Our monthly Immigrant Entrepreneurship Newsletter features some of the incredible immigrant entrepreneurs in Alberta that we support, like Diana Tare, founder of UPSource. We spoke with Diana about her journey and experience as an immigrant entrepreneur in Alberta.
Q. What is your background?
A. I came to Canada in July 2016 with my family as landed immigrants. My first job here was as a daycare teacher. In my pursuit of continuous progress, I went back to school at Bow Valley College and graduated in 2018, Class Valedictorian for Post- Diploma Digital Marketing Program. After that, I worked as a freelance Digital Project Manager for my client’s projects. This year, I founded UPSource because I saw the demand from businesses transitioning into the digital world.
Q. Tell us about your business and what it does.
A. UPSource offers digital marketing and sales outsourcing services. We have in-house virtual assistants that help clients and businesses reach their business goals by eliminating some of their daily processes, for example, Social Media Marketing, leads Generation, and even doing calls. Our virtual assistants do all those tasks so business owners can focus on what they do best – growing their business.
Q. What motivated you to start your own business?
A. I have been really entrepreneurial since grade school. I remember selling different things back then! I love working on my own business because of the flexibility of time and ideas. With Upsource, what motivated me was my love for digital marketing, my relentless pursuit of independence and to really help more businesses thrive in this digitally transitioning world.
Q. What are you most proud of? What is your biggest success?
A. I am very proud that we were able to successfully adapt here in Canada, specifically here in Calgary. We might have started back from scratch, like going back to school again, applying for survival jobs, but being able to rise from those experiences to building my own business and being able to service clients and being a part of their success is also considered my very own success.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge as an immigrant entrepreneur in Alberta?
A. The communication skills and networking are the most challenging part I had to face when I was starting the company. Thankfully with Business Link, I got the guidance and referrals of the right people to talk to about my business needs.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge in light of COVID-19? How have you had to pivot your business?
A. UPSource was founded during the pandemic with the main goal of helping businesses transition and scale faster even during this trying time. The only challenge we had is making sure that our team stayed healthy, physically and mentally, since we are remotely working in front of our screen all day and the feeling of isolation can be overwhelming.
We make sure that our communication is open. We have online games and activities to make our team feel united and connected.
Q. What has the pandemic taught you about you and/or your business?
A. This pandemic has taught me to always be flexible and adaptable. Pivot to whatever it takes to continue, and grow the business. In this case, transitioning to digital has become necessary.
Q. What advice would you share with other immigrant entrepreneurs in Alberta who want to start or grow their own business?
A. My first advice is to ready themselves for the huge journey ahead. The second is to connect with organizations like Business Link to make sure they have the guidance and support they need from established professionals.
Q. How has Business Link/our Immigrant Entrepreneur Program helped you?
A. Business Link played a very important role when I was starting and until now. The advice on how to register the business, connecting with the right professionals and other organizations are vital to my progress.
Q. What’s coming up next for you?
A. We are dreaming big this year. Our goal is to serve more business not just here in Calgary but in Canada and the US.
Q. Anything else you would like to share?
A. I support fellow immigrant entrepreneurs, especially those who are planning to start their own business this year. Please connect with me and I will help you with your digital marketing e.g. Website, social media, etc. I would also like to offer them my consulting services for free to get them started!