Home Small Business An ‘IDEA’ by Karla Briones for aspiring entrepreneurs in Canada

An ‘IDEA’ by Karla Briones for aspiring entrepreneurs in Canada

Immigrants Developing Entrepreneurs Academy (IDEA) is a venture by Karla Briones.

An Ottawa-based award-winning immigrant entrepreneur and business consultant, Karla has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs launch, scale and exit their businesses.

Here, in an interview with New Canadians reporter Shruti Dargan, she shares why she came up with IDEA and how her 10-week step-by-step course helps current and future immigrants who want to learn how to properly build a business in Canada.

Also watch: Small business advice for newcomer entrepreneurs in Canada

Video transcript:

Shruti Dargan:
On New Canadians today, we are joined by Karla Briones, an immigrant entrepreneur and business consultant, and we’ll be talking about the Immigrants Developing Entrepreneurs Academy that Karla has founded. So welcome Karla to the show.

Karla Briones:
Thank you.

Shruti Dargan:
Now let’s get talking about the Academy itself and tell us what it’s all about.

Karla Briones:
Yeah, so the Immigrants Developing Entrepreneurs Academy or IDEA for short. It is a 10-week online program that takes anybody interested in business from an idea, and it takes them through the process of what it’s like to open a business in Canada. And it just facilitates that process and also connects them to a larger community of other successful immigrant entrepreneurs and other budding entrepreneurs as well.

Shruti Dargan:
So what led you to actually start this academy?

Karla Briones:
Hmm, great question. It’s basically I’m, an immigrant and I’m an entrepreneur and I love business, but throughout my 10 years of experience in having businesses, I made a lot of mistakes and a lot of mistakes because I didn’t know how to do things because everything was new. As someone coming from a different country, everything was new here in Canada. So I made many mistakes that cost me a lot of time, a lot of sleepless nights, and a lot of tears. So I realized that there was not a lot of help out there for newcomers to help them open up their own businesses. There’s a lot of help out there to help them write their cover letters and their resumes, but not enough out there to help them, you know, create a business plan and open a successful business. So I decided to fill that void and came up with this particular course.

Shruti Dargan:
And what do you say is the academy for, is it for anyone with the dream to start a business?

Karla Briones:
Yeah, so it could be for anybody already in Canada who is a permanent resident or has already immigrated to Canada and has always, or has had that dream of entrepreneurship. Absolutely, it is. It is definitely for them. However, there are people who are abroad still but are thinking of coming into Canada and are in the process of, you know, coming into Canada. So it’s a great way to also start before you arrive because then you already hit the ground running and you know how things work in Canada. So yeah, absolutely. Anybody who has an idea or if you don’t even have an idea, there is a module where I take you to the idea or through the ideation process so that you can come up with an idea and validate it based on Canadian information and standards. So yeah, anybody basically who’s interested in business

Shruti Dargan:
And what’s the kind of training that you would say they can expect from the academy?

Karla Briones:
Yeah, so there are 10 modules and there’s one module a week. And in between weeks, there are live sessions with myself and other successful immigrant entrepreneurs, which I think is the most exciting part because anybody who wants to be in business, they need to connect with a larger network of business owners. So I introduce them to them and these particular business owners, and they answer questions related to the module that they’re studying, whether it is accounting, whether it is marketing, whether it is, you know, like law or legal stuff. And there is also a Facebook group where the students can actually connect with each other, share ideas and encourage each other as well.

Shruti Dargan:
And lastly, so how can one get enrolled then?

Karla Briones:
Yeah, so people can take a look at the website, which is Karlabriones.com/idea and all the information is right there.

Shruti Dargan:
Well, thank you, Karla, for sharing all of these details with us and all the best to you.

Karla Briones:
Thank you. 

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