Our monthly Immigrant Entrepreneurship Newsletter features some of the incredible immigrant entrepreneurs in Alberta that we work with, like Marwa Ghorab. We spoke with Marwa about her journey and experience as an immigrant entrepreneur in Alberta.
What is your background?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary medicine. My biggest dream was studying political science, where I always dreamed of socializing with different people from around the globe. Getting married directly after graduating and getting pregnant after one month didn’t give me the chance to accomplish this dream, but inside I was still actively thinking how I can reach it. When my family started to relocate due to business needs I started step by step achieving this dream by volunteering. I got into contact with many people from different backgrounds, and I learned a lot about traditions and societies; being raised in a European country during my childhood helped me a lot too in building the basic foundations of how to deal with people from different backgrounds. Then I started to think; why don’t I do it in a professional way? I learned that there’s a certificate offered to become a translator and interpreter, so I’d be able to officially translate and interpret without restrictions. Due to my husband’s job, which requires relocation most of the time, translating and interpretation is the most convenient and flexible job as it doesn’t require a lot of setup restrictions, which was one of the biggest challenges.
Tell us about your business and what it does.
I’m currently working as a freelance interpreter after graduating from the CIWA LMB program and taking my Cultural Interpreter Language Interpretation Skills Assessment Test (CILISAT) and Cultural Interpretation Services for Our Communities (CISOC) certificates. I’m working with a lot of governmental, non-governmental, and non-profit organizations for translation and interpretation services, while also accepting private requests as I’m holding a TIN number. I’m trying now to gain market experience before opening my own business in translation and interpretation, as helping people has always been my biggest motivation.
What motivated you to start your own business?
As an entrepreneur, I was always dreaming of having my own businesses, but business needs commitment and not too much traveling. I’m currently gaining the fresh market experience of working as an interpreter and translator and soon will establish my own website and profile!
What are you most proud of? What is your biggest success?
What I’m most proud of is raising up 3 kids and taking care of our family through the different countries we lived in, and at the same time being able to work on myself despite being a super busy mom. Also, surviving the extreme changes I had in my life I would also consider my biggest success.
What has been your biggest challenge as an immigrant entrepreneur in Alberta?
My biggest challenge as an immigrant entrepreneur is acceptance. One of the biggest day to day challenges was adhering to the code of ethics specifically when someone you know asks for help, and at the same time being neutral in the toughest and most emotional situations. I tried to overcome that by training myself, and you’ll start getting used to it.
What has been your biggest challenge in light of COVID-19? How have you had to pivot your business?
The biggest challenge during COVID is putting the entire business in hibernation, but the good side of it all is that you had a lot of time to spent with your family.
What advice would you share with other immigrant entrepreneurs in Alberta who want to start or grow their own business?
I advise every immigrant to never give up on their dreams and to be patient about your dreams.