Startup Canada and CAIN Partner to Improve Canada’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

On Thursday, September 28, Startup Canada announced our continued partnership with the Canadian Accelerator + Incubator Network (CAIN) at our Startup Canada Tour stop in Calgary, Alberta. 

Collaborating through Startup Canada’s flagship startup Gov program, we will be working together to connect with CAIN’s members, government representatives, and entrepreneurs to help bring informed improvements to Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, including Canada’s Start-up Visa Program. Together, we want to champion making Canada the best place in the world to start and operate a business and to support immigrants in realizing their entrepreneurial dreams. 

Through our Startup Gov program, Startup Canada has connected Canadian entrepreneurs with government representatives through roundtable discussions and other advocacy work. Over the next year, we want to unite our networks and engage with government officials on how to better support the efficiency and usefulness of programs that support entrepreneurs in Canada. As well as inform programs that bring in high-quality talent to Canada, which will go on to benefit our domestic ecosystems in future projects, and fill ongoing demand and skill gaps locally.

Over the last year, Canada has faced increased labour shortages, with a continued need for talent to help fuel our economy. Now is the time to embrace our immigrant labour market and encourage talent from across the globe to bring their businesses and entrepreneurial ideas to Canada. “We believe that combining Startup Canada’s resources and CAIN’s network will strengthen our efforts in providing actionable solutions to better support Canadian businesses and strengthen Canada’s talent acquisition,” said Natasha Morano, Corporate & Government Affairs Director at Startup Canada.

The Start-up Visa (SUV) Program grants permanent residence to immigrant entrepreneurs while assisting them to become established in Canada*. Driving economic growth with successful immigration policies is a powerful way to help Canada return to prosperity. In addition, CAIN and Startup Canada believe the SUV Program can represent a crucial part of Canada’s innovation future. 

Despite this potential, CAIN has identified several issues with the SUV Program, resulting in an overall loss of prospective candidates to strengthen Canada’s talent pool. Both organizations will bring recommendations forward to support Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. 

“As CAIN joins forces with Startup Canada, we recognize the immense potential of the Start-up Visa Program in driving economic growth and fostering innovation in our country. However, we also acknowledge the challenges that have hindered its full potential,” said Christopher Diaper, CEO of CAIN. “We are committed to addressing these issues head-on and providing solid recommendations to enhance the Start-up Visa Program.”

Through Startup Gov, we will further examine the SUV Program and work in partnership with CAIN to support the government in providing solid recommendations to strengthen this program’s potential. This is the first step of many in informing improvements for this program.

Starting in October, Startup Canada and CAIN will be convening a series of roundtables, bringing together small businesses, ecosystem partners, and government decision-makers involved in the Start-up Visa program. After these critical discussions, we will work alongside CAIN to recommend program improvements and resources for businesses and newcomers wanting to utilize Start-up Visa. 

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