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The Economy and Resilience of Newcomers Report: Exploring Newcomer Entrepreneurship

 


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Executive Summary

In 2008, the global financial crisis resulted in the restructuring of markets and prompted unemployment, income inequality and poverty rates to increase both worldwide and in Toronto. In the context of the “Great Recession” what are the implications for addressing newcomer labour market access through entrepreneurship in Toronto? Moreover, what should policymakers and service providers consider to ensure new Canadians succeed and prosper in their new home?

To understand the experiences of newcomer entrepreneurs, Social Planning Toronto (SPT) and Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto (NEW) embarked on a research project, The Economy and Resilience of Newcomers (EARN). Both organizations wanted to explore whether entrepreneurship is a concrete solution to the high rates of newcomer unemployment within the City of Toronto.

Key Findings:

  1. Self-employment rates increase during recession years; higher proportion of toronto residents turn to self-employment (compared to Ontario and Canada)
  2. Toronto newcomers have lower rates of self-employment as their main work activity compared to established Toronto immigrants and Toronto residents born in Canada
  3. Toronto newcomer men more likely to be self-employed than Toronto newcomer women
  4. Toronto newcomers with self-employment earnings: more men, more families with children
  5. Chinese newcomers make up over 20% of Toronto newcomers with self-employment earnings
  6. Most Toronto newcomers with self-employment earnings are from the family class and skilled worker class
  7. Despite having a lower self-employment rate based on their main work activity, Toronto newcomers more likely to report self-employment income on tax returns (than non-newcomers)
  8. Toronto newcomers more reliant on self-employment income than non-newcomers
  9. Toronto residents with self-employment income: majority report low income from self-employment; newcomers worse off than non-newcomers
  10. Toronto newcomers with self-employment earnings: women fare more poorly than men; self-employment income makes up larger portion of newcomer men’s income, than newcomer women’s income
  11. Self-employed white Toronto newcomers had higher individual and household median incomes, than their self-employed racialized newcomers counterparts
  12. The white male newcomer group had higher median incomes and a lower rate of poverty, than the racialized male newcomer group
  13. The white female newcomer group had higher median incomes and a lower rate of poverty, than the racialized female newcomer group