Starting a Business in Canada

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May 2, 2012 - 1 minute read - Comments - immigration

Canada Working on Startup Visa For Immigrant Entrepreneurs

The Federal Government is going to launch consultations to develop a startup visa to attract entrepreneurs.

It is important to understand what this means in the context of the different types of entrepreneurs. Details on this startup visa are still scarce but it seems that the government will be looking for scalable startup entrepreneurs rather than the more common small business entrepreneurs that are currently accommodated under existing entrepreneurship programs.

Entrepreneurs under this program will likely need to arrange venture capital investment before immigrating. This will mean that it will only apply to entrepreneurs in industries that are capable of exponential growth, such as software.

This effort is part of a competition with other countries for top entrepreneurial talent. The United States has been making efforts towards a startup visa for some time. Currently, it appears that the bill is stalled in the legislative process.

This leaves Canada with an opportunity to gain an edge in the competition for these talented entrepreneurs. Hopefully the consultative process will move quickly and we can put a sensible policy in place to attract these entrepreneurs.

Feb 27, 2012 - 1 minute read - Comments - business news

Good Money Impact Venture Challenge

Vancity is sponsoring a competition to help post-secondary and recent post-secondary graduates grow for-profit businesses that have a positive social or environmental impact.

Applicants must submit an 8 page business plan that includes a description of the positive environmental or social impact of the business. Vancity personele will judge the plans based on their merits and up to 10 applicants may be selected to move on to the next phase of the competition. All qualified applicants will get feedback on their business plans, regardless of their ranking by the judges.

The application deadline for submitting a business plan is 12:00 p.m., Friday, March 16, 2012. Finalists will be announced on Monday, March 26, 2012.

Finalists will be invited to pitch their businesses to the contest’s judges. The pitches will take place on Wednesday April 4, 2012.

Winners will be announced on April 25, 2012 at an award ceremony in Vancouver. The prizes are:

  • 1 first prize of $50,000
  • 1 second prize of $25,000
  • 1 third prize of $15,000

This contest is a good opportunity for student entrepreneurs to gain recognition for their companies. The full terms and conditions can be found on the Vancity website.

Jan 24, 2012 - 1 minute read - Comments - business news

Saskatoon Entrepreneurship Contest For Prospective Retailers

The Centre shopping mall in Saskatoon is running an entrepreneurship contest for Saskatoon entrepreneurs. The contest is eligible to Saskatoon area residents over the age of 18 who have a business plan and the financial backing to start their business. The winning business must be able to be operated at The Centre.

Prices include 3 months of rent-free retail cart space, a Web Presence Business Starter Plan from BlackSun, and a $500 signage start up among others. The winning entrepreneur will be required to participate in the media campaign surrounding the contest. In many ways, this exposure is probably the most valuable part of winning the competition.

The Centre also has a special entrepreneur contest just for kids. The kids portion of the contest is open to those 17 years of age and younger. Kids need parental consent to enter the contest and may have to submit product samples if asked. The prize for the winner of this competition is a $1,000 RESP.

If you fit the criteria, it’s probably worthwhile to enter the contest. The exposure it brings would be valuable. The deadline for entries is 6pm February 15, 2012. Applications for adults and kids can be found here.

Jan 5, 2012 - 2 minute read - Comments - entrepreneurship

Try Before You Buy

It turns out that we aren’t very good at predicting the future. A sober look at the predictions of economists, political pundits, and sportscasters reveals this lack of foresight.

What is more surprising, is that we do a very poor job of predicting our own futures. It’s difficult to predict how much we will like a certain situation. Part of the reason for this is that we are unable to completely imagine all the details of a certain situation. If you are imagining running your own business, you might be thinking of how much fun it will be to design products or come up with clever marketing campaigns. You might not be imagining setting up an accounting system, filing your taxes, or meeting with your banker. Imagination has a way of filling in some details while leaving others out. The problem is that some of the details that get left out might be very important.

It’s not possible to completely imagine what running your own business will be like. The best way to remedy this is to talk to other business owners who run a similar business to yours. Learn from their experience. They will be able to give you a much more complete picture of what your experience of running that type of business will be like.

If you can find a business owner that is willing, spend a few days job shadowing him or her. Asking questions, while experiencing some of the business’s activities firsthand, will be very valuable.

This might seem like a lot of effort to learn about something you think you already understand. Trust me, your romantic image of business ownership isn’t accurate in all respects. You are about to invest your hard earned money and take substantial financial risks. Do your research first.

Dec 6, 2011 - 1 minute read - Comments - business news

Bank Of Canada Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

The Bank of Canada announced today that it is leaving its overnight lending rate at 1%, which is what is has been all year. Governor Mark Carney commented that economic uncertainty had increased in the past few weeks and that the recession in Europe was more pronounced than expected.

Canada’s big bank economists expect the rate to remain at this level throughout most of 2012.