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Graduate Entrepreneur Stream


Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur stream is for international students who graduated with a 2-year degree or diploma from an Alberta publicly funded post-secondary institute, and have a valid PGWP at the time their submit their EOI. They must start or buy an existing business with at least 34% ownership. You can have a partner, as long as they are a Canadian citizen or PR. You must have CLB 7 in language. You must also have 6 months of relevant experience or relevant education.

Does graduate Entrepreneur Stream require prior business experience?

It is not mandatory. If you have experience of managing a business for 6 months, or have had relevant education, you may use that for this application. 

Education being used in lieu of work experience must be from an Alberta post-secondary institution. Example are:

  • Aboriginal Entrepreneurship
  • Artisan Entrepreneurship
  • Culinary Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Bachelor of Commerce – Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Bachelor of Commerce – Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Master of Business Administration – Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The list of publicly funded post-secondary institutions in Alberta is here. You must have graduated from one of these institutes in order to be eligible for the Graduate Entrepreneur Stream of Alberta.


Which types of businesses are suitable for the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream?

The business needs to have a physical location which is not home-based and it cannot be run remotely. 

Businesses that are part of a succession plan are also not eligible. This includes businesses that:

    • are owned or operated by a close relative of the candidate
    • were previously owned or operated by a current or former AAIP entrepreneur stream candidates/nominees within the past 4 years
    • have changed ownership in the past 3 years prior to Graduate Entrepreneur Stream application

Factors that increase your chance of a successful Graduate Entrepreneur Application

Criteria Adaptability factors
Work experience Have a minimum of 6 months of full-time work experience that can be a combination of actively managing or owning the business or equivalencies. Equivalencies include experience with a business incubator or business accelerator, or completion of entrepreneurship program courses.*

Work experience can be acquired:
  • from outside Canada or within Canada
  • before or after completing Alberta education
Alberta education credential used to meet both education and work experience criteria must cover the minimum required duration for both education and work experience.
Economic benefit Can provide economic benefit to Alberta through:
  • job creation
  • economic sector
  • business location (for example, rural)
  • business succession
  • investment
  • developed intellectual property
  • partnership or support from business incubator/accelerator, venture capital or angel investor
Age 21 to 49 years
Spouse Your spouse or common-law partner has at least one of the following:
  • at least 1 year of continuous full-time employment in Alberta
  • completed at least 2 years of full-time study at a post-secondary institution in Alberta
  • a minimum level CLB 5 in English or NCLC 5 in French in all 4 language abilities (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking)
Alberta relative You, or your spouse or common-law partner, have one or more of the following relatives living full-time in Alberta: father, step-father, mother, step-mother, child, step-child, sister, step-sister, brother, step-brother

Applications steps for the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream

  1. Create an EOI
  2. Submit a business application
  3. Sign a performance agreement & start your business
  4. Submit a report after one year
  5. Receive nomination for PR
  6. Apply for PR

The application fee to be paid to Alberta is $3,500.

The document checklist is given here

If you need help with your application for the Alberta Graduate Entrepreneur Stream, I’d be happy to support.

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