Rural Entrepreneur Stream
The Alberta Rural Entrepreneur Stream allows experienced business people to immigrate to Alberta by starting a new business, or purchasing an existing business, in a rural community designated by the province through the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program (AAIP) and allows successful applicants to become Canadian permanent residents.
Who is a entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is a person who sets up a business with the aim to make a profit. An entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures.
Entrepreneurs play a key role in Alberta’s economy, using their skills and initiative to anticipate needs and create jobs for Albertans. Entrepreneurs who prove to be successful in taking on the risks of establishing a business are rewarded with profits and continued growth opportunities.
Innisfail is a participating community under the Rural Entrepreneur Stream.
The town is strategically located in central Alberta, in the heart of Red Deer County, along the QE2 Highway corridor about 30 km south of the City of Red Deer and 118 km north of the City of Calgary. It is located within the QE2 corridor between Edmonton and Calgary that is anticipated to be home to approximately 80 % of Alberta’s total population by 2046 within the three census divisions that make up this corridor (Edmonton-Red Deer-Calgary).
Innisfail’s population is approximately 8,000 representing a 1.8% growth since the 2016 census. Innisfail is appealing because of its small town feel with all the amenities, and its convenient and strategic central Alberta location.
Innisfail is a major service centre for one of western Canada’s finest agricultural regions. Rich soil conditions and mild weather make the area idea for growing a variety of grain, hay, raising beef, pork, poultry, sheep, and horses. Agricultural diversification also thrives in this region.
Industrial consists of a mixture of businesses invested in different sectors of the economy.
Innisfail has a variety of retail development that includes brand name and niche-oriented businesses.
Housing is primarily owner occupied representing seventy percent (70%) of dwellings in the community (2021 Census). The average house price as of April 2023 is $308,000.00.
Candidates can discuss their business proposal and schedule an exploratory visit or web-based video conference with a representative of the town’s administration.
Self Assessment Tool
Review the Self-Assessment Tool to ensure you meet program eligibility requirements.
Applying under the Rural Entrepreneur Stream is a five-step process that begins with discussions with a representative of town administration after a self-assessment is completed.
Step 1: Exploratory Visit & Community Support
The first step for any interested candidate is to obtain a Community Support Letter from a rural Alberta community. This will involve an exploratory visit to the community either in person or through a web-based visit, followed by preparation of an Exploratory Visit Report. This document must include the following
- The name of the professional business service providers or settlement organizations you visited during your trip, including mailing addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.
- A description of the activity or meeting and how it relates to your business establishment or settlement.
- Copies of business cards you collected from relevant contact and business service providers contacted during your visit (if applicable).
- Details of visits to existing business locations and meetings with current owners if you are planning to purchase an existing business. You should include the business name, location and the current owners’ names and contact details.
After the exploratory visit, the candidate should provide a copy of the completed Rural Entrepreneur Stream Business Proposal Summary to the town representative. A copy of this form is available for download from https://www.alberta.ca/aaip-rural-entrepreneur-stream-eligibility.aspx.
The Business Proposal Summary provides information on the business venture in the community. If the community deems that the candidate and the business proposal is a benefit to the community, a Community Support Letter will be issued, and the community will endorse the Business Proposal Summary. Both ensures the community is aware and supportive of the business and supports the candidate’s retention in Alberta.
When the candidate has received a copy of the Community Support Letter and endorsed Business Proposal Summary from the community, the candidate can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the AAIP.
Step 2: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
Candidates who meet the minimum eligibility requirements for the Rural Entrepreneur Stream can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the AAIP Online Portal.
After submitting an EOI, all candidates receive a score based on the Rural Entrepreneur Stream Points Grid, explained later in these notes. Periodically, Alberta will invite the highest-ranking candidates from the pool to submit an official Business Application package.
Step 3: Business Application Package
Candidates who are invited from the EOI pool of candidates, must submit a detailed Business Application package to Alberta indicating how they will create or purchase a business in the rural community and own and operate said business.
The Business application must be evaluated by an AAIP Qualified Service Provider. As well, candidates must pay a non-refundable fee when submitting the Business Application package.
Step 4: Establishing a Business
If the Business Application is approved, the applicant will be issued a Business Performance Agreement from Alberta. Upon signing the Business Performance Agreement, the applicant will be eligible for a two-year work permit enabling them to establish their business in Alberta.
After owning and operating the business for at least twelve (12) months, the applicant may apply to Alberta for provincial nomination.
Step 5: Provincial nomination & permanent residence
If the candidate is approved for provincial nomination, they become eligible to apply for Canadian permanent resident status. This application is submitted at the federal level. The candidate may apply for themselves and any accompanying family members (spouse, common-law partner, and dependent children).
Business Proposal Summary Form
To download the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program form, click here.