Immigrant-owned businesses tend to see more innovation
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Immigrant-owned businesses tend to see more innovation

Margaret Cooley



Immigrant Owned businesses Tend to See More Innovation

A study conducted by Statistics Canada has shown that small and medium-sized businesses owned by immigrants in Canada are more likely to engage in product or process innovation statistically as compared to permanent residents. It is not very surprising when one considers that Canadian immigrants usually have a higher chance of being educated in STEM fields as compared to Canadian-born residents.


Statistics Canada noted that immigrant business holders are 8.6 percent more likely to think about innovating a product, and 20.1 percent more likely to work on innovating production processes or methods. Moreover, they also have a higher chance of finding new marketing techniques.

Immigrant owners and Canadian-born owners approach organizational innovation more or less in a similar manner. The two groups also handle intellectual property similarly, but immigrants had a higher tendency to have registered industrial designs when the results were modified to suit firm and owner characteristics.

Immigrant owners and Canadian-origin owners approach registered trademarks, intellectual property use of patents, non-disclosure agreements, and trade secrets without much difference.


Basis of the experiment:

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Statistics Canada ‘s objective in conducting this experiment was to find out if the immigration status of a business owner had any effect on whether the firm would promote innovation or possess intellectual property.

This study falls under a broader research project that aims to understand the causes of innovation better and figure out how innovation can lead to successful Canadian businesses.

The researchers based their results on data gathered by the Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises in 2011, 2014, and 2017.

The results matched the original hypothesis of the study. Immigrant entrepreneurs usually have education in STEM fields- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. They are also more comfortable with trading internationally and filing patents in the United States.

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