Fund a startup in Canada when you’re not Canadian

What are the financing options for a newcomer or a future permanent resident who wishes to launch his startup in Canada?

Canada and, in particular, Quebec rank among the most attractive places in the world to launch an innovative business. Artificial intelligence, video games, information technology and even life sciences are among the most promising sectors for business creators. In order to help them carry out their projects, there are several funding programs that sometimes provide strategic support and mentoring.

Here we provide you with an overview of the most important funding approaches and programs to launch a startup that may be aimed at newcomers to Canada.

Banks and your credit history

First and foremost, in Canada, credit scores allow lenders to determine whether they can approve your application based on your credit history. There are two rating agencies: Equifax and TransUnion. These collect information on how you use and repay the credits granted to you.

Without this credit history, the banks will not give you a loan. They may also ask you for a personal deposit. Although they will rarely seek this bond on amounts less than $ 100,000, it is a way of reassuring them about your involvement in the company.

Note also that banks more easily provide financing for concrete actions such as rental improvement or investment in equipment and inventory while they are more reluctant to grant loans to finance, for example, salaries.

Be careful, if you are not a permanent resident, banks may be limited in the loans they can give you.

BDC at the service of newcomer entrepreneurs

The mission of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is to create and grow strong Canadian businesses through financing, advisory services and capital. Whether you have little or no credit history in Canada, BDC offers the same terms as banks with specific programs for newcomers.

The advantage:

This first boost can help you get started while you wait for traditional banks to agree to finance you.

Discover the program:

Newcomer entrepreneur.

The right program for a good start

There are a bunch of specific programs that cater to different types of entrepreneurs, whether it’s their age, their area of ​​expertise, their profile or any specific needs they may have.

For young people aged 18 to 39: Futurpreneur

The national non-profit Futurpreneur provides funding, mentoring and support tools to young people and new business owners. With his mentoring program, he creates personalized matches between young entrepreneurs and business experts.

Discover the program:


For innovative projects: offers an annual competition that targets innovative businesses in Greater Montreal, with no age limits. The organization offers non-dilutive scholarship funding of up to $ 20,000 per project to winners. Start-up grants come with access to the prestigious Montreal business network and the expertise of advisers who support new entrepreneurs.

Discover the program:

To accelerate: PME MTL

PME MTL is the business support network of the City of Montreal. It accompanies and supports SMEs in start-ups and in periods of growth. The experts of PME MTL spread over six territories thus provide their invaluable advice during the financial arrangement. The organization also provides loans and scholarships.

Discover the organism:


For immigrants: Start a business here

Every year, Entreprendre ici offers grants dedicated to newcomers and entrepreneurs of ethnocultural diversity who want to start, buy or develop a business.

In addition, advisers support and guide entrepreneurs to the best resources to help them carry out their business projects.

It should be noted that the Ministry of Economy and Innovation is also offering 25 honorary scholarships this year worth $ 25,000 each for projects aimed at economic development and innovation, in all the regions of Quebec.

Discover the program:

 Entreprendre ici

A network for startups: Bonjour Startup Montreal

Bonjour Startup Montreal is a non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate the creation, growth and influence of Montreal startups. He helps innovative companies in particular by giving advice on financing and by stimulating collaboration with investors.

Discover the organism:

 Bonjour Startup Montréal

Investors who invest: Anges Québec

The Anges Québec network injects value-added capital into innovative companies with high growth potential. It is possible for a foreign entrepreneur who wants to set up in Quebec to call on the network of seasoned investors who are members of Angels Quebec even before settling in Canada.

Discover the network:

 Anges Québec

Quebec supports businesses: Investissement Quebec

Finally, we cannot forget to talk about Investissement Québec. This Quebec government corporation created in 1998 promotes investment in Quebec by Quebec and international companies by offering financial solutions to help them carry out their projects.

Discover the institution dedicated to investment:

 Investissement Québec

Launch your startup in Canada with full knowledge of the facts

Do you have questions about immigration and entrepreneurship? Would you like to know more about funding programs for innovative entrepreneurs? Need some advice? Advices ? Do not hesitate to contact our experts who will advise you and, if necessary, accompany you in the steps to launch your startup.