Our monthly Immigrant Entrepreneurship Newsletter features some of the incredible immigrant entrepreneurs in Alberta that we support, like Christopher Ikhiede, owner of Everything African Marketplace. We spoke with Christopher about his journey as an immigrant entrepreneur in Alberta and his experience with Business Link.

What is your background?

I have an educational background in Computer Science and am currently pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration. I have spent the last decade in the IT Industry, leading various teams in the area of Security Risk, Cybersecurity, and large-scale projects.

Tell us about your business and what it does.

I run an online marketplace connecting African/black-owned businesses, vendors, and service providers to potential customers called Everything African Marketplace. The name Everything African Marketplace speaks to our goal of making African products, services, and vendors accessible in just a few clicks.

Our platform provides the following for vendors/business owners:

  • Increased revenue
  • Dedicated store
  • End-to-end support
  • Low commission
  • Countrywide visibility
  • Safe and secure platform

For our customers we offer the following:

  • Ease and accessibility
  • Safe and secure platform
  • End-to-end support

The Everything African Marketplace is an all-inclusive platform that supports all business types – Physical, Virtual, and Downloadable products and services.

What motivated you to start your own business?

Our story began in 2018, as new immigrants to Canada. We were having trouble locating the right vendor that would provide us with the services we required, knowing which vendor to choose since there wasn’t an independent review platform for African businesses/products, and accessing the products themselves. Driven by a passion to address our challenges, our business was born.


What are you most proud of? What is your biggest success?

As a startup marketplace, we have been invited to a number of business and pitch marathon competitions. Additionally, the Everything African Marketplace has been said to be a very innovative idea to support African vendors/businesses in Canada which is something to be proud of.

What has been your biggest challenge as an immigrant entrepreneur in Alberta?

The biggest challenge that I am currently facing as an immigrant entrepreneur is access to the right people and resources to grow my business.

What has been your biggest challenge in light of COVID-19? How have you had to pivot your business?

Generally, we had a different experience from COVID-19 compared to other businesses. As a business enabler, our platform was pivotal to a lot of other businesses. Our platforms provided a means for businesses to upload their product, set up a digital store, and share links with their customers. We provided end-to-end dedicated support by providing delivery services to our customers including product delivery.

IEP Client Feature Headshot

“The pandemic has taught me to be creative and to never focus on the challenge and instead always look at the opportunities. Starting a business during a pandemic is different but as I learnt from my Peerpreneur Sessions here in Business Link, we must always pivot and rise above the challenge. The key lesson that I learned from COVID is to remain creative and innovative.”

What advice would you share with other immigrant entrepreneurs in Alberta who want to start or grow their own business?

Although I am still new to the game, my advice is never to give up, be persistent, and be creative. Also, reach out to Business Link for consulting and advice.

How has Business Link/our Immigrant Entrepreneur Program helped you?

I had an opportunity to attend the Business Link Peerpreneur Sessions and it changed my perspective about business. It was great learning from other business owners and my amazing instructor.

What’s coming up next for you?

As an online marketplace, we are constantly growing our vendor/business base and striving to consistently meet our customers’ needs. We have amazing deals and discounts coming up this winter. Stay tuned and connected.

Anything else you would like to share?

As immigrants, let’s remain supportive of each other’s business. The journey is never easy but with each other’s support, we can achieve greater heights.

The Everything African Marketplace is an agile platform and can support any business type or project.

Where can you find Everything African Marketplace?


facebook   Everything African Marketplace on Facebook

Everything African Marketplace on LinkedIn

Everything African Marketplace on Instagram