Successful Citizens through


Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
and Library and Archives Canada cataloguing in publication

Segla, Arnaud, 1978
[Art de s’intégrer par l’entrepreneuriat. English] Successful Citizens through entrepreneurship
Translation of: L’art de s’intégrer par l’entrepreneuriat.
ISBN KDP:9781790674374

1. Entrepreneurship. 2. Minority business enterprises. I. Wisemen Council. II. Title.
III. Title : Art de s’intégrer par l’entrepreneuriat. English.

Legal deposit
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, 2017 Library and Archives Canada, 2017

Book and cover design: ASSOUKA
Cover illustration: © Alexey Khromushin


Sommaire 4
Before we begin 8
Conclusion 35

I dedicate this guide to members of diasporas that create communities in industrialized countries; the community associations and organizations that work to support them and provide them with the resources necessary for their integration and success in business; the people of Canada and the nation of Quebec for their hospitality and for learning tolerance in the name of diversity; indigenous peoples and their common heritage to be preserved. Past mistakes cannot happen again on immigration. Diversity unifies our society.

“Each Human is
important to the eyes of God.”


Integration is a challenge for any country that welcomes a large number of immigrants from various regions from all over the world. Integration is defined as the act of adapting to a country and its culture. For a long time, Canada has been considered as a promised land for economic migrants who are shunted from place to place as a result of globalization, poverty and a lack of transparency in certain countries’ governments. This multicultural, bilingual country has distinguished itself through its favorable politics towards economic migrants. The latter are able to obtain permanent resident status through a selection process that uses professional and other socioeconomic criteria. Citizenship is then granted to those who decided to stay in the country and invest in a life that goes from diaspora to transmission, from generation to generation, of a mixed heritage. But when does one feel integrated?

To put it bluntly, a seamless integration requires sufficient revenue and a cultural as well as personal identity that is based in the elements of reference of the local community. For example, in Quebec, French is a necessary aspect of distinction and community. From students in higher education to qualified workers and professionals, the two key elements to integration will call for specific strategies that depend on where a person is in life when he or she starts out on this journey of social achievement. What are the strategies necessary for successfully integrating into local society?

For immigrants, one of the solutions is to turn towards entrepreneurship, either full time or part time. These choices can be motivated by barriers to employment or by chances that a country’s economic situation offers migrants to reach the two criteria previously cited as necessary for integration. The wheel does not need to be reinvented, and there are many guides such as “ImmigrAffaires” by SAJE and “Entrepreneurship in Quebec” by Immigrant Québec, just to name a few, that offer a wealth of practical information on the resources available for immigrants who want to start their own business. My goal here is to offer advice on how to better use these resources and to give the point of view of an immigrant and, by extension, of a generation of immigrants. This guide will first approach immigration strategies with an entrepreneurial focus, all while evaluation the other options available for succeeding in realizing one’s life goal in the city that we chose to base either a part of our life, or all of it. This guide aims to help others avoid certain pitfalls, as well as serve as a collection of the collective memory of a community of ethnic entrepreneurs. We welcome you as we navigate the different stages that you, as an immigrant, will face while trying to find your place in your city’s economy.

Before we begin

In my previous guide « business in the box», I tried to offer an alternative and informative method for entering the business world that focused on thinking about the project instead of writing a business plan that is usually done with the purpose of obtaining investments from institutions or individuals. This method leaves the individual more freedom than the standard academic approach. I strongly believe that this approach is important to immigrants, given the actual access that to investment that is given to an entrepreneur that comes from a diaspora and has a different cultural background. It is important to define ethnic entrepreneurship in order to understand the notion of integration. Certain entrepreneurs that were part of a diaspora do not see themselves as ethnic entrepreneurs because they believe that they have mostly managed to internalize the majority of their adopted culture’s identity references, or that they have obtained a certain level of independence that has given them the freedom of not having to count on the financial support of their own society. The relationship has found balance in a uniquely cultural heritage. For some, their families have been in their adopted countries for many generations and can no longer look at themselves from a pure ethnic standpoint. According to a study conducted by HEC Montreal on Asian immigration, there are five reasons that lead to ethnic entrepreneurship: intent, luck, network, abilities, and life journey (GA Brenner-2000).

I give ethnic entrepreneurship the following definition:

“Ethnic entrepreneurship englobes the totality of projects and economic initiatives undertaken by ethnic minority individuals that are not yet integrated into the society of a country with a large number of immigrants.”

The concept of integration related to the concept of equitable access to the economic resources that members of a certain community have access to when they wish to enter the business world or grow an already existing company. This also implies a certain dynamism of entrepreneurial solidarity within the diversity of an economic community. This definition is valid for members of a diaspora who are currently a minority in their adopted society. The notion of “minority” does not necessarily imply that their numbers are small. Certain migrant “minorities” are large enough that they are able to control the economy in such a way that their type of entrepreneurship is directly linked to the society’s economy at large, and not to various communities via ethnic entrepreneurship. This is mainly the case when this minority can invest heavily in the market and has easy access to resources. The informal model reinforces ethnic entrepreneurship when it is the only way that a certain economic activity can take place. The cultural aspect of every informal model stratifies the efficiency and economic performance of every ethnic community.

In one word
“Ethnic entrepreneurship englobes the totality of projects and economic initiatives undertaken by ethnic minority individuals that are not yet integrated into the society of a country with a large number of immigrants.”

This is why it is important to raise awareness of ethnic entrepreneurship, and help those attempt it, in order to diminish this social stratification and create a common code. Insufficient revenue does not equal low revenue. Insufficient revenue resembles instability but affects individuals who are able to pay their day-to-day expenses without being able to own assets or leave a legacy. The economic fruits of their labor are destined to be consumed in short-term, immediate expenses, and they are unable to provide for their future or any unforeseen problem. Ethnic entrepreneurship is the solution to insufficient revenue because it allows a progressive consolidation of a person’s assets thanks to the participation of his or her community. For example: a lonely individual works on his business project and is progressively able to offer his community something of use, and the results will be able to go towards maintaining common assets. The members of the community contribute to a person’s personal wealth through sharing, as well as the economic development of their community. Every project becomes a reason to add to a person’s assets.

Let’s take a look at how this type of entrepreneurship is build through different phases or steps, from immigration to integration. This applies to the individual who can then have this double occupancy or a household whose members can choose within the options.


You just went through the long and harrowing phase of selection and were able to obtain the key to immigration. For Quebec, this is the Certificate of Selection. More important now, you are required to have a minimum amount of money to sustain yourself during your first few months in Quebec. This is where we will begin. The advice given will be generalized, even though many different cases can arise based on different profiles (refugees, business people, student, qualified worker). You can check out official government websites at any time in order to have the latest information.

Something else to keep in mind is that immigration will weigh differently on your shoulders if you are single, married, or with a family. Very soon you will have to read and understand the social, professional and business codes.

You must keep in mind that our focus is to be able to integrate successfully through entrepreneurship. We will thus follow the process step by step and look at the different options that are available for launching a new business. Here, we are tackling a question of “the right time” or of a “window of opportunity.”

In one word
It is necessary to collect information. You must ask questions to either native locals or to immigrants who emigrated long ago, read guides and any other document that provides statistics on the different industries (especially if you did not do so online before moving), observe closely and even go to community or corporate events.

Beginning the process for opening up a business is easier at this stage for business people. In order to do so, government organizations must be the first institution contacted, in order to obtain the proper status and legal authorization to offer a product or service. A business man or woman will have instinctively prepared his or her immigration through previous trips that will have helped obtain partners or have at least served to identify investment opportunities. The financial game begins very early on for this category of people, and for them this is simply an extension of what they were already doing. Their maturity means that they only advice they will need is to networking from the very beginning, as well as to obtain all of the information necessary to invest in a sector. Certain local particularities might apply that did not exist in their country of emigration. They need some time to adapt, if their previous trips were not enough to be able to delve into the economy of a community. Another advice is to not rush into a financial operation just to justify your legal status. This might cloud your judgment and raise your entrepreneurial risk.

In the case of immigrants who arrive with only enough resources to provide for day-to-day life for a set amount of time, it is necessary to consolidate all of your revenues before considering any entrepreneurial risk. Here, the goal remains to not rush into a situation of financial suffering that might risk the outcome of your immigration. You may, however, feel free to launch a business if you believe you have the right idea. The key is to learn the codes of your adopted society in order to raise your chances of success in the business world.

At this stage, my advice to you is to concentrate on the administrative tasks necessary and to gain a foothold on your new, adopted society by mingling with others. You must take stock of all the options that are available to you in order to have a successful immigration (integration will come later). At this stage, it is necessary to collect information. You must ask questions to either native locals or to immigrants who emigrated long ago, read guides and any other document that provides statistics on the different industries (especially if you did not do so online before moving), observe closely and even go to community or corporate events. This might seem frustrating because you will have the impression to be doing very little to begin your climb up the social ladder, but it is the best way to avoid having to restart over from scratch later on. One of my signal processing and automatic control in university used to say “To go fast, you must go slow.” This is the same advice I give to you. That is why you must immigrate with enough money to support yourself while you find your footing. Your resources will grow later.

Many qualified workers arrive with a clear idea of what they want to do: work in their field. It is useless to think of entrepreneurship. Time is precious. Once they obtain their social insurance number, they validate their diplomas and will begin whatever training is needed to adapt their resume before beginning the job hunt. The luckiest ones are familiar with the specific codes (hidden markets, getting recommended for a job instead of simply sending a resume and hoping for the best). It would be hard for us to explain to them, and for them to understand, that many of them will have to modify their skills or give up their dream. Without judging, I am just trying to make them see that their illusions are most likely excessive. Many will get calls back, but few will be chosen; it is not a question of luck but of realism. My advice is to keep every option open during the first stage of your arrival and since we are speaking about entrepreneurship, to consider it as a possibility in the short, middle or long term. This is important and will make decision making in the future easier. I would not be able to finish this part with encouraging you to follow classes or conferences on personal finances. As potential entrepreneurs, it would be a shame to bring your credit score down my bad choices that were made in total ignorance of the financial system of your adopted country.

Toolbox. What you need to do on Arrival step:

Useful documents: a business card, work permit or Social Insurance Number.


It is now time to act and to throw yourself in the construction of your life project in your adopted country. The previous step allowed us to find our way our environment, and allowed us to get to know it better. Before beginning, it is necessary to make sure that you have enough financial resources in order to support yourself as long as necessary while you set up what will be your main or first source of revenue. While the social net of most industrialized countries is useful for extreme cases, it should only be considered as a last resource. The first step to integration is to enter the work force with a job that will allow you to sustain yourself until you can enter your chosen field (either by getting a job or, if you’re luckier, starting your own business). This is nothing new and could be done upon arrival, with the right official work documents. It is a reflex and a smart move. However, this time should also be used to set the stepping stones that will allow entrepreneurship to help us in the process of immigration and, later, integration.

Students or qualified workers who are already interested by entrepreneurship can integrate programs geared towards starting your own business. This will allow you to think about your idea and create a business plan. There are various institutions that offer different programs and approaches. Some must make sure to make some time to work on their entrepreneurial projects, and the rest of the time should be spend stabilizing their financial situation. “Avoiding urgent situations” is the leitmotiv. Some ways of financing through credit are useless because they will take too much time away from your entrepreneurial project. Working in the sector in which you want to open up your own business will certainly give you a leg up and will make your business plan more meaningful. If you are thinking of entering an industry that has a turnkey marketing model, or that asks you to be autonomous very quickly, then you must be sure that you master its main principles and that you are capable of building a network from scratch. I don’t mean to dismiss an economic model, bust to clear up the fact that this is more adapted to people who already have a foot in the industry or a good network. You might choose instead to use the available resources.

Quebec has a real plethora of organizations that are there to help give a service that is adapted to people’s needs and justifies their pertinence and existence. You must know who they are and how to choose amongst them. This is why the guides I previously mentioned are important (and there are other ones out there). Many people choose to go from organization to organization until they find the one that fits them. A better way to do this is to look at where they are located, what their target market is, and what their specialties are. The programs and services offered are often similar.

In one word
If your objective is to have enough revenue for integration, or simply to obtain financial independence, it is necessary to find alternative ways to create resources in order to build up a assets that can be inherited.

For those who are willing to take this step, it is important to find a win-win partnership when you ask for help from an organization that focuses on entrepreneurship, immigration or job hunting. You must realize that you are a client and that they receive subsidies for which they have to reach certain goals. This means that they do not have an infinite amount of time to help you because otherwise they risk not reaching their goals. Thus, you must know what questions you need to ask and be the leader of your business plan. You cannot just wait for their counselor makes decisions for you or expect him or her to understand your day-to-day life. Empathy can have its limits, and you must understand that they have the right to protect themselves in order to serve their clients are efficiently as possible. It is a question of assertiveness and efficiency of their time. Know that if you are not able to benefit from their skills the counselor will still be paid because he or she will have reached his or her goals, but you and your project will not have evolved. This is why you must be clear and specific when you communicate your needs.

Now that we have taken our first steps towards integration via entrepreneurship, I would like to introduce you to the benefits of exercising your entrepreneurial activity on the fringe of the idea of any career or professional occupation. Un entrepreneur is a person who offers a service or a product to the public as a financial activity. The social modials that the previous generations are used to involves a profesional life with an ensured retirement. Now that the “Baby Boomers” are going into retirement, it is getting harder to offer this security when someone stops working. Some governments have chosen to extend the age of retirement while others have reduced the size of the pensions. Either way, for the younger generations (especially generation Z), if the objective is to be able to have enough revenue to meet the criteria for integration, or to simply be able to have financial independence, it is necessary to find alternative methods of creating wealth in order to build assets that can be passed on. I believe in this method and it is one of the messages that I strive to pass on on a daily basis. I often take as an example third world countries, especially those in Africa (where I come from), in order to show that a middle class was born from its hard work and informal commercial activitites that took place alongside professional activities (largely in the public sector), as well as investment in the construction of rental houses or any other undertaking that would create long term revenue. Most immigrants are familiar with this model and it can be transferred to the domestic economy as well as its members. It is thus important to help this dynamic grow and place it within the existing legal context.

Given the available resources int the adopted country, the possibilities are endless. Some are obviously not easily accessible through institutionnal channels (the appearance of the projects, the profile of the entrepreneurs, a lack of startup funds or of entrepreneurial skill, etc), but informally going around these obstacles can give new hope to immigrants. The internet allows unprecedented commercial strategies and branding to take place. In one of my articles I spoke of “the four elements needed for ethnic entrepreneurship: having a job, an e-commerce, a business and an expertise.” This change in paradigme on the ways that a person can succeed with their life project is made for immigrants such as you, who left everything to start from scratch.

My advice is to look at the type of economic activity that you can undertake from the beginning, at the same time as you obtain whatever job you wish. It is possible to slowly begin to allocate more time to your entrepreneurial project based on its success. Not so long ago, professional success was still measured by the medal or Legion of Honor that was given to someone at the end of a long career. Without diminishing this honor, I think that the current economic situation has made society give greater value to the wealth and values that are created through your own personal assets. Innovation is the key to success in this new way of life, since it allows you become engaged in your business and gives it the necessary competitive advantage that is needed by any business that is a leader in a niche or in a larger industry. Diasporas must also be competitive when it comes to local, regional, national or federal economies. The choice of creating “ghetto” economies does nothing but hide deeper problems that come from a refusal to adhere to the business culture that is common in immigrant communities. So, if after a few years of practice, your entire customer base still comes from your community, maybe you need to make further integration efforts.

It is important to realize that there is a tactical rule that has often prevailed, especially in Quebec, which is: in order to have a job in the industry you want, you must have experience in a local business, have a local diploma and speak fluent English. These causes many people to get bogged down then they try to fit all this criteria. Your job will be a way to gain local business experience: even working as a volunteer can be a valuable experience. English might be necessary since the language spoken in Quebec in French (it is true that Canada is bilingual). The hardest criteria to meet might be the diploma, since a loan from the Ministry of Education can take a long time to pay back. You can gain experience in your field by working as a consultant or freelancer at the same time as you hold a different job that will sustain you financially. It is harder to avoid conformity to professional orders. Often, you will need to adapt. You must stop and think before you project your desires onto a socioeconomic situation that is nothing like what you have lived so far. It is a question of adapting and being realistic. Talk to those around you before you make the decision to invest large sums of money. Most migratory cultures place a high value on education, and this is a good time to think of the efficiency of these “intellectuals” when it comes to your life project that involves a business plan that is meant to help you reach your goals: to generate sufficient revenue.

From now on, you will enter a new way of thinking and doing: “The art of integrating via entrepreneurship.”

Toolbox. What you need to do on Settling in step:

Useful documents: CV with local standards, business plan if necessary


Adapting has two sides: a professional trajectory and entrepreneurship. However, you are always free to believe in the classic model where you have one career for life, without becoming an entrepreneur on the side.

Finding a job can be a long process. It can be facilitated with we approach the economy, its tendencies, and our effort to begin a startup with a realistic mindset. What is key is using your job to finance your startup. Young entrepreneurs can benefit from certain startup subsidies (you can find information for this in the guides previously mentioned). Loans are also available for startups but this weighs down the company during the first stages, where sales become imperative. Remember we are focused on “avoiding emergency situations.” It is better to begin with a low volume and wait for your client to come in, especially since you will be busy with your other job at the same time.

We will now assume that you have found a job in a certain industry. This job is not only meant to pay for your basic needs. It should allow you to develop your skills. You are exercising a parallel, declared activity. You will need some time to adapt to living with two jobs and finding a balance amongst your professional, entrepreneurial and personal life. You must also learn to understand the purchasing habits of your clients as well as the codes of your new professional and private life. Those who have a family can choose to divide the risks: one person will work and the other one will become a full time entrepreneur. The hybrid of the economic activity we have proposed can be applied not only to an individual but also to a couple.

You might need months or even years to make the right adjustments and get repeat clients. Often, businesses go into sleep mode for awhile, before conditions become favorable again.

Lets take an example: you have begun the process with a part time contract and you have a financial activity that requires you to be physically active the rest of the time. Your schedule changes and you are hired full time. It is impossible for you to work during the weekends and you decide to put your activities on hold until you find another part time contract.

In one word
The flexibility of your schedule allows you to have two jobs at once, but what is most important is the lifestyle that you need to have from the beginning in order to make the right professional decisions and not stifle your entrepreneurial activity.

The flexibility of your schedule allows you to have two jobs at once, but what is most important is the lifestyle that you need to have from the beginning in order to make the right professional decisions and not stifle your entrepreneurial activity.

You must become a multipurpose, or even ambivalent, economic actor. Technology can help you save time and delegate certain tasks. Online sales can be a solution for those who want to sell products whose shipping can be done via post. There are also electronic documents. Consultants or freelancers can adapt their schedule. If you have to meet clients, you must be careful that there are not only no scheduling conflicts, but also no conflicts of interest.

This lifestyle requires a certain evaluation and certain choices, because we must remember that the goal is to have the most revenue possible and to build our own assets. Certain sacrifices are necessary but they must be natural; it is useless to attempt something that you will not be able to do. We each have our own particular skills that are in harmony with the deepest parts of our personality (what some spiritual movements call the being).

I might not be skilled in the catering industry but I have other skills. It is important to know yourself and know what you are getting yourself into before diving into your business plan (see “Business in the box”).

Constant adaptation to the external environment (financial) and its internal capacity (intent) is what allows us to keep our balance and guarantees the durability of our business plans.

Toolbox. What you need to do on Adaptating step:

Useful documents: career plan, accounting audit.


Now that you have spent various years in your adopted country, even if you are not yet adapted to the winters, you now have a routine and are looking for a better lifestyle. Assets are thus a priority. You might already have contacted companies that offer investment plans to assure your assets, especially if you already have or are thinking of having a family. Those who are in a couple already had to make certain sacrifices.

You have set aside money, which gives you the opportunity to negotiate credits for a blocked savings account (the leverage effect)or to have some credit margin based on your revenues. You were supposed to keep your credit score positive, especially since you took a class on personal finances upon your arrival. Pay attention to any bills that were paid late.

It is now time to figure out how to organize your strategy and taxes. It is advised to begin as an individual company, or with another similar but simple structure. When your investments are done through mortgages, however, it is wise to separate the family’s assets from those of the company. One notable solution is incorporation. I had not advised this from the beginning because it is an expensive choice. It is also now time to think about who will take over or who you will take in as partner to consolidate your business. There are different forms that an enterprise can take that allow you to keep relative control over everything while welcoming new resources, whether these are people or financial resources. It is good to consider the potential of the social economy through cooperatives and for-profit social enterprises in the economic development of regions and communities.

It the sales are not coming in, you must evaluate if you are in the right niche. Is it better to take a step back? Entrepreneurship can be a hobby, but in your case we are looking to create wealth. Reactivity is important in order to save time and investments. If your business is working and you want to develop it, you must go full force. You must dream big for you company if you have the intention of making it your full time job. It is a shame to see ethnic companies or very small companies remain that size to exist because the owner has problems with the authorities and would rather keep his business small.

In one word
Building up individual assets cannot be done independently from a community. The individual benefits from the wealth that is created and the community benefits from a useful service or product that it can use to develop.

Your goal should be a SME and then a large business. Most importantly, make sure you know who will help you lead.

The choice revolves around how much time should be given to be an entrepreneur. You can still define certain parts of your business and keep them under your control while still making time for your career if the latter is important for a certain cause or message that it carries (why not enter politics?). Career transitions can make the launch of a business lose its momentum. It is necessary to reevaluate the goals and see if your intention is to keep investing in your business plan.

Building up individual assets cannot be done independently from a community. The individual benefits from the wealth that is created and the community benefits from a useful service or product that it can use to develop. It is always a shame to see companies disappear because they did not think about changing or that neglected certain elements of management, leaving members of a community without certain products or services. It is thus important to support

ethnic businesses (or other types of businesses) in order to guarantee the long-term existence of a product or service.

We will now take a look at different themes of entrepreneurship as well as the key elements that are making this lifestyle more and more popular, as well as a viable option.

Toolbox. What you need to do on Evaluation and choices step:

Useful documents: performance report or career direction report (human resource specialists), update of the market study.


The main goal that has been presented is that of becoming a full-time entrepreneur and creating wealth and value while drawing on one’s pride for the challenge undertaken. So much emphasis has been placed on an individual’s assets that it might seem as though pride has been pushed aside. However, this human value is at the core of social cohesion, because it instills in each and every member of a community the desire to build a common civilization where there is no strong nation. There has always been a debate on whether the skills needed to be an entrepreneur can be taught or not. I think both sides of the debate are right in a way. Some individuals are entrepreneurs because it is innate to them (whether through intuition, independence, risk taking, etc). Others can benefit from their immediate environment, that can be brimming with examples of success stories, or can be immersed in an atmosphere where entrepreneurship is a family trait or a group reference. Others still choose this option as a last effort in order to push back against the limits of their environment or because there is a project that they hold very close to their hearts. The latter might ease into entrepreneurship slowly through trial and error or any other way of learning that helps them gain experience and knowledge of basic notions such as competitive advantage, working capital, marketing plans, market studies, or, in layman’s terms, the advantages, losses, and financial levers. If you are unfamiliar with some of these terms, you might need to brush up on them before starting. Your common sense might allow you to make the right decisions without knowing these terms, but it is important to have the same language and communication style as others in the business world (bankers, competitors, clients, accountants, etc.). It might be necessary to spend some time on them. You will also benefit from more credibility.

The career of an entrepreneur is not limited to codes, what is most important it to know how to carry out profitable business operations that allow you to reach your goals for your business plan. These codes and notions are as necessary as knowledge of the industry and the resources available. The list of addresses and the network come in second place. What is most important is the intent to be an entrepreneur. This will give you the framework for your business plan. It allows you to face any hesitations and counter performances, to always land on your feet and, especially, to figure out strategies, tactics and operations that will allow you to develop your economic structure. The notion of intent is strongly tied to your attitude (interior disposition and behavior) that you will adopt; this will impact the efforts that are necessary to succeed. I recommend that you use natural efforts and a lean intention (using as little resources as possible). You can familiarize yourself with these notions by reading my work. For now, my wish is to invite you to question your own “definition,” what gives your life, and thus your business project, meaning. It is a form of maturity that is advised for anyone who wishes to become an entrepreneur. It is ok to have the wrong meaning, learning is a process which often involves trial and error. The worst thing you could do is to take the definition of someone else and use it to compare yourself and to then develop your strategy around this definition because you will think that you have the right to live what the other person is living. Every man is important and can have a project that is useful to the community, even if it’s not the larger human community. You must internalize your goals and become the “artist” (the simple urban vocabulary calls the contrary a “boa”) of your own project.


“The drama of Africa is that the African man has not entered history enough.” A few years ago, a certain country leader scored a rubicon with this phrase, which speaks directly to the natives of certain regions of the world, especially the weakest ones, whose contribution to humanity has been undermined and hidden under a veil. Without delving into historical details that have been omitted or rewritten, I would like to emphasize the immense challenge that an entrepreneur who has come from a diaspora faces. This challenge has two sides, and every member of this multicolored and mixed society should be responsible for it. The economy has been weakened by the economic crisis as well as the volatility of the stock markets, and this has paved the way for a new ethnic era and a way of correcting how we handle finances, where each person can act at their own level to complete the results of whatever governance has been put in place for the group. The immigrant now has the task of succeeding in integrating in his adopted country on the one hand to show how diasporas have contributed to the economies of an aging population and to the models that are now groaning under the weight of conservatism. By multiplying the examples of those immigrants who have reached social success we can change the image that is given to this part of the population that has been wrongly accused of stagnation and inadequate integration to the sociopolitical system. We are used to seeing them settle for survival under the weight of debts and broken dreams, to occupy the places that were left behind by the harmful effect of the shock of labor (at least the one of modern civilizations): the native vs. the immigrant. It is the secret of Pulcinella in Quebec, that the immigrants that come from Africa are some of the most qualified but also those that have the greatest difficulty finding a job that suits their skills level. Success becomes a matter of honor and a way of paving the road for the next generations that are called upon to take their place in societies in which the economy and politics create a land that can turn hostile towards immigrants quite quickly. The political engagement of some is not superficial in the sense that it guarantees a form of representation when decisions are being made and the future of the next round of immigrants is being decided.

The second task that an immigrant must face in order to succeed economically is to cooperate with the populations of the motherland. It is often noted that international institutions have very little impact when it comes to political development. The governments of countries in need justify the use of these investments through infrastructures that are meant to benefit everyone, but that are very rarely completed. TO allow this lack of results to just be would be to condemn the poorest populations to seeing disparities grow and leaving their future at the mercy of God.

In one word
The career of an entrepreneur is not limited to codes, what is most important it to know how to carry out profitable business operations that allow you to reach your goals for your business plan.

To succeed is to create wealth and assets through our own hard word. This wealth will hand over the power to the populations of diasporas so that the south and the islands of the south can cooperate together, through investments that target the economy of their countries of origin, to target their AFFIRMATION (not even emergence or development) with global ambitions. This should allow these economies to be reinforced, and hopefully to see their part of the economy become a part of the greater market economy through fiscal exchanges and access to tools that help the production of goods and services. Once this happens, being an entrepreneur is no longer limited to the exercise of a single economic activity; being an entrepreneur, after this, entails taking an active role in order to contribute to the development of regions that were the victims of unfairness or a form of domination. This counts for those who have accepted citizenship in their adopted country. Their double heritage offers them the possibility of being at the heart of certain decisions that are taken without losing sight of what the stakes are when a certain group of people are left out from the economy. As the African proverb says, “If you do not know where you are going, know where you come from.”

Whereas before, immigrants counted on education, taxes and service in the national army to confirm and protect their integration, now they must count on entrepreneurship. For those who rely on God in their weakness to change things, know that God might be willing to accompany change and assertion efforts but will not realize them for us. His omnipotence does not relieve us from the challenges necessary to restore our rights.


The cultural communities of immigrants are the first references that we ask for upon arrival. They have resources and knowledge that are useful for finding our way and supporting ourselves. Once we have moved past this first step, we must envision how to contribute to our adopted society in order to be able to place down some roots. I don’t really believe in the theories of ostracism, discrimination and reactions that cause us to only count on ourselves. I do however believe that globalization has created a certain chaos that has created an economy based on communities, especially at the cultural level. It is good to exchange with the local community in order to enrich our ecosystem.

In one word
Whereas before, immigrants counted on education, taxes, and service in the national army to confirm and protect their integration, now they must count on entrepreneurship.

While this has often been the case from the point of view of an immigrant, it is good to consider the hopes and dreams of a population that welcomes immigrants. Integration is can only be done in part thanks to the place that the welcoming country gives to immigrants, which is why one cannot survive without the other and exchanges must be constant. Some frustrations can arise from seeing qualified workers take their place and enter the workforce, students finish their studies and enter the professional market, families bring their cultural codes and apply them liberally even when we are struggling with social acceptance. This might bring about nationalistic tendencies to defend one’s land and one’s country, exclude others, especially foreigners who are using up the same resources. This, however, is usually brought about by a lack of inflation on the real impact that the policies of immigration have (what they bring to the economy, statistics, demographics, etc) as well as the nature of the cultures that are present in the same territory.

We must learn to get to know others and to tumble down the barriers of prejudice. Immigrants are ambassadors of their culture, and must represent their culture in front of the citizens of the country that is welcoming them. The local citizen is a host that offers immigrants the necessary conditions for expressing the skills that the welcoming society is looking for. This might seem idealistic or utopian, but it is necessary for group cohesion. And if it is not there yet, you can be the generation that finally makes this a reality.

Getting to know the other person is the reason for social engagement. There are various ways to become engaged and create conditions that are favorable to your integration: civic duties, volunteering, politics, getting involved in cultural events, and education are just a few. Roots are put in place through these activities. Citizenship only makes official a “grafting” process that began with our first stages of immigration and will add yet another flower to this tree that is the multicultural nation.


With the actual mobility of qualified workers (which creates the same shock as the mobility of actual civilizations), it is important to define what success means. Our objective was to create wealth, sustainable assets and the pride that comes with this (which can be interpreted as finally having reached financial and personal security), but this is not enough to be considered successful. Because the roads taken in order to reach these goals can bring into question their success. For me, the real indicator of a successful integration is your PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT, whether it be through entrepreneurship, or any other orientation that was taken throughout your trajectory.

Personal accomplishment is necessary in order to feel at easy in the society that you chose to settle down in. Without this, your heart will tug you towards a different immigration that might push you to exhausting, our might even cause you to move back to your original roots. A successful integration involves not only the materials that are necessary to succeed in your business and life plan, but also to have found an inner peace of the kind that is taught by most religions or spiritual movements.

Personally, ethnic entrepreneurship has become my faith, and it now guides my actions on a daily basis as well as the choices I make in both my personal and professional life. A successful integration becomes a tribute to your knowledge and determination (the definition of it, or your spiritual light). It is useless to take formulas that were premade by other people to incite others to immigrate to this region instead of another region. People must determine what is best for them, without outside influences. Without calling our goals into question, when we speak about economic power, wisdom shows us that what really matters at the end is how we feel and outward wealth is only a tool to be able to provide what we need to feel at ease within ourselves.

Toolbox. What you need to do to on Integration step:

Useful documents: heritage evaluation and business evaluation.


As you have surely noticed, this book is not only filled with statistics that need to be constantly updated. It is meant to work in tandem with a guide that will tell you what all the resources at your disposal are. It is thus a practical guide written by other immigrants that seeks to help you find your strategy. I hope only to have flung the doors open wider, as the first moments in a new land tend to be clouded over by illusions and those who have no help have a tendency to make choices that will delay their success and integration. To me, it seemed necessary and wise to write down explicitly the knowledge that circulates amongst the immigrant community. You can come back to it at any moment and adapt it to your particular situation.

In general, being an entrepreneur is not very hard. You need certain skills, but mostly just a strong and unwaverable intent that will help you in your hardest moments. You must do what comes naturally to you and follow your heart and thoughts. Your life project will come from your heart, and it will be clear to you when you take the time to soak in it in order to continue your way. Your thoughts are the results of some external elements such as your conditioning or your environment, and they feed what is considered to be your ego, or egos. In Africa, we are hesitant of dualities and our conceptual approaches usually involve a third point of reconciliation.

I will remind you to take stock of your body and its limits. It is the frame that will help you make any project come to life. Health, rest and relaxation within your efforts will be necessary for those who wish to go far in a world that spins faster and faster in a race to acquire possessions (and not wealth) and which inevitable causes stress and human alienation.

“The art of integration through entrepreneurship” is a deal upon itself: one f making your life an electron for a quantum leap into raising your levels of global revenue (energy) and a diminished divide between the rich and the poor of this Earth, in this World under a fortuitous Heaven.

“Every business project has, at its core, one of more tools that are important for building the wealth of the human community through time.”

Phases of the life style of an immigrant professional-entrepreneur




Summary of the double path way of life employment-entrepreneurship

Photo: Awa Lake Diop

Arnaud Segla M. Sc., M. Sc. Admin., CAPM. Consultant, Trainer and Coach specializing in ethnic, informal and corporate entrepreneurship. I organize and animate learning activities and accompany many entrepreneurs in the attaining of the objectives of their business project.


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