In the ever-changing landscape of global business, certain cities shine as beacons of opportunity and innovation. Among these, Vancouver stands out as a consistent leader. Despite the economic challenges that cities worldwide face, starting a business in Vancouver remains as a an attractive option for entrepreneurs and investors.
This reputation is well-earned, driven by a robust economy, flourishing technology and digital entertainment sectors, financial prowess and its strategically advantageous geographic location. In this article, we delve into the ten compelling reasons why Vancouver remains a top global city for business, shedding light on what makes this Canadian gem a preferred choice for businesses and professionals alike. Let’s start.
The benefits of Starting a Business in Vancouver
1. Economic Powerhouse
Vancouver takes pride in having Canada’s fastest-expanding and most diverse metropolitan economy. This strength has endured the challenges of the pandemic and its economic consequences. The city’s economic bedrock is founded on a wide array of competitive industries, such as technology, the film and TV sector, digital entertainment and the eco-friendly green economy, among others.
Vancouver’s tech firms made history by bringing the world its very first quantum computer, like D-Wave, and the fastest-growing business app ever, namely Slack. Additionally, local VFX studios have crafted some of the planet’s highest-earning movies and best selling video games. Furthermore, Vancouver holds a prominent spot in the global ranking of top startup hubs, securing the 30th position in 2023, and it led North America in tech job growth during 2022.
2. Unrivalled Quality of Life
The presence of snow-covered mountains, vast ocean expanses and dense forests has made Vancouver one of North America’s most attractive places for both living and working. Alongside its stunning natural beauty, the city provides universal healthcare, a rich mix of cultures and entertainment as well as exceptional education and infrastructure.
With its sandy beaches and seaside paths, along with top-rated dining and outstanding cultural experiences, Vancouver beckons individuals in search of an ideal work-life equilibrium. This, in turn, becomes a valuable asset for companies looking to establish themselves in this appealing location.
3. Thriving Technology Sector
Vancouver lures a diverse array of technology firms, spanning from small startups to significant industry leaders, and the rationale is evident. The city’s technology sector covers a broad spectrum of fields, including information and communications technology, clean technology, software development, engineering services and life sciences. Additionally, Vancouver boasts one of the world’s leading animation centres.
Technology-related employment constitutes 7% of Vancouver’s total job market. It’s worth mentioning that Vancouver hosts significant operations for three of the world’s top 10 tech firms in market value—namely, Microsoft, Amazon and Samsung. Furthermore, the city serves as a central hub for major global digital entertainment leaders, including Netflix, Sony Pictures Imageworks, DNEG, Nintendo and Industrial Light & Magic.
4. Focus on Reconciliation
Vancouver proudly declared itself a City of Reconciliation in 2014. In October 2022, the City Council formally committed to a United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Strategy.
It reflects the city’s deep commitment to truth and reconciliation with the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh nations, who have cared for this land and water for countless generations, as well as with other Indigenous communities in the area.
For businesses and investors who prioritize environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles, Vancouver offers a welcoming environment to thrive and build meaningful relationships.
5. Multicultural City
Looking at it solely from a geographic standpoint, Vancouver’s acclaimed international airport, extremely active port, and accessibility via major rail networks have established it as a worldwide hub for trade and tourism.
Vancouver’s prime location has firmly established its standing as one of Canada’s most globally connected and culturally inclusive cities. This owes much to its progressive immigration policies and a workforce that celebrates a rich tapestry of backgrounds and cultures.
Presently, the region boasts around 170 unique languages in use, and more than a third of Vancouver’s residents converse in a language other than English within their households. This diversity goes beyond mere language and positively influences the city’s culinary, performing arts and visual arts scenes, making them even more vibrant and diverse.
6. Robust Financial Supports
One of the key considerations when it comes to starting a business in Vancouver, is the support new businesses can receive. As a result of the various opportunities offered by both provincial and federal governments, businesses considering locating to Vancouver could qualify for financial aid to cut costs. InBC concentrates on investing in businesses with the potential for substantial growth, especially those in the small and medium-sized category.
Mitacs forms collaborations that promote innovation in Canada, offering matching funds. The NRC Industrial Research Assistant Program aids businesses in developing and adapting technologies for global market commercialization. And this is just the beginning – companies looking to relocate to Vancouver can access a wide range of support for immigration, talent recruitment, helping to establish their presence.
7. Proximity to the US Market
The United States remains Canada’s largest trading partner, thanks to their close geographical proximity. This proximity is especially advantageous for businesses involved in exporting commodities. Additionally, Vancouver’s closeness to Seattle, known for its software development industry, makes it a logical choice for Canadian operations of American IT companies and Canadian IT firms alike. Access to US markets and manufacturing is a true benefit of starting a business in Vancouver.
8. Trained Workforce
Thanks to its outstanding education system, Vancouver boasts a large pool of talented and highly skilled professionals across diverse fields. When starting a business in Vancouver, you’ll tap into this resource of qualified individuals who can play a crucial role in your company’s achievements.
9. Value-driven Community
Vancouver’s residents are known for their good health, strong work ethic and ambition. They take pride in their peaceful and beautiful country and aim for improved lives for themselves and future generations. Their core values include patience, honesty and assisting those in need. Consequently, engaging in business with them is a mutually beneficial opportunity.
10. Legal and Regulatory Stability
This city offers a business-friendly environment with a stable legal and regulatory framework. So, when starting a business in Vancouver, this stability can minimize uncertainties for entrepreneurs, ensuring that businesses can operate with confidence and adhere to clear guidelines. This reliability contributes to a smoother business experience and facilitates long-term planning and growth.
In short, starting a business in Vancouver is a standout opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses seeking a dynamic and supportive environment. This city combines economic strength, technological innovation and a diverse, multicultural community with a breathtaking natural backdrop. This ensures businesses can thrive and make meaningful connections in this Canadian gem.
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