Saving Small Business: The Urgent Need for Improved Business Succession Planning and how Immigrant Entrepreneurs can Help


  • Sarah V. Wayland


Small business is the backbone of the Canadian economy, yet fewer than half of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada currently have a succession plan in place. As such, many of these businesses could be at risk of closure, potentially reducing the wealth of the business owners in question and depriving communities of needed goods and services. This paper explores the possibility of business succession matching programs, with a focus on immigrants as potential purchasers of businesses. Immigrants are more likely to own a business than their Canadian-born counterparts, and a succession matching program could enable them to access established businesses, mentoring, and even creative financing to enhance their own chances of success as well as preserving desirable firms. The research is based on a review of existing literature, case studies and several interviews which identify an urgent need and potential solutions. 

Keywords: succession planning, small enterprise, immigration, immigrant entrepreneurs