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Karla's Story: Empowering Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Updated: Apr 21, 2022

I recently sat down with Karla Briones, an immigrant entrepreneur and business strategist who coaches new immigrants, BIPOC and underrepresented business owners on becoming successful entrepreneurs with scalable ventures.

Karla is the founder of IDEA (Immigrants Developing Entrepreneurs Academy), an online platform designed to educate and connect newcomers to the Canadian business ecosystem.

She is a Nation’s Capital Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year award recipient and a TEDx Speaker on the topic of immigrant entrepreneurship. She’s also a small business columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and an active part of her community. On top of all this, Karla owns three business in the Ottawa region, including Global Pet Foods Kanata and Global Pet Foods Hintonburg as well as Freshii Westboro.

Here are my Top 10 Takeaways from today’s conversation with Karla:

1. It’s the vulnerable parts of our story that make us relatable to others.

2. Our authentic story can remove barriers between ourselves and the audience we’re serving.

3. When we become leaders, success is all about growing other people.

4. We all have a different definition of success. And that’s exactly the way it should be.

5. Never underestimate the value of your own network and how far it can take you.

6. Always be bold enough to knock on a new door and ask for the help you need.

7. Networking is a 2-way street. When you receive help, be sure to look for opportunities to help out someone else.

8. Don’t discount the power of your own story; someone somewhere is waiting to hear it.

9. It’s often the ordinary, everyday stories that make the greatest impact in the world.

10. We can’t imagine the ripple effect that takes place when we’re bold enough to share our own story.

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