Rural Entrepreneur Stream Process

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Rural Entrepreneur Stream Process

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Effective November 27, 2023 our Rural Entrepreneur Stream program has been placed ON HOLD due to limited staff resources.

Regrettably the Town of Olds is no longer able to continue participation in the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program Rural Entrepreneur Stream until such time as funding can be secured to hire additional staff to administer the program.

We are pleased to advise that we have endorsed support 5 new businesses. 


Are you an international entrepreneur looking for a place to establish or expand your business? Look no further than Olds, Alberta!
The Rural Entrepreneur Stream is a unique opportunity for qualified and capable immigrant entrepreneurs to support the economic growth and revitalization of rural communities in Alberta. This program, administered by the Government of Alberta, allows for the nomination of entrepreneurs who intend to establish a new business or buy an existing one, and who have the skills and abilities to fill labor shortages in the area.

Through this program, the Town of Olds is working with the Government of Alberta to welcome and support international entrepreneurs.
If you are nominated through the Rural Entrepreneur Stream, you and your family may apply for permanent residence in Canada through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). To be eligible, you must meet medical, criminal, and security checks. With the support of the Government of Alberta and the opportunity to become a permanent resident, Olds, Alberta is the ideal location for international entrepreneurs to establish or expand their businesses.

Key Information: Eligibility

To qualify for the Rural Entrepreneur Stream (RES), candidates must meet the following criteria:

Business and Management Experience

Minimum of 3 years of experience as an active business owner/manager or a minimum of 4 years of experience as a senior manager within the past 10 years.


Completion of a minimum of high school equivalent to the Canadian standard with an Education Credential Assessment (ECA).

Business Plan

Must have a business plan with projected financials.

Language Proficiency

Meet language requirements of Canadian language benchmark 4 in all four categories.

Financial Requirements

  • Minimum net worth of $100,000, with all assets being the candidate or partner’s own personal holdings.
  • Minimum investment of $200,000 from the candidate or partner’s own personal holdings.

Ownership Requirements

  • Minimum ownership of 51% if establishing a new business or 100% ownership if business succession.
  • The succession buyout must result in a complete change in ownership where the candidate will assume full control of the business.

Job Creation

Create at least one full-time job for Canadian citizens or permanent residents (not including relatives) when establishing a new business.

Community Support

Have a Community Support letter from a participating rural Alberta community.

Key Information: Why Olds?

Olds, Alberta, Canada is a small but growing community that offers several benefits for international entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their business. Here are some reasons why Olds is a great place for an international entrepreneur:

Business-friendly environment:

Olds has a business-friendly environment, which means that the local government and community support entrepreneurship and offer several incentives and resources to help entrepreneurs succeed.

Strategic location:

Olds is strategically located between Calgary and Red Deer, making it a perfect location for entrepreneurs who want to tap into the markets of these two cities.

Access to skilled labor:

Olds is home to Olds College, a leading institution for agriculture and horticulture education, which provides a steady supply of skilled workers for the local economy.


Olds has modern infrastructure and facilities, including high-speed internet, a regional airport, and excellent transportation networks, making it easier for entrepreneurs to do business globally.

Quality of life:

Olds offers a high quality of life, with a low cost of living, a strong sense of community, and access to recreational opportunities such as hiking, skiing, and golfing.

Application Process

The Rural Entrepreneur Stream Program has already welcomed new entrepreneurs to Olds. Follow the process below and let us welcome you to Olds.

Step 1: Self-assessment

Potential candidates can visit the Rural Entrepreneur Stream website to review the self-assessment tool and determine if they meet the eligibility requirements of the Rural Entrepreneur Stream.

Step 2: Connect with a rural Alberta community and conduct an exploratory visit

The entrepreneur researches the community they w ant to establish a new business or take over an existing business and connects with the community contact to pitch their business idea. Based on these initial conversations, both parties will determine if they wish to proceed with scheduling an exploratory visit to discuss further details. The entrepreneur is responsible for applying for the required visas for the exploratory visit.


The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program and the participating communities will not provide a letter of support for the entrepreneur to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa to conduct an exploratory visit to Alberta. After the entrepreneur completes their exploratory visit, the entrepreneur submits a formal business proposal summary to the community for consideration. The community is required to make a decision on if they support the entrepreneur’s business proposal. By endorsing the business proposal summary and issuing a community support letter, the community is confirming they support the entrepreneur in establishing or purchasing a business in their community.

Step 3: Expression of interest

If eligible, the entrepreneur submits an expression of interest, along with the Net Worth Worksheet, Community Support Letter and Business Proposal Summary through the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program portal. Based on the information provided in the expression of interest, candidates will be assessed and ranked using a point’s grid system.

Step 4: Business application

A program officer with the Government of Alberta w ill contact candidates with the highest-ranking points to invite them to submit a business application through the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program portal. Only candidates w ho are requested to submit a business application to the Rural Entrepreneur Stream w ill be considered.

Step 5: Business performance agreement

A program officer w ill assess the business application and supporting documents. If successful, candidates w ill complete and sign a Business Performance Agreement. The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program will then issue a Business Application Approval Letter along with a 205(a) Letter of Support for the candidate to apply for a work permit to IRCC. The work permit will allow the candidate to come to Alberta to establish their business.

Step 6: Establish your business in Alberta

After arriving in Alberta, candidates must:
– submit an arrival report to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program within 30 days of signing the work permit.
– establish and run an eligible business, with 51% ownership if establishing a new business or 100% ownership for business succession. Candidates must be actively involved in the day-to-day management and operations.
– meet the requirements set out in the Business Performance Agreement within a one-year period of establishing the business.
– submit business progress reports every six months to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program to demonstrate business viability.

Step 7: Nomination

After operating the business for one year, candidates must submit their Final Report for Nomination to the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program. The final report w ill be reviewed to ensure all requirements of the Business Performance Agreement have been met. If all conditions are met, the Alberta Advantage Immigration Program will issue a nomination certificate.


Candidates are then responsible for applying to IRCC for permanent residency, while continuing to reside and operate their business in Alberta. The Alberta Advantage Immigration Program expects that the entrepreneur w ill continue to be actively involved in the management and day-to-day operations of the business while residing in Alberta.

Resources: Directory for Newcomers

Emergencies (Fire, Police, Ambulance)

  • Phone: 911

Child, Youth and Family Programming

Driver’s License


  • Public
    o Pre-Kindergarten- Grade 4
    – École Olds Elementary School
    – 5413 – 53 Street Olds, AB
    – 403-556-8477
    o Grades 5-8
    – École Deer Meadow School
    – 5411 – 61 Avenue Olds, AB
    – 403-556-1003
    o Grades 9-12
    – École Olds High School
    – 4500 – 50 Street Olds, AB
    – 403-556-3391
  • Catholic
    o Pre-Kindergarten- Grade 8
    – Holy Trinity Catholic School

          – 6610 – 57 Street Olds, AB

          – 403-556-9444



Family and Community Support Services

  • Social programs that are preventive in nature to promote and enhance well-being among individuals, families, and communities (Volunteering, Great Neighbours program, seniors programming etc.)
    o  (403) 556-6981 
    o [email protected]

Food Bank

General Information

  • Phone: 211 (Interpretation Available)


           o In-person: Airdrie Registry
           o 128 Edmonton Trail NE Airdrie, Alberta 
           o 403-948-6018 


Settlement Support Services

FAQ: RES Program

Can Invest Olds tell me what business to buy or start?

No, it is important that entrepreneurs identify a business that is aligns with their skills and experience. Once identified, research on the community and market place should be conducted and utilized in the completion of a business plan to prove viability. That business plan should then serve as a guiding document throughout the life of your business.

Where can I find socio-economic data and information on Olds and region? offers both data indicators on demographics, workforce, industries, and so much more. Tour our website and see all the advantages of investing in Olds.

How do I find the businesses that are for sale in Olds?

Invest Olds can provide you with a listing of available businesses for sale in the community.

Olds' Financial Capital Advantage: A Competitive Edge for Businesses

Maximizing Financial Capital: Opportunities for Growth