By Don Duval
I don’t normally get too excited about the announcement of government policies, but I am making an exception when it comes to the recent announcement from Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.
For those who haven’t heard, Canada will launch a brand new program on April 1 to recruit innovative immigrant entrepreneurs that will ultimately drive the creation of sustainable knowledge-economy jobs for our country.
I have been citing the importance of this legislation since the government opted to transform the existing program.
For those not aware of the program, you will soon understand why I am so excited.
“Canada is on track to become the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies,” Kenney said in his announcement. “Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Essentially what this legislation has done has made it easier for immigrant entrepreneurs to move to Canada and start companies. However, what is absolutely critical is the engagement and mandatory support of a Canadian angel investor or venture capital fund before a start-up visa application can be made.
Essentially this is a refined immigrant entrepreneur sponsorship program that the United States has been talking about for years, but has failed to implement (and they are feeling the pain of not getting it done).
Congrats to the Canada Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA), National Angel Capital Organization (NACO), and soon-to-be Canadian Association of Business Incubation (CABI) for playing a strong leadership role in getting this done.
NORCAT is very excited to get involved in this program, as are other Canadian innovation centres I’m sure, to do more to drive and expedite our nation’s economic and social prosperity.
Don Duval is the chief executive officer at the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT).