News Release

REF NO.: 111

SUBJECT: Genesis Launches Federal Government Start-up Visa Program for International Entrepreneurs

DATE: August 4, 2017

One of the most difficult things to do as an immigrant to a new country is achieve citizenship. Navigating the course of immigration is a challenging process; one that can be made easier if an individual has employment already arranged.

But what about those who aspire to be an entrepreneur? What provision allows newcomers to spark innovation and grow the economy here in Canada?

The answer: the Government of Canada’s Start-up Visa Program.

The Start-up Visa Program aims to bring high-potential and skilled entrepreneurs and their families to Canada to pursue their business ideas. Canada’s growing knowledge economy enables them to compete on not only a national, but global scale. Through Start-up Visa, immigrant entrepreneurs can apply to three streams approved to invest in or support potential start-ups: venture capital funds, angel investor groups, or business accelerators/incubators. These designated groups can help facilitate and advance the entrepreneur’s permanent residency status.

“The Start-up Visa Program will attract more innovative entrepreneurs who will create jobs and opportunities. It will attract and retain world-class talent right here in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Seamus O’Regan, MP for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl.

Genesis is pleased to announce it is the first designated business incubator/accelerator under the Start-up Visa Program in Newfoundland and Labrador. Through this new offering, Genesis will accelerate growth within the provincial entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as attract and retain world-class talent.

“At Genesis, we recognize that the key to an innovative society is diversity.  We welcome qualified candidates to make themselves at home at Genesis and in Newfoundland and Labrador.  We have serviced many immigrant entrepreneurs through our programs and we look forward to working with our new partners in the immigration field to service many others.” said Michelle Simms, CEO of Genesis.

To ensure success for Start-up Visa participants, Genesis has partnered with key players from all levels of the ecosystem. The Canadian Acceleration and Business Incubation (CABI) association, of which Genesis is a member, supports the administration of the program throughout the country. The Government of Canada provides referral and support through their various departments. Memorial University’s ecosystem has stepped up to help identify potential participants. Additionally, the Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council and the Association for New Canadians have partnered to provide their support and expertise in welcoming newcomers.

“Memorial supports and welcomes students, faculty, and researchers from all over the world who contribute knowledge and expertise locally, nationally, and internationally,” said Dr. Noreen Golfman, provost and vice-president (academic) of Memorial University. “Many of them also have entrepreneurial aspirations and business ideas that they would like to pursue right here in the province. The Startup Visa Program is a step in the right direction towards making that happen.”

The Start-up Visa Program will create employment and economic contribution for not only the incoming entrepreneurs, but also the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The province maintains a thriving environment for entrepreneurs to start and grow their business. Start-up Visa will play an essential role in helping further cultivate this entrepreneurial environment. Genesis invites international entrepreneurs to apply for the program and make themselves at home in Newfoundland and Labrador.

For more information on partnering with Genesis or applying to the Start-up Visa Program, visit their website or email startupvisa@genesiscentre.ca.

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