Interview with ISANS, Immigrant Loan Pilot Program

We were fortunate to have the chance to engage in a conversation with ISANS regarding the Immigrant Loan Pilot Program. 

ISANS, Guest Speakers

  • Julekha Nusrat, Business Counsellor, IWEN Program
  • Solmaz Ziaabadimiyanji, Program Specialist, IWEN Program
  • Mai Al-Nabhan, Business Counsellor, Market Ready Project

CBDC Blue Water, Guest Speaker

  • Jenn OQuinn

What services does  Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) provide for those looking to start a business? 

ISANS, Mai Al-Nabhan: We help immigrants who would like to start a business with all aspects of their business. We work with them even before they arrive in Nova Scotia. We give the opportunity to provide business counselling and business training. 

What are the challenges an immigrant is facing to open a business in rural HRM? 

ISANS, Julekha:  In Halifax (HRM), there are so many bank branches, there are so many financial institutions, but in the rural areas, entrepreneurs and immigrants don't have these options. 

ISANS, Solmaz: The community needs to be more aware about, you know, that immigrants can also build businesses! 

ISANS, Julekha: Maybe they were having a business in their own countries with different customs, law, and culture, but don’t know the regulations here in Nova Scotia. 

Do you have any success stories that you would like to share? 

ISANS, Mai Al-Nabhan: Many of our clients who went through the counselling or business, training, are really doing well, and it's not limited to one industry they are in different industries. 

CBDC, Jenn: We find with immigrant, entrepreneurs is they do have a passion, they do have the drive to learn they do have the drive to make sure that the business is successful. 

What advice would you give to an entrepreneur/immigrant who wants to become an entrepreneur? 

CBDC, Jenn: The first skill is dedication to the business we often get married to our ideas. 

CBDC, Jenn: Take other people's advice about your ideas. Look at your Market who is your Market. 

ISANS, Julekha: That mindset should be the first thing. 

Do you see an increase of interest, from immigrants, of owning a business? 

ISANS, Julekha: For an immigrant entrepreneur, because there is miles to go for them. They want to build a life in Canada and they need to earn more money than being an employee. So if we can offer them help to do that, that would be great!  

ISANS, Solmaz: In terms of finances, training or anything which we are going to do through this project, with CBDC Blue Water we can add so much more to their journey. 

ISANS, Julekha: I will say, the Immigrant Loan program by CBDC Blue Water can add more value. 

ISANS, Mai Al-Nabhan: We are very happy with this partnership because this will support our clients from micro-scale to small-scale to get the money they need to start their business. Because sometimes they have a great product they have a great idea, they have all the skills to do it, and this is the last piece that they are looking for to support them. 

Tell me more about the Immigrant Loans Pilot Project? 

CBDC, Jenn: We're going to do this Immigrant Loans Pilot Project for about a year. It's for Rural businesses, you can borrows from 500$ to 5,000$. It can be use for working capital, inventories, and marketing. 

All CBDC offices are located in rural areas of Nova Scotia. CBDC Blue Water is located in Porters Lake, and have satellite offices. We ensure that our clients get the best possible information that they can in order to start, and or expand their business. 

Thanks, anything else you would like to add? 

ISANS, Mai Al-Nabhan: We are very happy to start this collaboration with CBDC Blue Water to support our clients to succeed even further. Thank You! 

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