Immigrant-owned businesses more likely to innovate

June 18, 2020

By CIC News |

The results of the Statistics Canada study were to be expected given that Canadian immigrants are more likely to have education in STEM fields than Canadian-born residents.

Small and medium-sized businesses in Canada that are owned by immigrants are statistically more likely to implement a product or process innovation.

Immigrant business owners are 8.6 per cent more likely to innovate a new product, and 20.1 per cent more likely to innovate on production processes or methods. They were also more likely to find new ways of marketing. Organizational innovation was relatively the same for businesses owned by immigrants and Canadian-born individuals.

Both groups were largely similar in their use of intellectual property, though immigrants were more likely to have registered industrial designs when results were adjusted for firm and owner characteristics. There was relatively little difference in terms of intellectual property use of patents, registered trademarks, trade secrets, and non-disclosure agreements.

Statistics Canada set out to determine whether the immigration status of a business owner affected whether or not a firm would implement an innovation or hold intellectual property. The study is part of a broader research project to better understand what leads to innovation, and how innovation leads to success in Canadian businesses.

The results were gathered from data in the 2011, 2014, and 2017 versions of the Survey on Financing and Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises.

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