Why are so many coming to Canada through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). For starters, its a great opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs to start a new life in BC, and to contribute to its growth.
What is BC PNP
The BC PNP is a system that helps experienced entrepreneurs set up shop in the province. This program acts as an alternative way to immigrate to the country through a form of investment rather than the more common routes.
Every year the province takes in 6500 applicants, made up of two groups, Skilled Workers and Entrepreneurs. For simplicity sake we will be discussing the entrepreneurship category in this article. Of these initial applicants only the top percentile with the most business experience, highest net worth, and most solid business plans are approved.
Entrepreneurship has two options to apply for, Base Category and Regional Pilot. Base Category is for those that would like to apply for a wider category of industries and location. In contrast, the Regional Pilot is to develop key areas around the province, and in industries specifically approved by those regions. Although the Base Category my seem more flexible, it has its own restrictions on what businesses each applicant may peruse. For example, the BC PNP guide states, “BC PNP will only consider registrations to establish a new business or purchase and improve/expand an existing business that contributes to the economic growth of the province”. These are well defined and up to the discretion of the board of approvals.
Some of the ineligible businesses include, pawnbroker, tanning salons, DVD rental stores, and coin-operated laundries. Among many others (see guide section 2.3 for full list).
Besides the restrictions on business type there are also minimum entry requirements. The following figure shows requirements for each category.
These are just some of the many rules and regulations involved in the application process. In fact, each item in the left most column of the table above has its own section in the guide book.
Helping British Columbia grow
The addition of new business is a welcome sight. The added investment in BC’s economy helps to support already existing local business. This is primarily through supply chains as new companies purchase B2B good from each other. These companies also help to employ more BC residents that help to send money to other areas of the economy supporting consumer goods. Those involved in the Regional Pilot help to maintain and grow more remote areas of the province like Prince George and more northern communities.
Technology can also be a helpful byproduct of these new companies. As they grow and their need diversify this can spark new innovations. Many also bring knowledge of processes and techniques from their own countries. This can help educate Canadians on more efficient business practices that later spread to other companies.
All of this comes at a time when many young people in Vancouver are leaving to start new lives elsewhere. A conditioned trend towards a more urban lifestyle is draining remote populations slowing their growth. The allure of large companies in bigger metropolitan areas such as L.A., New York and San Francisco drains Canada’s pool of skilled labor. This is why the creation of these companies is so important.
A win win scenario
However its not just Canadians that have something to gain.
There are many reasons to decide to invest in Canada, the second best country in the G20 to do business and one of the leaders in economic growth over the past decade. Canada also has the lowest business tax costs in the G7; 46% lower than the United States. In 2020 Canada ranked 12th in global corruption ranking (measuring levels of public sector corruption), compared to the United Stated 23rd place ranking. They ranked 3rd in ease of starting a new business and 7th in protecting minority investors according to The World Bank. Not to mention easy access to Asian, American, and European markets.
A strong economy can be a good investment option for those who are looking to establish a new business.