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Support to help immigrant entrepreneurs succeed

New small business supports and resources will help immigrant entrepreneurs across Alberta.

Small business support for Alberta newcomers

Minister Bilous meets with small business entrepreneurs.

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.

“One of our greatest strengths as a province lies in the entrepreneurial spirit found across our diverse population. 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.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

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.

Although the program is designed to meet the needs of all immigrant entrepreneurs, it will have an enhanced focus on immigrant women and immigrant entrepreneurs in rural Alberta. Status of Women contributed $30,000 towards development of targeted partnership activities and training specifically relevant to immigrant women.

“Starting a new business is never easy, and it can be even harder for a newcomer to Canada. Through one-on-one support and tailored services, this program will help budding entrepreneurs start out on the right foot. These new businesses will not only help support families, they’ll create community assets and grow our economy.”

Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children's Services and Minister of Status of Women

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.

“Business Link is thrilled to be delivering the Immigrant Entrepreneur Program. This initiative will ensure that newcomers across Alberta will have access to customized resources and guidance that will help them achieve their entrepreneurial goals.”

Gord Sawatzky, executive director, Business Link

“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.”

Frankline Agbor, publisher and founder, Diversity Magazine and founder of the Diversity Centre

Total grant funding for the program is $336,000 over two years. Program details will be available on the Business Link website at businesslink.ca this fall.


Media inquiries

Government of Alberta