This research project examines the value-added contributions to markets and workforce outcomes by rural Ontario’s immigrant entrepreneurs for the period 2006 to 2018.  The objectives are

  • to collect foundational information on immigrant entrepreneurs [IEs] working in agri-food
  • to identify untapped opportunities for further business growth

The project examines various business variables of immigrant firms and analyzes net agri-food value chain profitability and competitive effects.  Our focus is on the attraction, retention and growth of IEs in small- and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs].  IE’s include newcomers to Canada as well as recent migrants from urban to rural areas.


REAPontario over the next 3 years will:

  1. identify immigrant entrepreneurs who own established firms across the agri-food sector
  2. measure firms’ opportunities, challenges, and solutions for accessing business supports and identify remaining gaps;
  3. measure trends of these firms’ profitability and municipal/regional competitiveness  over 3 census periods [this objective supports workforce planning and community economic development specific to immigrant entrepreneurs];
  4. analyse firms’ viability using 6 key financial-ratio assessments;
  5. identify and record actual ‘case study’ series of rural immigrant entrepreneurial agri-food value chain[s]; and
  6. work with collaborating partners to implement and evaluate 3 ‘early’ research recommendations for improving the supports and conditions for selected rural municipalities and regions.