Letter from the Founder
As immigrants my family came to Canada with the firm belief that if you worked hard anything was possible. Their belief and their entrepreneurial spirit shaped who I am today. I knew from an early age that I wanted to give back to the country that had given my family and me so much.
Today, I’m the Founder & Chair of the Kanata-Carleton Small Business Network (KCSBN), which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting local entrepreneurs across our district.
Growing from grassroots in 2015, the KCSBN was designed to empower local business. Now in its fourth year, the KCSBN has grown from a gathering of a few neighborhood entrepreneurs to an emerging West-end business phenomenon.
Over 100 local small businesses and 300 participants - including officials and community leaders - are expected to attend this year’s Fair to network with their community, collaborate with other local businesses, get inspired by expert speakers and grow their businesses with valuable resources.
The whole idea started when I became Director of Outreach for the Trailwest Community Association. I noticed many of our residents where asking about local businesses in the community such as bakers, trip advisors, accountants, auto-mechanics, tailors, florists, and so on. I took it upon myself to find these hidden gems for the community. One day I decided to host a small gathering of local home-based businesses to introduce them, and the rest as they say is history.
So many businesses and residents showed up. That was my “Ah-ha" moment, realizing the need for such a service. The KCSBN became an advocate for small businesses. Kanata is a booming Hi-Tech-cluster with a phenomenal BIA. Small Business is a niche market with limited resources, but supplying valued services in a growing community. Over the past four years, I‘ve talked to many residents and local business owners about what they need to grow and how they could become sustainable. When person after person said that what they most wanted was a way to meet and connect at a personal level, we decided to hold regular workshops in addition to our signature annual fair. The combination was a success story, and we’re still growing.
KCSBN works hand-in-hand with businesses right in our community of Kanata-Carleton, making introductions, fostering strong partnerships, and proving that by working together we can make a difference. Our organization today reflects many of the lessons learned from those early days. Since launching, hundreds of local small business and residents have joined our events, and we keep growing. We focus on building relationships to bring prosperity and harmony to our community.
Dr. Rouba Fattal,
Founder & Chair
Kanata-Carleton Small Business Network