Do you have the desire to be an entrepreneur or were you an entrepreneur in your former home country? The prospect of being independently self employed might be the only alternative after a job search shows little opportunity for the advanced training you had abroad.

The immigrant entrepreneur arriving in Canada has a couple of options to start your own business.

If you are fearless and yes some of us are, you might want to take your passion, your past experiences and your transferable skills and just take the risk. It may not be terrifying if you have a solid business background, a grasp of financials and a good idea that can fit into the needs of your new economy. The best businesses come from one’s past experiences coupled you’re your passion for a business you might want to do. It is important to be comfortable in your new business and have the confidence in doing a business that you really want to make an important part of your life.

Self employment can also be daunting in terms of a new culture, new home and friends and little knowledge of actually doing business in Canada, but fear not, there is an option open to you – Franchising.

Why would an immigrant choose a Franchise over a typical new business startup which is more entrepreneurial and more in your personal control? The ‘turnkey’ aspect of the franchise makes it affordable, quicker to get into operation and is much more reliable.

You’re probably familiar with franchising in your home country. The franchise concept is the same in Canada. You pay an established company the right to open a store, branch or office branded with their name and product. They provide consistent quality, inventory and a good location that has been fully researched. Most importantly, a good franchisor, will give you Management Training and Marketing support. Bear in mind some franchisors may not accept new immigrants who have no Canadian experience. I’m sure you’ve heard that argument before.

Their training and ongoing support will give you an even playing field with other entrepreneurs which can compensate for your lack of business and cultural knowledge.

For you to enter into a franchise opportunity you must weigh the options of the uniqueness of the business, how much training is given as part of the franchise deal and does the cost fall within your budget.

Most franchises require a considerable amount of liquid cash and only a percentage can be a financed bank loan. Canadian banks have most of the major franchises catalogued in their offices.

The franchise will be clearly defined in terms of revenues expected, costs of doing business and your obligations to the Franchisor. Because everything is so defined (through past history) this business form is usually considered a very safe risk and a very good option for new immigrants. High priced Canadian Franchises like Tim Horton’s has a 98% success rate. A national and, the very least, a regional franchise provides the safest place to invest.

You need to do your research, called due diligence, on the type of business you want to do, after all you want to do your best and enjoy the business.  You also need to decide if you want a large business or perhaps be able to run your smaller business from home.

Some of the new trends include homecare for the elderly, e.g., landscaping businesses like Jim’s Mowing, coffee shops like Blenz Coffee ( and many home based franchises.

Whatever you decide to do, get professional help, study brochures and websites and work with a mentor who understands the Canadian culture if you can. For more information contact

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  1. Great guidance to bsiuness owners on factors to consider if they think they can franchise your bsiuness. I’ve seen a lot of guidance on buying franches, but not so much on creating them.

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