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YMCA Self-Employment for Newcomers Participant - Mana Moosavi

Mana Moosavi came to Canada from Iran. As a newcomer, she found things were very different in Canada and it was hard to navigate work and employment.  

Mana has always been passionate about baking and making cakes and decided to pursue that as a career in Canada. She joined the YMCA Self Employment for Newcomers (SEN) program after she was referred by her link class at Impact North Shore.   

SEN helped Mana to determine what she wanted to do and unpack her entrepreneurial ideas. Mana was excited to continue her passion for cake baking and the program helped her to plan out her business and pursue her dreams.  

As a participant in the program, Mana felt motivated and inspired by her positive co-program participants. Working with a group of other newcomers and supporting each other helped Mana a great deal. She loved the program and learned a lot about running a business, as well as the challenges she would face. Mana told us that she found her instructor, Gary, so patient and supportive.  

Small business by YMCA Self-Employment for Newcomers program participant

Mana is happy to report that she has successfully opened her business, CocoaMA. She makes a wide variety of cakes, chocolates and sweets. Through the support of the SEN program, Mana registered her business, acquired her business license and has a strong plan moving forward. She is now working in collaboration with catering companies as well.  

Mana was thrilled to be a part of the SEN program. When asked about the highlights, she said she couldn’t pick one--the entire course was valuable and important to her. She now has a great support group of friends through the course and is optimistic about her future in Canada. She is extremely grateful to the YMCA and Scotiabank that support the Self-Employment for Newcomers program, that was so useful for her as a newcomer.  

About the Self-Employment for Newcomers Program: 

The YMCA’s Self-Employment for Newcomers Program (SEN) is a free hybrid program for newcomers to Canada. Participants receive support in business plan development, guidance on the process to launch their businesses, and learn valuable and practical Canadian business practices. Participants gain the confidence, knowledge, and ability to make their entrepreneurship goals a reality.

Learn More About the Program