Tayybeh–A Chapter in the Long and Proud History of Syrian Immigrants to Canada

immigrant syrian businesses in Canada

Moving to a new country with unfamiliar languages, cultures, and laws is not easy. Yet, the success of immigrants in Canada continues to illustrate the incredible opportunities available in this country and the extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit and resilience of these newcomers. 

As Tayybeh’s 6th anniversary approaches, we reflect on what it means to be a business led by proud immigrants and refugees in Canada. 

Find out why immigrants start some of the best businesses in Canada and learn how Tayybeh’s Syrian food operation is an example of this.


Did You Know These Statistics in Canada for Small Businesses?

Immigrant entrepreneurs make up a significant portion of Canadian business owners. According to Statistics Canada, small businesses are more likely to be started by immigrants than by other Canadians. A recent report found that immigrants were 30% more likely to own a business that provided jobs for others compared with those born in Canadians. 

Statistics Canada’s small businesses data also indicates that immigrants who become business owners have similar success rates as Canadian-born business owners when it comes to staying in business. So, what is it about the Canadian experience for newcomers and immigrants that encourages them to start their own businesses?

Why and How Immigrants End Up Creating the Best Businesses in Canada

Despite often facing language barriers and a lack of familiarity with local regulations, immigrants consistently create thriving businesses (including some of the best businesses in Canada). Many possible reasons are driving immigrant business ownership. 

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Have a Higher Tolerance of Risk

Economic immigrants tend to be more highly educated or have experience running businesses in other countries, making them more tolerant of the risk that comes with being an immigrant entrepreneur. Plus, those who choose to move to new countries are likely to have more risk-tolerant personalities.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Often Have a Fresh Perspective

With a wealth of knowledge and experience from their home countries, immigrants may be more likely to spot market opportunities. Plus, immigrants are better able to serve the needs of immigrant communities they are familiar with than Canadian-born entrepreneurs are. 

Immigrant Entrepreneurs May Create Businesses out of Necessity 

Some immigrants, such as those who arrive in Canada as refugees or as family, may have more difficulty finding preferred jobs than those born in  Canada. Whether due to language barriers, discrimination, or other factors, this may motivate immigrants to turn to self-employment.

Immigrant Business Opportunities in Canada 

Existing immigrant networks in Canada provide connections and funding opportunities for newly arrived immigrants that help them get their bearings and access resources. This welcoming environment may help create business opportunities for immigrants to work collaboratively. 

There is a wide variation in the type of immigration, especially when it comes to the reasons for coming to Canada. Let’s learn more about the Canadian experience for newcomers and immigrants by looking at the example of Syrian refugees. 

The Legacy of Syrian Refugees in Canada

More than 40,000 Syrian refugees have resettled in Canada since 2015, fleeing from war and danger of persecution. Unfortunately, refugees are often seen by local populations to be a burden on taxpayers. In reality, refugees contribute to the economy and end up giving more to Canada in income tax than they receive in public benefits.

Along with Syrians who began immigrating to Canada as early as the 1880s, this group has brought rich culture, traditions, and delicious Arab cuisine with them. Syrian- Canadians have left a big mark on society since their first arrival at the end of the 19th century. They are in every sector and industry in the country. Syrian-Canadians are in politics like Minister of Transport and MP Omar Alghabra, MP Tony Clement, and Sam Hamad, the former member of the Quebec National Assembly. They are also influential entertainers such as musicians Paul Anka and Réne Angélil, rapper Wiz Kilo, filmmaker Ruba Nadda and professional wrestler Sami Zayn.


Ruba NaddaSami Zayn

(Top: Ruba Nadda image from Wikipedia, Bottom: Sami Zayn Image from Wikipedia)

Syrian refugees who arrived in the past seven years have also set the bar high in successful entrepreneurship. In addition to the Syrian team of Tayybeh, there are some great examples across the country.  These include the Hadhad family in Nova Scotia who started Peace by Chocolate, Arij and Kameel Nasrawi who started the first Syrian Canadian newspaper called The Migrant out of Ontario, and the Sabouni family who started a successful soap company in Calgary. 

How Focusing on Supporting and Hiring Syrian Refugees Truly Led the Legacy of Tayybeh

Tayybeh was created out of a desire to help newcomer Syrian women integrate into Canadian society, be part of a community, and earn a living by cooking wonderful Syrian food. What started as a pop-up dinner series in 2016 has grown into a flourishing Middle Eastern food catering company that continues to employ recently arrived Syrian women.


Tayybeh is more than just an immigrant business; it’s a family that celebrates refugee and immigrant resilience, hard work, and pride in the ability to create Syrian food as a way to extend a hand from one culture to another.

Tayybeh, a Proud Immigrant Business, Supporting Syrian Newcomers While Providing the Best Middle Eastern Cuisine Catering in Vancouver

Tayybeh is an immigrant business that is staying true to the meaning of its name, which means both kind and delicious. Many of the refugees who have been working with Tayybeh to craft the best Syrian food catering in Vancouver are now Canadian citizens. 


Thanks to the hard work and commitment of our Syrian team members, we are grateful to have been recognized with several awards, including Best of Vancouver, Western Living's Foodies of the Year,  TELUS Small Business Award, VMW 2018, and Vancouver Award of Excellence. 

Some of Tayybeh's former staff have themselves gone on to set up their own food operations or used experience acquired in their first job at Tayybeh to flourish in the job market. We are proud to have open doors for them and wish them continued success as they prove that refugees are an asset to society not a burden on it. 

As our 6th-anniversary approaches, we remain committed to creating business opportunities for immigrants and inspiring a new generation of immigrant entrepreneurs- all while continuing to provide the best Middle Eastern food Catering in Vancouver! 

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