With its low taxes and streamlined regulations, Canada may be fast becoming the new business hub for Indians
Canada was named the fourth-best country in the world to launch a startup in StartupBlink’s 2022 Global Startup Ecosystem Index. There are many reasons why this North American nation found this coveted spot.
Some of the reasons that make Canada a preferred place to launch business are that Canada has a strong and diverse economy with a robust startup ecosystem, particularly in tech and innovation.
It has a highly skilled and educated workforce, a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, and a wide array of resources and accelerator and incubator programs to help start-ups grow and succeed.
Read: Why Canada is a lucrative startup destination for Indians (December 9, 2021)
Above all this, Canada has a favourable business climate with low taxes and streamlined regulations, and supportive federal and provincial governments that encourage and support entrepreneurship and innovation.
Vikram Khurana, Chair, Toronto Business Development Centre, says, “Canada and India have a history of robust collaboration that fosters innovation ecosystems and fosters entrepreneurial activity that addresses real-world challenges and enhances the well-being of their respective populations.”
“Both nations are globally recognized for their excellence in incubating and accelerating startups from their inception to becoming high-value enterprises, and there are hundreds of being incubated and accelerated by various entrepreneur support organisations operating in both countries.”
Talking about Canada’s favorable location, Khurana says, “Canada is strategically located adjacent to the United States of America and has free trade agreements with the USA and Mexico, the European Union, and many others.”
“It offers unique advantages to Indian entrepreneurs who are looking to go global – and the Canadian government provides options for Indian entrepreneurs who want to expand and grow their businesses at a global level.”
Read: Canada becoming the new hub for Indian entrepreneurs (November 8, 2021)
Canada’s Start-up Visa (SUV) Program
This is a pathway to permanent residency for Indian entrepreneurs who want to start or scale their businesses in Canada and have secured funding from a designated Canadian venture capital firm, angel investor group, or support from a designated business incubator.
It gives them access to a vibrant and supportive startup community with many events, meetups, and networking opportunities available for entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate, and learn from one another. This community helps to develop a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, making Canada an attractive destination for startups from around the world.
Khurana explains, “This program attracts talent from around the world and is gaining traction among Indian entrepreneurs. For instance, the Indian enterprise Doormonk offers cutting-edge solutions to help food businesses and vendors communicate seamlessly and use data analytics to optimise costs and minimise food waste.”
“The program helped them set up in Canada in 2018 and they closed a $100,000 seed funding round in May 2019,” he notes. “Today they are bootstrapped, profitable, and targeting $2 million in revenue. In addition, SUV extended support to a substantial number of startups – more than 9,000 of them – among which Hydrostor achieved the prestigious unicorn status.”
“Additionally, another Indian enterprise VAS-TUM, primarily aimed at devising a mechanism to recycle maximum plastic products while generating cost-effective and practical building materials,” says Khurana. “The underlying objective was to mitigate plastic waste’s detrimental impact, prevent incineration, and eliminate landfills as a primary waste disposal mechanism.”
“BioEnttri, an Indian enterprise, has developed an innovative product that enhances livestock feed,” he says. “The company’s microalgae macro venture provides a sustainable alternative to conventional fodder by harnessing the power of rapid CO2 sequestration to produce bio-nutrients and sustainable ingredients that boost milk yield. This approach renders the animal feed both more sustainable and more nutritious.”
TBDC’s Soft Landing Program (SLP) provides a range of services and support to Indian entrepreneurs – including office space, mentorship, business development assistance, and access to local networks.
It also offers access to funding and financing options for entrepreneurs to help them launch and grow their businesses. Indian entrepreneurs are using this program to establish a physical presence in Canada and build relationships with potential customers, partners, and investors.
The Government of Ontario has been actively creating opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs to scale their businesses in the North American market. The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program: Entrepreneur Success Initiative (OINP:ESI) is a government-funded initiative to attract highly skilled immigrant entrepreneurs to Ontario.
It provides a pathway for Indian entrepreneurs and other skilled workers to obtain permanent residency in Ontario by starting or buying a business in the province. The program aims to facilitate the arrival of 100 entrepreneurs from around the world who plan to invest a minimum of $200,000 in a new or established business in Ontario.
An awareness campaign named “Move for More” is being launched to promote locations outside of the Greater Toronto Area as optimal destinations for immigrant entrepreneurs to start or purchase a business.
This program is expected to foster economic growth by attracting talent and business investment from immigrant entrepreneurs who will create opportunities in communities throughout Ontario. The OINP:ESI will facilitate partnerships and collaborations between Canadian and Indian businesses and boost economic activity in both countries.
Read: How can Indians start a business in Canada? (July 26, 2021)
These programs provide a platform for Indian entrepreneurs to enter the Canadian market and connect with Canadian businesses, while also enabling Canadian businesses to tap into the growing Indian market. This can lead to increased trade and investment between Canada and India, creating economic opportunities and benefits for both countries.
The Start-Up Visa program, the Soft Landing Program and the OINP:ESI are three examples of the resources available to Indian entrepreneurs seeking to establish a new business hub and show that Canada is a viable and attractive option.