I’ve written an article for Telegraph.co.uk on Canada’s Start-Up Visa, likened by one lawyer to “the Dragon’s Den of immigration”.
The visa’s aimed at enticing entrepreneurs looking for venture capital, or angel investor, funds. The government believes the promise of investment – and a permanent visa – will encourage foreigners to move here to build their tech start-ups.
I’m not so sure. Take the Conference Board of Canada report, which placed the country 13th of 16 peer nations for innovation. Canadian firms were “rarely at the leading edge of new technology,” it said. Canada also ranked poorly on barriers to competition, which won’t surprise anyone who’s tried to buy a phone contract, broadband package or bottle of wine here.
The UK, meanwhile, was deemed to have the lowest barriers to competition and received the top score for “ease of entrepreneurship”.
In Canada’s favour is its comparatively strong economy and the UK’s decreasing levels of venture capital investment. This report provides an optimistic view of entrepreneurship in maple leaf land.
Interested in finding out more? The government’s giving away up to 2,750 of the new visas annually for the next five years. Time will tell whether they turn out to be the Reggae Reggae sauce, or the DriveSafe glove of the immigration world.