In supporting immigrant entrepreneurs
WELLINGTON – June 29, 2016 – Following a vast study on the entrepreneurial support provided to immigrants in Europe and North America, the European Commission has declared that RDÉE Prince Edward Island’s LIENS project (Linking Economic Immigration to our Successes) is considered an international best practice in supporting immigrant entrepreneurs.
« We knew all along that our LIENS project was innovative and extremely flexible in meeting the specific needs of individual immigrant entrepreneurs, but we certainly didn’t expect to receive such recognition, especially on an international level, » says RDÉE PEI executive director Bonnie Gallant. « We’ll graciously accept this compliment and we’ll use it to encourage ourselves to try even harder to serve immigrant entrepreneurs and job-seekers that are settling here on PEI. »
All of this began when the European Commission (Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) decided to conduct its « Study on Good Practices in Promoting and Supporting Migrant Entrepreneurship » in the European Union, the United States and Canada. Consultant Dr. Herbert Schuetze and his colleagues from the University of Victoria in British Columbia were charged with conducting the Canadian portion of the study.
The consultants therefore contacted some of the RDÉEs and other organizations that provide entrepreneurial services to determine which ones had projects offering support to immigrant entrepreneurs. After a first overview, Dr. Schuetze and his assistants determined that RDÉE PEI’s project deserved an in-depth look.
Noting that LIENS project is « an inspirational international case » because of its adaptability to client needs, the Commission decided to conduct a case study of this Island-made initiative.
The consultants spent several hours in discussion with executive director Bonnie Gallant and former LIENS coordinator Catherine Rioux to learn precisely how the project and its services work. They then studied the cases of an immigrant entrepreneur who set up shop on the Island with support from RDÉE PEI: William Yin who is establishing a package tour business for Chinese clients.
The LIENS project is funded jointly through the federal department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Province through the Prince Edward Island Office of Immigration, Settlement and Population.
All the best practices gathered by the study will be compiled in a « Good Practice Guide ». Video clips will also be included in the compilation. The Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Î.-P.-É., a key partner in the LIENS project, will share the video that it had produced several years ago to showcase immigrants and newcomers to PEI.
For more details:
RDÉE Prince Edward Island
(902) 854-3439, Ext. 232