FREDERICTON (GNB) – A three-year pilot project designed to help international students who wish to start businesses in New Brunswick was launched today.

The Student Entrepreneurship Pilot Project will help graduates from the J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology and Entrepreneurship at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) apply for permanent residence in Canada through the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program.

“This pilot project will help retain highly-skilled post-graduate international student entrepreneurs who will live in New Brunswick and contribute to the local economy,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Francine Landry. “We are pleased to support such innovative initiatives that will help to stimulate economic growth, contribute to increasing cultural diversity and help make our province the best place to raise a family.”

The announcement was made as part of the provincial government’s first Innovation Week, from May 3 to 10.

The nominee program is a provincial immigration program that selects and nominates qualified business people and skilled workers from around the world to live in New Brunswick and contribute to the local economy.

Applicants to the Student Entrepreneurship Pilot Project must meet specific requirements which include: investing a minimum of $10,000 in a new business, having an active management role in the company, and committing to not selling the business for at least three years after receiving permanent residency in Canada.

“For years now, there has been a deliberate focus at the University of New Brunswick on nurturing a culture of entrepreneurship,” said UNB president Eddy Campbell. “This new partnership will not only help attract and retain students to UNB, but will also open doors for our international student entrepreneurs, creating pathways for innovation and success. This is another example of how UNB is driving innovative approaches to making New Brunswick a better place to live and to work.”