The Canadian immigrants are more likely than Canadian-born residents to have education in STEM fields. In Canada, small and medium-sized enterprises owned by immigrants are statistically more likely to implement an innovation in the product or process.
Immigrant business owners are 8.6% more likely to develop a new product, and 20.1% more likely to innovate in processes or methods of production. Also, they were more likely to find new ways to market. Organizational innovation for immigrant-owned and Canadian-born Indian companies was relatively the same.
Both classes were relatively similar in their use of intellectual property, while immigrants were more likely to have industrial designs registered when findings were modified for the characteristics of the company and the owner. There was relatively little difference in the use of patents, registered trademarks, trade secrets and non-disclosure agreements with respect to intellectual property.
Statistics Canada set out to determine whether a business owner's immigration status affected a firm's implementation of innovation or holding intellectual property or not. The study is part of a larger research project to better understand what leads to innovation and how innovation contributes to Canadian business success.
The results were similar to the original hypothesis of the study, as immigrant entrepreneurs are more likely to receive high education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and mathematics. In addition, they are more likely to trade internationally and to file patents in the US. Such variables proved to correlate positively with innovation.
The study found that immigrant-owned businesses tend to be more likely to invent goods, or procedures, regardless of whether or not they are a new immigrant. When looking at whether the company was in a knowledge-based sector or a part of the economy as a whole, the findings were similar.
Statistics Canada states that future research will look in more detail at the sources of innovation among immigrants.