Our monthly Immigrant Entrepreneurship Newsletter features some of the incredible immigrant entrepreneurs in Alberta that we support, like Ada Tai, Partner at BadaB Consulting. We spoke with Ada about her journey as an immigrant entrepreneur in Alberta and her experience with Business Link.
Even the most successful business has its ups and downs. Do not lose hope or confidence if your business experiences turbulence. That is inevitable. If one door closes, then another window will open for you. – Ada Tai, Partner at BadaB Consulting
What is your background?
Similar to many international students coming to Alberta, I made it home. I completed an undergraduate degree in Recreation and Tourism at the University of Alberta. As I was exploring my professional entry point to the workforce, I discovered that human resources (HR) people play a huge role in hiring, out of curiosity, I took an HR course and fell in love with the profession. 15 years have gone by; I have never regretted a day of working in this field! Meanwhile, I completed an MBA degree and obtained HR designations in both Canada and the U.S.
Oh, I almost forgot, I am here to talk about my journey to becoming an entrepreneur. I am a curious person and a firm believer in developing strong business skills. In 2011, I helped found BadaB Consulting Inc. with a partner. Initially, the company provided only business technology consulting services. After working in HR at different organizations, I wanted to turn my entrepreneurial curiosity into practice. Therefore, in 2016, I joined the business as a dedicated HR practitioner. In just a few years, our firm evolved to be a full-service Management Consulting firm with a team of effective consultants.
In the meantime, I also discovered my interest in teaching. Right now, I teach at both the University of Alberta and MacEwan as a part-time business instructor, in addition to running the consulting business.
Tell us about your business and what it does.
We are a boutique management consulting firm, specializing in human resources and business technology solutions. Organizational clients who choose us come in many shapes and sizes: small, medium, and large operations in the public and private sectors. Additionally, we provide individual career and job search coaching.
What motivated you to start your own business?
My entrepreneurial spirit.
What are you most proud of? What is your biggest success?
Every day is a success when I know that I have given my best and learned something new. As I navigated through the hurdles of being an entrepreneur in a challenging economic environment, I learned a lot about myself: who I am, what I have the potential to do, and what I need help with. Despite the challenging environment, we steadily grew the business and built a team of capable people to serve the clients. Furthermore, although I have a very busy schedule, I maintain good physical and mental health.
What has been your biggest challenge as an immigrant entrepreneur in Alberta?
Being an immigrant, proficiency in English and understanding the nuances of the culture and law were my biggest challenges. Lack of connections also made it extremely difficult at the beginning of my start-up journey, especially knowing that many small businesses grow through referrals and word of mouth.
What has been your biggest challenge in light of COVID-19? How have you had to pivot your business?
Our consultants worked from home before the pandemic, so the transition to remote working was smooth. However, we did put more effort into exploring the best business model given the pandemic. Luckily, we maintain the level of quality and consistency to existing clients and offer more innovative solutions to new clients.
What advice would you share with other immigrant entrepreneurs in Alberta who want to start or grow their own business?
Starting a business is easy. Growing and scaling up the company in a challenging economic environment is harder. Do not lose sight of the big picture and never give up.
How has Business Link/our Immigrant Entrepreneur Program helped you?
I am a long-term supporter of Business Link. When I first started my business, I relied on the free resources and advice that the advisors provided.
What’s coming up next for you?
I look forward to continuing to support our clients with diligence, dedication and competencies is top of mind.
Anything else you would like to share?
I publish blogs regularly. Check them out here: https://www.badab101.com/blog.
Where can you find BadaB Consulting?
Badabconsulting on Facebook
BadaB-Consulting-Inc on LinkedIn