, the overall tax rate combined with the government provided health, education and infrastructure supports makes it a favourable economic decision for your business and employees.
5. Entrepreneurship as a way of life
About 13% of Canadians are entrepreneurs and for first generation Canadians the rate is double than their Canadian born counterparts. This is only second to the USA, which is typically seen as the most entrepreneurial country in the world. Not only do Canadians have personal drive to start businesses, they are also apt to join new companies and ventures making hiring and retaining employees easier. Nearly half of Canada’s workforce works for small businesses. In Canada, school curriculums are provincially set so there is some variation but entrepreneur enhancing topics like team work, creativity and individual effort equating to reward are a stable. At the post-secondary level, entrepreneurship is a common theme including many universities having it as a specific course or specialization.
Learned something new about Canada, eh? Now that your curiosity is piqued, contact BrightGo Solutions to learn how we can partner to amplify your success in Canada through business planning and human resource expertise.