Help change lives like Sumegha’s in Winnipeg now.
Excited yet anxious, hopeful but unsure. These are just a few of the emotions felt by many newcomers as they pack up their belongings and move to another country.
“The biggest challenge was the culture shock,” Sumegha said. “Trying to adjust in a new country with no previous friends or family here and building a new social circle.”
Sumegha and Nitin had decent jobs in India; however, they realized there were more opportunities in Canada to utilize their skills and build a better life, so they decided to immigrate to Winnipeg from New Delhi in 2013.
Sumegha and her husband, Nitin, are grateful they connected with two staff members at SEED shortly after immigrating to Winnipeg.
They found Winnipeg was one of the hubs of tech innovations in the West, with good community development support and assistance for local industries wanting to develop and launch a product. Even with all the advantages, however, Sumegha and Nitin needed to ensure their education and credentials would be recognized.
Sumegha has a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and a master’s degree in Business Administration. Despite her advanced education and experience, Sumegha found it challenging to find ways to get her foot in the door in the technology/STEM industry, particularly as a woman.
“No one can thrive in isolation.”
Sumegha enrolled in the “Build a Business” program, offered through SEED Winnipeg*, an agency partner supported by United Way Winnipeg donors. The program helped participants better understand business management concepts in Canada.
“Our biggest challenge has been understanding taxation and financial regulations,” Sumegha said. “But even though terms and rules and regulations were different from what we knew, business is still all about people.”
With SEED Winnipeg’s help, Sumegha started her own business and secured her first contract while still involved in the program. Today, her company provides specialized services to the nonprofit sector.
“With no prior friends or family, it can be very difficult to settle down in a new country,” said Sumegha.
She sees agencies like SEED Winnipeg as invaluable in helping build resilient and self-sufficient communities.
“No one can thrive in isolation. With their help, every person feels empowered and can contribute to something greater than oneself,” she said. “And when people are motivated, they go above and beyond.”
In addition to running a successful business, Sumegha volunteers with several organizations and serves as a board member of SEED Winnipeg and the Ethnocultural Council of Manitoba.
Sumegha believes strongly in the words of Gandhi that “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
*SEED Winnipeg is a nonprofit organization that builds strong communities and increases opportunities for people through financial empowerment programs and services.