In an effort to attract entrepreneurs from around the world, Immigration Canada, in consultation with the Canadian Association of Business Incubation (CABI), has launched a new business incubator stream under the start-up visa program.
Business incubators are a support system for entrepreneurs to help develop their companies in the early stages of the business. They typically provide additional resources and services to start-ups, in addition to giving valuable mentorship and access to a large business network.
Canadian immigration minister Chris Alexander sees this new stream as an opportunity to create jobs and ensure long-term economic growth. “It will attract early-stage and high growth businesses, and entrepreneurs who can contribute to a culture of innovation and commercialization in Canada,” minister Alexander said in a press release. He also sees the program as a way to attract young entrepreneurs to Canada and partner them with a large network of venture capitalists and angel investors.
Canada will begin accepting applications on October 26, 2013, and applicants must meet a certain criteria in addition to the standard admission requirements. These include having a business plan, meeting education and language requirements, and having a sufficient amount of settlement funds. The Startup Visa is a five year pilot program launched initially in April 2013 that is limited to 2,750 applications per year.
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