A member of Hamilton’s Economic Development Department is off the New York to address a UN panel on how to attract immigrant entrepreneurs. Sarah Wayland has been writing and researching immigration issues for more than 20 years. She was hired by City Manager Chris Murray last year to advise on how Hamilton could become more attractive to immigrant entrepreneurs and now she is permanently with Economic Development. Sarah will be telling the international panel about Hamilton’s three pronged program, called Global Hamilton, aimed at attracting more immigrants. It involves first attracting immigrants through the city website and other initiatives; then providing support to the newcomers who are often unaware of the range of support services that Economic Development can provide; and finally educating the broader public on the value of attracting immigrant entrepreneurs. “Immigrants are more likely to become entrepreneurs than the indigenous population,” Sarah noted. The UN became aware of Sarah’s work through the Maytree Foundation in Toronto which supports a variety of city-building initiatives especially involving diverse populations. Sarah says the Hamilton program aimed at Immigrant entrepreneurs in unique in Canada. “Big cities like Toronto don’t need such programs—they already attract many immigrants, but smaller cities have a lot to offer as well”. Even without the trip to New York which will be partially sponsored by the World Bank, Sarah enjoys her work. “It’s a lot of fun actually,” she says. While in New York, Sarah will visit the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side, which chronicles the immigrant experience in New York at the turn of the last century.
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