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Brazilian Gourmet, Self-Owned Business by Former YMCA Program Participant

Starting a business is a daunting risk for anyone, but for newcomers to Canada, it can often feel like a completely unattainable dream. Fabiola and Emoke moved to Canada from Brazil and Hungary respectively, both with dreams of sharing the extensive knowledge and skills they developed in their countries of origin, with the new country they called home. Like countless others who move to Canada, Fabiola and Emoke were overwhelmed by the amount of information they would need to learn about loans, insurance, and how to legally start a business in Canada, and so wrote off their dreams as impractical. But when both women discovered the YMCA Self Employment for Newcomers program supported by Scotiabank, the potential was too exciting to pass up.

Brazilian Gourmet Owner Former YMCA Self-Employment Program Participant

“The YMCA Self Employment for Newcomers (SEN) program helps Canadian newcomers to start up small businesses through training and connecting them to the networks and agencies needed to succeed. Like the YMCA, Scotiabank believes in removing barriers for newcomers to support their inclusion and financial success,” says Sam Hartley-Folz, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the YMCA. “Through Scotiabank’s ScotiaRISE program, an incredible $150,000 donation to the SEN program will help facilitate life-changing opportunities for newcomers from around the world to realize their dreams in Canada,” said Sam.

Mathster Tutoring, Vancouver YMCA Program Participant Business Owner

Because of the generosity of Scotiabank, program participants will learn about sales and marketing, as well as how to build a business plan and develop an ownership mindset. These were the most valuable skills Emoke learned, and she credits the SEN program with helping her feel brave and ready to launch her tutoring business, Mathster Course. What Fabiola appreciated most was the one-on-one guidance and the opportunity to learn through the ideas and successes from others in the program, using her knowledge to open her successful Brazilian takeout business, Brazilian Gourmet. Both women are in the midst of growing their businesses to expand their offerings in exciting new directions, using the tools and instruction they gained in the SEN program. 

YMCA Self Employment Program Participant Business

Scotiabank’s incredible support of this program means the development of connection, belonging, and empowerment in Canadian Newcomers, and is improving our community with innovative and diverse new businesses. “At Scotiabank, we believe focus on inclusion, optimism and commitment to doing more to support our communities through ScotiaRISE will help disadvantaged groups become more economically resilient and prepared for every future,” said, Zak Khokhar, Scotiabank’s District Vice President. The YMCA is proud to have Scotiabank as a funding partner for the SEN program and Emoke, Fabiola and all of us at the Y would like to thank them for their meaningful donation and impact in the community.