Securing business financing as a new immigrant in Canada is one of the toughest problems in the journey of becoming an entrepreneur. The lack of credit history and the limited net worth most of us arrive with is a big hurdle to jump. Thankfully, institutions are slowly realizing that more efforts are needed to provide out-of-the-box thinking on financing programs aimed at newcomer entrepreneurs. The picture is changing with a handful of viable options.

Futurpreneur Canada Newcomer Program
If you are a newcomer to Canada between the ages of 18 and 39, have limited credit history and a viable business/business plan, you can apply for a $7,500 repayable loan to start a business. This repayable loan amount can potentially be matched by BDC for a total of $15,000. All applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and require the following: 

  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, for no longer than 5 years
  • Have been in business for less than a year
  • Agree to work with a mentor

Personally, I am a  graduate of Futurpreneur (formerly known as the Canadian Youth Business Foundation) and they were paramount in helping me launch my career as an immpreneur.

Micro lending for Women in Ontario Program
This funding program is available to women entrepreneurs facing low income challenges in certain areas of Ontario. Women in those areas are able to apply to a local program provider where they offer business training and micro-loans. The loans can range from $5,000-$15,000. This program is not exclusive to newcomer women, however, newcomer applications are welcomed and encouraged.

BDC’s Small Business Loan for New Canadians
This repayable loan of up to $50,000 is available to newcomers with an entrepreneurial drive and a solid business plan. The repayment is spread over a four years without capital payment for up to 12 months. No personal assets are taken as collateral for the loan and borrowers can pay off the loan in part or in full at any time without penalty. Are you eligible?

  • You immigrated to Canada less than two years ago, are a Canadian citizen or have permanent residence status
  • You have a viable business plan
  • You have no established or little credit history to easily access financing

As part of the program, clients are required to complete training to improve their business skills and learn about the Canadian business landscape.

This is just a small example of on-traditional immpreneur-specific loans available in Canada. If your have been in Canada for longer than five years,  have worked on your credit history and have a strong business plan, the Canada Small Business Financing Program is always an option.

For many other options available Canada wide divided by industry, feel free to click here.