All entrepreneurs face challenges, but immigrants face additional barriers to starting and running a business, including challenges related to language, understanding local business practices, and limited access to professional networks. This is especially true in rural Alberta, where immigrant populations continue to rise, but resources may be harder to access.
“One of our greatest strengths as a province lies in the entrepreneurial spirit found across our diverse population,” says Deron Bilous, Alberta Minister of Economic Development and Trade. “We are committed to helping open doors for new Albertans who want to start or grow a business, and programs like the Immigrant Entrepreneur Program will do just that – equip our new neighbours with the tools they need to run successful businesses that actively enrich our communities.”
The Immigrant Entrepreneur Program, delivered by Business Link, will include training and resources that address the unique needs of immigrants who are starting a small business in Alberta.
“As an entrepreneur who ran a business in my native Cameroon and always wanted to do the same in Canada, it was a very different pathway to starting a business in Edmonton. I have been fortunate to get the much needed continuous support from Business Link, and Microbusiness Training Centre Small Business Training Programs,” says Frankline Agbor, publisher and founder, Diversity Magazine and founder of the Diversity Centre.
Program delivery will include:
- One-on-one support for immigrant clients and delivery of training tailored specifically for new Albertans.
- Immigrant business guidebooks and resources distributed by service providers across Alberta – including translated materials in multiple languages.
- Specific outreach that focuses on small business service providers and organizations in rural locations across the province.
Total grant funding for the program is $336,000 over two years. Program details will be available on the Business Link website this fall.