Thursday's Panel

Newcomers, Exploring  Entrepreneurship

How do you navigate in the Canadian culture and find the resources to start your own business when you come to Canada as an immigrant? 


In this panel, we will cover legal and cultural aspects related to starting a business as a newcomer. Attend and learn about the programs and services available to support newcomers in our community.

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Introduction

Steve Pellarin, Executive Director


What are the contributions that immigrants and newcomers bring to the entrepreneur community?

At a local community level, they bring diversity, choice, and new ideas to our main streets.  Immigrants don’t choose to start businesses in Canada because it is easier or less costly, they choose it in part, because of our multiculturalism.  Their efforts in turn, contribute to the ethnic diversity of our community, making us stronger, more innovative, and well positioned for growth. 

 
How would you describe the entrepreneurs SBC work with?

They are people looking to improve their quality of life and believe that taking charge of their own destiny and building something is the way to do it.  They are self-motivated, hardworking individuals willing to take risks for something better.

Why are small businesses so important to our community?

Small businesses are a reflection of our community. They are our neighbours and friends, they support local causes, donate prizes, sponsor clubs, pay taxes and support families. They bring diversity to our communities and make London an interesting place to live. 

What lessons have you learned working with immigrants investing  in new small businesses?

Never assume to know what success is.  We know that at the end of the day, bills must be paid for a business to stay afloat and be successful, but the journey there is different for everyone.  What motives and drives people is personal. We can share best practices and provide guidance that has worked for others, but we must be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things and recognize when progress is being made. Then, if we are fortunate, we will be invited to celebrate in their success when it is achieved.

Yerusalem Berhane 

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant



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Olya Loshkin 

Professor at Fanshawe College / Workplace Communication, Language and Culture Expert 

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Phil Singeris

SBC Business Advisor


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Yerusalem Berhane

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant

How do your support your clients?

We pride ourselves in providing high quality, professional and timely services to out client.  We offer services in all aspects of Canada Immigration (Visas, citizenship, permanent residency, Refugee etc.)  and some international immigration, example- passport renewal.

Why are you passionate about the work you do?

We love reuniting families and seeing international students striving in their studies in a Country that provides them with so many opportunities. Canada Immigration is a large part of the Canadian economy, therefore, in helping clients to get successful applications, we are helping our economy.

What words of wisdom would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Take a leap of faith and follow your dreams. Once you remain true to yourself, honest and loyal, you will succeed as your referral is going to be your best marketing tool. 

Don't forget to attend the Q&A with Yerusalem! 

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Olya Loshkin 

Professor at Fanshawe College / Workplace Communication, Language and Culture expert 

How do your support your newcomers?

The students I work with are excellent specialists in different areas – business, IT, engineering and health care. Many of them are entrepreneurs.  They demonstrate a broad range of work experiences and excellent technical skills. However, there is a gap in understanding Canadian culture and workplace communication skills. I help them close this gap. It’s a privilege to be part of this support, helping my students learn and develop the new soft skills, mentoring and guiding them through the settlement process. 

Why are you passionate about the work you do?
I am very passionate about the work I do and it’s extremely rewarding to watch my students grow professionally and hear their success stories. As an immigrant myself with multiple experiences in teaching, consulting and project management I know what it takes to have to learn new communication skills and transition to a meaningful career.  Teaching and supporting my students feel like paying back to the community. 


What words of wisdom would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Starting your own business can be exciting and quite overwhelming at the same time. It’s a process, not a project. You will be constantly learning. You will be making mistakes. You will succeed and you may fail. No matter what you have to go through – you need to be focused and stay proactive. Remember that focus is the gateway to your business success! 

Don't forget to attend the Q&A with Olya! 

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Phil Singeris

Small Business Centre Advisor

How do your support small business owners?

I support entrepreneurs at all stages of business….ideation, pre-launch, early stage and existing by first asking them to share their business vision with me. What is it they are wanting to achieve by being an entrepreneur?  We will discuss market research, competition, marketing strategies and financial costs essentially introducing the elements of creating a business plan. The Small Business Centre has many tools and resources to support our clients. Small businesses support their local economy and create meaningful jobs.


Why are you passionate about the work you do?

I love the energy and excitement brought forward by business owners, it is very inspiring to me and only furthers my resolve to provide support and guidance to them.  

It is very rewarding to see an individual who has taken an idea and launched it to become a full time profitable and sustainable business.  Entrepreneurs are hard working, skilled individuals who are passionate about their business and that passion is contagious to those around them.

What words of wisdom would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Be strong, persistent, do your research and plan!

Don't forget to attend the Q&A with Phil! 

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Connect & Inspire During Small Business Week!

#SmallBizLdnOnt

If you have business tips or would like to share your business success story, connect with our entrepreneurial community on social media with the hashtag #SmallBizLdnOnt