In December 2018, Tarek Moharram of Moharram Ventures announced that he would be donating $10,000 to support the Dream, then Do Venture Competition. We spoke to Tarek to learn more about what inspired him to support new entrepreneurs.
1) What inspired you to make this donation and how did you decide how it would have the most impact?
I believe in the importance of building a more failure-friendly society in order to foster innovation. As an entrepreneur, I know first-hand that starting a new business can be a costly decision and one that is already fraught with risk. These barriers can sometime dissuade smart, capable people from taking the plunge and, as a result, our community never benefits from the value which could have been created. This program will have a significant impact because newcomers to Canada often struggle to break into the workplace as employees due to perceived skill gaps and unrecognized educational/professional qualifications. Through the Dream, then Do™ Venture Competition, the most deserving applicant will be enabled to overcome some of the initial barriers to becoming self-employed and thus be empowered to begin supporting themselves, their loves ones, and our economy.
2) How will the recipients of the grants be chosen each year?
The Cross Cultural Learner Centre has been busy assembling a Review Committee to evaluate the proposals from each of the applicants. I understand that there has already been interest from a few significant community partners, which is an exciting circumstance for all involved. The Committee will be responsible for creating and implementing a merit-based evaluation tool to ensure the best application is selected.
3) Would you like to see others in the community follow your lead, and how else can they help support new entrepreneurs?
Naturally, I want to see London thrive both economically and socially. I would suggest that the best approach is for each one of us to support the entrepreneur(s) in our respective backyards. Whether run by a newcomer or by a more established Canadian, entrusting local businesses with meeting your needs helps to keep prosperity local. Small business owners (especially new ones) have an additional incentive to ensure customer satisfaction, so give them a chance to earn your continued business!
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