Immigration Matters - Starting a small business in Saskatchewan

February 9, 2021


  • Robynn Farrell

There are really three major ways to immigrate to Canada. You can go via a skills program, study and start working after your graduation or buy/start a business in Canada. Today we will be examining the success story of an immigrant from the Netherlands who not only successfully started a new life in the Great White North, but also contributed significantly to the economy of Saskatchewan and enriched a small community through her enterprising nature. This case will also go to show that if you want to buy an existing business or start a brand new business in Canada, it may be wise to look a little wider than just major cities. Smaller communities don’t only offer a more welcoming culture, but immigration programs geared towards incentivizing foreign entrepreneurs to start happy, enriching and more peaceful lives in rural Canada.

Immigrating to Canada - A Success Story

Small-business-owner-immigrate-to-Canada Mrs Toos Giesen-Stefiuk and her family immigrated to Canada in 1981. They chose the small town of Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan situated about two hours southwest of Regina. The town has reflected positive economic growth for the past fifty years, thanks in no small part to it’s open-heartedness and diversity. From the town's inception it has welcomed immigrants from all over the world, growing from a small French-speaking prairie town into a multicultural hub, with people like Toos coming into the community and making it home. In the 39 years Toos and her family have lived in Canada, they owned and operated a construction company, which built the Gravelbourg Inn and a local landmark cafe, Cafe Paris. They now run a bed and breakfast called La Maison 315. Importantly, they have been involved in the community since the very beginning, creating jobs and boosting tourism in the local community by being involved with festivals and preserving local heritage buildings. In this family’s case, it is evident that really taking the effort to integrate into a community plays a major role in building a happy and successful life in Canada. It is also an alternative to the traditional narrative of having to simply lock down a job and slave away for years, hoping to secure permanent residency and carve out a piece of Canadian life for yourself. Toos had the following to say when asked about her decision to immigrate to Canada: ”In the 37 years I’ve been in Canada, my family has always worked to create jobs and give back to Gravelbourg because we felt so fortunate to live here. In Canada, you really can make a difference.” – Toos Giesen-Stefiuk Immigrants make up 7% of the towns population, the majority of which come from the Philippines, followed by India and Mexico. 86% of immigrants who made Gravelbourg their new home since 1980 have come on economic programs, and the balance are family sponsorships. So, how would you go about immigrating to Canada as an entrepreneur in 2021? The answer lies in the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP).

The SINP Entrepreneur Program

Start-a-business-in-Canada-how-to-immigrate The first step is to create an Expression of Interest (EOI) on the provincial government of Saskatchewan’s web portal. You must ensure you meet the following eligibility criteria for the program before submitting your EOI:
  • Have at least $500,000 in net personal and business assets;
  • Have at least 3 years business or entrepreneurial experience in the last ten years. This can be ownership or in a management role;
  • Be able to invest at least $300,000 in Regina or Saskatoon OR $200,000 in one of Saskatchewan’s smaller communities, such as Gravelbourg;
If your EOI is selected, you can submit a Business Establishment Plan (BEP), which must include:
  • a detailed plan to establish a viable business in line with the Entrepreneur Category Points Grid;
  • A clear stipulation of your ownership of at least 33.3% of the business (unless you will be investing more the $1 million CAD);
  • A commitment to have an ongoing role in the day to day running of the business;
  • A commitment to create at least two permanent jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are in no way related to you (only applicable if you are starting a business).
If you are looking for some inspiration, take a look at this list of the most successful immigrant business in Canada.

How MDC Can Help You

Happy-immigrant-family-in-the-snow-immigrate-to-Canada Immigration to Canada can be both complex and confusing. Perhaps Saskatchewan sounds good to you, perhaps you have your mind set on another province. Each Canadian province and both its territories have Provincial Nomination Programs and each of those have an entrepreneur stream with a different set of rules and requirements for starting or buying a business in Canada. Why not focus on your business plan, and let us focus on getting your permanent residency applications submitted correctly and timeously. By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will not only optimize your chances of success when you apply for your Canada visa, but you will receive expert advice on which program is best for your personal needs. Our RCICs are registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and are legally permitted to assist you by evaluating your eligibility, reviewing all documentation and submitting it to the Canadian government on your behalf. Don't risk your chances of successfully obtaining permanent residency status in Canada. Let us make sure that all forms are completed correctly and sent in on time. Simply fill out our application form to receive your assessment today and take one step closer to a liberal life in Canada.