Karla Briones arrived to Canada in a U-Haul truck with her family when she was 18 – after a long five-day drive from her native country, Mexico.
She and her family lived the struggles most immigrants experience: cultural, language, environment and job security barriers.
She is now proudly a Mexican-Canadian serial entrepreneur with retail, food & beverage, and online businesses.
In her newest venture, Karla Briones Consulting, she uses her 10-year business experience to assist new immigrants become successful entrepreneurs in their adopted country by helping them build sustainable and scalable businesses. Her mission is to build the strongest, most thriving and collaborative immigrant entrepreneurship ecosystem in the world – one newcomer at a time. Karla is launching the Immigrants Developing Entrepreneurs Academy (IDEA) in Summer 2020, a digital platform where newcomers will gain knowledge, access mentorship through a network of successful immigrant entrepreneurs and funding so they can launch, incubate and accelerate their businesses regardless of what part of Canada they are in – regardless of the industry they want to be in.
Karla is also part of the team of independent business advisors at Invest Ottawa – the local economic development agency which provides services to local aspiring and current entrepreneurs needing support. She works with all types of entrepreneurs at different stages, and most recently launched the Peer Groups, where she helps revenue-generating companies reach their first $1M faster.
Karla is a recipient of the 2018 City of Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneur Award, given to an immigrant who has made an impact in the local economy and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
She actively gives back to her community and is a business mentor with Futurpreneur Canada, World Skills’ Entrepreneurship Connections program, the Centre for Social Enterprise Development (CSED) and other local community groups.
Guest speaker, lecturer, and generous with her advice, Karla is passionate about growing the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Canada and giving back to the country that welcomed her with open arms.
Karla is the lucky mom of two amazing, strong and inspiring little women: Carmen (7) and Nayeli (12) who also have their own business! She lovingly instills in them her Mexican roots and encourages them to use their Canadian wings to fly after their biggest dreams. Her husband and business partner, Shawn, patiently supports, encourages and contributes to the success of it all.