Now I Can...adaCity: Ottawa
These are the stories of Canada’s immigrant entrepreneurs. They left their homelands, faced major challenges, yet found the key to success in both business and life. Now they are now showing their appreciation to their new homeland by giving back to their communities. Find out how these amazing Canadians went from immigrant…to entrepreneur.
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Tobi Oluwole is an immigrant from Nigeria. He was taught from a very young age that profits are better than wages. Once he arrived in Canada, he began his entrepreneurial journey with a side hustle in University. He tried selling everything from couches to hoverboards before dreaming up the idea for his current business. His company, The 3skills, helps international students land their dream jobs.
Debby Macharia is originally from Kenya, but followed her heart to Canada. She loves all things beauty, and all things education. She faced adversity, yet has managed to build a global beauty products company from the ground up. Debby is now inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs through her passion and her knowledge.
Karla Briones and her family left the dangers of Mexican cartels behind for a safer life in Canada. She arrived in Canada as a teen, and fought hard to build a new life for herself and her family. Her entrepreneurial journey began with a phone call to her parents. She was working a corporate job in Toronto, but in her heart she wanted her own business. Her parents simple response encouraged her to chase her dreams. She has found incredible success, and gives back to the entrepreneurial community through her work as a business consultant.
Angelina Singson left the Philippines with dreams of working in Canada’s high tech sector. But, the tech crash forced her to alter course. She faced some major challenges, but persevered through hard work, education, and an amazing sense of humour. Angelina runs a successful landscaping and gardening company as well as a farm. She is making a name for herself in what is traditionally a man’s domain.
Dasha Smolentseva arrived in Canada from Siberia. Like her father before her, she had the entrepreneurial bug. Dasha used her skills to bring her community together during a crisis. Her entrepreneurial journey began through a passion she developed back in Russia. Alongside her husband, also an immigrant entrepreneur, they have build a business that is helping bring their community together.
Claudia Arizmendi came to Canada from Mexico to say hello to a friend. She ended up falling in love with the city, and her future husband. She left Mexico behind and decided to stay. Claudia took a childhood love of baking and found the recipe for success with her cupcake business. It all started at a children’s birthday party, and the rest of her story is the icing on the cake.