Money can find you if you try. 

Business loans for immigrant entrepreneurs

Newcomers to Canada and immigrant entrepreneurs wanting to start or expand their businesses find it difficult sourcing for funds. The required loans are either not available or the interest rates.

Knowing where to go for an immigrant-friendly loan is the best place to start when launching your new business in Canada, or planning to expand. You can use this checklist of business loans providers:

Canada Small Business Financing Program

This is a loan program in collaboration with financial institutions in Canada. Small businesses and start-ups with gross annual revenues of $10 million or less are eligible for this loan product.

To apply, present your business plan directly to a chartered bank, Credit Union or Caisse Populaire. Your financial institution is responsible for making the decision to approve your loan.

Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE)

Business loans for immigrant entrepreneurs

The Government of Canada earlier announced that the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund had started accepting loan applications from Black business owners and entrepreneurs through the Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE).

It will provide loans up to $250,000 to Black business owners and entrepreneurs. Loans can be used for capital investments, working capital, short-term receivable financing.((FACE))

Applications can be made directly at FACE


Business Development Bank of Canada offers up to $100,000 loans for your small business. It is 100% online, requires no application fee, and can be accessed at an affordable rate.

BDC’s flexibility allows you to postpone principal payments for the first 6 months and repay the loan at your pace over a 5-year period. There are no penalties for early and lump-sum payments and they don’t take personal assets as collateral for the loan.

To be eligible, you have to be a Canadian-based business, must have been in operation for at least 24 months and have a good credit history.((BDC))

Access Community Capital Fund

Access considers the skills, motivation and drive to succeed of clients who have limited opportunities available to them due to their poor credit or income situations. Approved loans are disbursed by its financial partner, Alterna Savings. Loan amounts are usually capped.((Access ))

Alterna Savings

Alterna also offers Skilled Professionals and Trade Loans to graduates of professional skills and trade programs e.g. plumber, construction, chef, bookkeeper, paralegal, welder, etc. The Skilled Professionals and Trade Loan offers up to $15,000 to legal residents in Canada who work and live in Alterna service area.

Other loan products offered by Alterna include Working Women Business Loans which offers up to $25,000, Social Impact Entrepreneurship Loans which offers up to $25,000 to sole proprietors, partnerships, Corporations and Non-profits operating a socially purposed business in Ontario.

Business in the Streets

Business in the Streets (BITS) helps young people take their next step in entrepreneurship. They do this by facilitating programs that have helped over 550 young people gain the confidence and skills needed to take on the intimidating world of entrepreneurship. and break it down to some not-so-scary achievable steps. They provide training programs, mentorship and funding programs for young people.((Business in the Streets))


At a partners’ event titled, Supporting Newcomer Entrepreneurs, the panelists outlined a wide range of funding options and support programs for immigrant entrepreneurs. The event was organized by Toronto North LIP

The panelists included:

Catherine Wildin, Ying Que of Access Employment, Otis Mushonga – ACCESS Community Capital, Kyle Monczak – Business in the Streets, Susan Henry – Alterna savings, Faaria Wali – Futurpreneur. They offered valuable tips on accessing loans, preparing business plans as well as other small business guides.((Canada Business))

The 4 Cs of success for new businesses

Be creative

Always be looking for ways to improve your business and make it stand out from the competition. Recognize that you don’t know everything and be open to new ideas and different approaches to your business.

Be customer-centric

Constantly look for ways to delight the customer. It can be even in small areas. When you are customer focused, great results follow.

Be consistent

Consistency is a key component to making money in business. You have to keep doing what is necessary to be successful day in and day out. This will create long-term positive habits that will help you in the long road ahead.

Communicate and connect

Business loans for immigrant entrepreneurs

Stay connected not only with your target audience and also with yourself. It takes communications, which is an art that can be learned.

By Kayode Akinyemi

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