Immigrants are significant contributors to innovation and entrepreneurship in Canada. One-third of Canadian private tech companies best positioned to grow into world-class firms were founded or co-founded by immigrants, outpacing immigrants’ share of Canada’s population, according to Century Initiative’s latest key insight report.
Century Initiative’s second Key Insight Report, "Driving innovation and entrepreneurship in Canada: The benefits of immigration" explores the role of immigration in driving innovation and entrepreneurship in Canada. It identifies key issues and challenges to attracting, selecting, supporting and retaining entrepreneurial newcomers; and identifies steps to strengthen Canada’s innovation and entrepreneurship performance through immigration.
It is critical to leverage the outsized contributions of immigrants to boost Canada’s performance on innovation and entrepreneurship. Century Initiative’s inaugural National Scorecard on Canada's Growth and Prosperity demonstrates that while Canada has a strong entrepreneurship ecosystem, its promise is not being matched by enough productivity-enhancing adoption of technology, or sufficient investment in capital, skills or R&D. Improving Canada’s performance on innovation and entrepreneurship is important to sustainable, inclusive growth.
As Canada recovers from the pandemic and deep immigration processing backlogs are being addressed, governments, post-secondary institutions, and the private sector should take steps to better support immigrant innovators and entrepreneurs. In the midst of an aging population and a record low fertility rate, there is growing recognition of Canada’s need for entrepreneurial immigrants who will start companies, create jobs and contribute to economic growth. In a global race for talent, Canada must create and sustain the conditions that can attract and retain its top talent.
Century Initiative gratefully acknowledges the support of Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, The Business Council of Canada, MobSquad, Hassan Bhatti, and The Institute for Canadian Citizenship to develop this report.