This free entrepreneurship program has launched 20 immigrant-owned businesses in B.C.
August 16, 2023
By Burnaby Now |
“It has been my childhood dream to have a cafe… when I had my own family, that dream of mine was tucked away on a shelf. It became a fantasy that I only accessed when I felt like daydreaming.”
Kaye del Rosario immigrated to Canada with the goal of pursuing a Nursing career in Manitoba and eventually in B.C., but a series of events made them realize they weren’t ready to give up on their dream.
“I wanted to make food and share it with everyone. I wanted to become an entrepreneur”, says Kaye. “I knew I had the skills and personal experience, but I didn’t know how to start.”
Fortunately, Kaye discovered the Immigrant Services Society of BC’s (ISSofBC) SPARK and IGNITE programs; two free entrepreneur programs designed to help immigrants, refugees, and newcomers to Canada conceptualize, launch, and grow their businesses through one-on-one mentorship and ongoing business support.
With SPARK, individuals take part in three phases over four months: research, refining, and realizing, which ultimately lead to having an idea that is ready to be developed into an actual business. During these four months, participants will also have access to mentors and be able to build connections and skills that will help them as their business grows.
After SPARK, participants can move to ISSofBC’s IGNITE program, which provides one-on-one help from a business advisor, guiding participants through the development of their business plan, registering their business, exploring funding and lending options, and helping them address their own unique challenges and needs.