Small Business Economics

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 303–317 | Cite as

The financing of immigrant-owned firms in Canada

  • Yuri OstrovskyEmail author
  • Garnett Picot
  • Danny Leung


Using recent survey data, this paper examines access to financing by immigrant business owners. We hypothesize that immigrant and Canadian-born owners finance their businesses in significantly different ways and that immigrant-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have more difficulty accessing financial capital. The results suggest that, after adjusting for firm and owner characteristics, financing sources for growth financing tend to be similar for the two groups. Although immigrant owners—notably those in Canada for more than 20 years—were less likely than Canadian-born owners to seek financing from any source, their applications were as likely to be approved. Both immigrant and Canadian-born owners reported that, among seven potential obstacles to firm growth presented in the survey, “access to financing” was the least important. The study finds only weak evidence to support the hypothesis that access to financial capital is a more serious issue among immigrant-owned SMEs than among SMEs with Canadian-born owners.


Business ownership Immigrant entrepreneurs Business financing Financial capital 

JEL classification

G32 L26 M21 M13 

Supplementary material

11187_2018_20_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (135 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 135 kb)


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Copyright information

© Crown 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Statistics CanadaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship CanadaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Statistics CanadaOttawaCanada

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