February 7, 2019 6:15 pm
Updated: February 7, 2019 7:28 pm

Fredericton mentorship program hopes to boost immigration in New Brunswick

A graduation ceremony was held at Fredericton City Hall for aspiring entrepreneurs that are new to the province. Megan Yamoah reports.

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At Fredericton City Council, 19 newcomer entrepreneurs of the Business Immigrant Mentorship Program (BIMP) celebrated their completion of the “How to do Business in NB” course.

The province’s minister of post-secondary education, training and labour believes these programs will attract more newcomers, which will open businesses and create jobs for the people of New Brunswick.

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“These are amazing opportunities to grow the work force, to grow the business opportunities that we desperately need here in New Brunswick,” said Minister Trevor Holder.

READ MORE: ‘An invisible class’: former Filipino temporary foreign worker shares story of employment fraud

The number of people working or looking for employment is on the decline province-wide, especially with baby boomers retiring. Holder says bringing in newcomers is key to bridging this gap.

“This is going to send a message to the rest of the world that New Brunswick is open for business, come to New Brunswick, there [are] opportunities to invest, and there [are] opportunities to be a part of a growing economy,” said Holder.

Trevor Holder and Mike O’Brien shake hands after the minister’s speech.

Megan Yamoah / Global News

READ MORE: ‘An invisible class’: former Filipino temporary foreign worker shares story of employment fraud

BIMP has been running for a decade. The goal of the five-month course is to enrich Fredericton’s social and economic development and cultural diversity by integrating immigrants into the local business community.

“We’ve got really good teachers and mentors for this program who taught us business details, what are the Canadian culture that we should incorporate to do business here,” said BIMP graduate Ali Allauddin.

WATCH: Employment shortage putting strain on New Brunswick businesses

Junifer Torralba gave a speech at his graduation ceremony. He says the program taught him how to network, prepare legal documents and conduct business in Canada. Torralba says business processes here are very different from his native Philippines.

“If you work with the right people — with the same motivation, with the same passion as you — you collectively would definitely build something very, very tangible and useful for the community,” said Torralba.

BIMP Graduation Certificate

Megan Yamoah / Global News

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