What is meant by “Immigrant Entrepreneur”?

  • entrepreneurs will operate any agri-food business from very modest, often home-based, businesses to small business and franchise operations to venture capital and large investments
  • firms can be owned by any class of immigrant
  • includes immigrants with permanent resident status or Canadian citizenship who came to Canada as business immigrants, skilled workers, family members, or protected persons
  • immigrants who arrived in Canada within the past 10 years hold prime research interest

Why is the focus on Immigrant Entrepreneurs only and not on all entrepreneurs in agri-food value chains?

  • Although there is a large literature on value chains, and even on agri-food value chains, we do not know much about immigrant or ethnic-based chains in particular, or on the profitability or sustainability of individual agri-food businesses owned by immigrant entrepreneurs.
  • Yet it appears that value chains for immigrant entrepreneurs may look very different, such as by making use of ethnic networks and transnational connections.

What does “agri-food” encompass?

Agri-food includes a wide variety of occupations and types of firms, including:

  • farming
  • processing
  • transportation
  • manufacturing
  • fishing
  • forest and woodlot management
  • input suppliers
  • warehousing
  • farmers’ markets
  • agritourism
  • IT research
  • government funders
  • industry sector associations
  • exporting
  • retail sales, and
  • other related businesses

Many people equate agrifood with rural areas, but in fact agri-food encompasses businesses in rural and urban areas. 

How is the Research Project funded?

  • The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs provides funds to cover the salaries for the Research Team. The Research Team, Advisory Team and Expert Panel also provide an in-kind dollar equivalent in time and expertise that matches this OMAFRA contribution.
  • All other operational expenses for the Research, such as purchase of data or access to database licenses, travel for interviews, marketing and communications [logo, biz cards, website, social media, trade banner, eNEWS, news releases, events/presentations, conference calls, office support] are covered by dollars mainly contributed by participants of Workforce Planning Ontario.
    Along with their annual dollar contributions they provide an equal match of in-kind contributions [trade show expenses, networking, media distribution, event/survey interviews etc.].
  • The first year of operation has shown a growing number of many other stakeholder groups and organizations who have stepped up to the plate and provided both cash and in-kind financial contributions and access to their expertise.
  • This is a province-wide initiative and both large and small stakeholders and large and small businesses owned by immigrant entrepreneurs across the province have said this information is needed!
  • If you would like to share your expertise and leverage your own resources, you can benefit from being a part of this project and having access to the results of this research.
    Your additional financial support for Year Two and Year Three would be very much appreciated. It would allow us to conduct additional activities and cover the associated costs.
  • To see a list of current financial contributors, including our key partners from Workforce Planning Ontario, please click here. [logos hot-linked to be posted shortly]

If you would like to make a financial contribution to this project, please contact or .

Workforce Planning Board Areas