Immigration is an important fabric of a developed economy because they consistently contribute to their GDP. I have several immigrant friends and I must say they are very diverse. Over the years some of my immigrant friends returned home after their studies while the others picked up a paid employment and have become naturalized citizens. My most fascination with immigrants is their entrepreneurial orientation and their courage to create businesses outside their home countries. Immigrants have exceptional entrepreneurial abilities, they are diligent and hardworking. However, because they often speak foreign languages and have a different cultural orientation, settling and leveraging the infrastructure in a developed society for economic gain could take a while. Here are some tips on how to settle and thrive as an immigrant entrepreneur.
Learn the language
It is important to learn the language and culture of a host country to facilitate communication and interaction within that community. For new immigrants, this is sometimes difficult especially for the adult migrant, but it is possible with patience and dedication. Language impacts internationalization process and it can influence the decision of an immigrant to pursue a business idea in the host country. I still find it hard to communicate effectively in Mandarin and anytime I travel to China it is always an uphill task to get things done. It is always better for an immigrant to take language classes while in their home country as this will help them integrate faster in the host country.
Consult an expert
The rules and guidelines for starting a business vary with different countries, especially for an immigrant. This implies that immigrants must familiarise themselves with what they are permitted to do or the status they must assume to start their own business. For instance, the guidelines and the eligibility criteria in the UK are different from countries like the US and Canada. In as much that these countries welcome hard working and innovative immigrant they still have rules of engagement and it is in the best interest of the immigrant to abide by them. There are several experts that can help with such enquires; the Toronto immigration lawyer or the UK government website are places where you can find the guidance you need.
Less competitive business ideas
It is no doubt that immigrants are hard working with entrepreneur skills, but a highly competitive business idea is not the best way to start. In fact, because immigrants still have ties to their home counties the easiest way to kick off their business career is to create an export to their home countries. Immigrant business owners are more likely to be more profitable than the local business when it comes to exporting commodities from the host to their home countries. This is often attributed to the language skills which constitute a firm resource that is relevant for global trade. In addition, the immigrant can effectively import commodity and resources more effectively from their home to their host country. There have been cases of immigrant importing food commodity to their fellow countrymen living in the host country.
Access financial facility
Every year countries like Canada, UK, and the US are known to provide financial incentives for small business in form of loans and grants. A recent one is the Innovate UK which helps numerous SMEs to access funding and technical skills require to support their business. Sometimes businesses need these types of support to be able to compete and increase their growth. Immigrants can leverage this funding opportunity to expand their business reach and increase sales.
Collaborate with Institution
Universities and research institutes are becoming more actively involved in how they disseminate science and technological breakthroughs for business growth. In fact, it is more difficult for universities to secure a grant or fellowship without collaborating with a business. Immigrant business owners need to get out of their comfort zone to engage with research institutions that have expertise in their line of business. This will facilitate innovative ways of operating their business. In fact, there are universities who offer vouchers and knowledge transfer program to help businesses access expertise relevant to their businesses at a lower rate.