Let the Story Travel

What, Who and Why of Valu Ventures


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ABOUT THE MEDIA KIT


The purpose of this media kit is to provide a comprehensive information package to press, media outlets, journalists, PR agencies and other individuals or organizations interested in covering our work and its impact to our clients, stakeholders and communities. This kit includes information on Valu Ventures’ mission statement, its stakeholders, its value proposition, key client segments and positioning statement, and brief description of our services. We have also included company’s history and profiles of the co-founders in addition to recent press releases, sample stories, important dates and camera-ready logo art.

The kit also addresses key questions (FAQs) that the press may like to ask in order to better understand how Valu Ventures is different from other organizations that operate in the same market space and provide similar products and services to their respective clienteles.

We welcome media queries for information that might not be included in this kit. To request a physical version of the media kit, please fill out this form. Remember to write “Request for media kit” in the subject line. We ask for your detailed contact information before we mail the media kit.

INTRODUCTION TO VALU VENTURES


Valu Ventures was established as a social enterprise with one overarching goal – to help immigrants in Canada become successful entrepreneurs. As such, Valu Ventures in not a traditional business incubator. It is not a startup accelerator, nor a training or consulting practice. It is all that—and more. Value Ventures drives its sense of purpose from its mission statement.

Our mission is to create the same business opportunities for Canadian immigrants that exist for non-immigrants in Canada and to make those immigrants effective contributors to the growth of the Canadian economy and progress of the Canadian society.

Our ability to create value for our clients is driven by an entrepreneurial ethos, based on steadfast belief in the human spirit, our unflinching courage to embrace change and a firm resolve to persevere in our mission. Each day, this focus drives our passion for the work we do and our commitment to rise up to the challenge of fulfilling our corporate social responsibility.

Valu Ventures serves immigrant entrepreneurs regardless of the stage their businesses are at. We work alongside our clients as an active partners to plan, build, launch and grow their businesses. We are not advisors or consultants, merely passing our cut-and-dried knowledge without much regard to its relevance to the client’s particular situation, strengths and opportunities, challenges and risks, and most importantly passions and aspirations. Instead, our conversations with our clients are deep and contextual. Because every aspect of our work characterizes social entrepreneurship, we start the discussion with a keen eye on the big picture. We look at the particular problem or opportunity the client wants to address in a holistic perspective, seeking to explore how it can best align with Value Venture’s focus on triple bottom-line.

OUR STAKEHOLDERS


Valu Ventures’ business model is premised on the idea of cross-ecosystem participation to create synergies. As such, we include all participants of the larger socio-economic cycle as our stakeholders. In one capacity or is the other, either our work impacts, or is impacted by, our stakeholders. Additionally, the benefits of our endeavours are passed down to a wide variety of stakeholders at regional, national and global levels, either directly or indirectly. Our key stakeholders include, but are not limited to:

  • Charitable and non-profit organizations
  • Community groups
  • Corporations
  • Diplomatic missions
  • Educational sector
  • Financial sector
  • Governments
  • Immigrant Serving  Agencies
  • Investors
  • News/Media
  • Professional groups and associations
  • Small businesses
 

The 6+6 Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Model


Valu Ventures refers to the 6+6 Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Model developed by Koltai & Company, LLC.

KolCo’s strategy for entrepreneurship development rests on the premise that no single factor alone moves entrepreneurship forward. Rather, entrepreneurs thrive when multiple sectors and actors consciously work together to develop a supportive environment for entrepreneurship.

This concept is embodied by KolCo’s Six + Six Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Model, which highlights the six fundamental actions required to build a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem: Identify, Train, Connect & Sustain, Fund, Enable, and Celebrate entrepreneurs; and the six participants who must be involved in their implementation: NGOs, Corporations, Foundations, Government, Academic Institutions, and Investors.

Like Koltai, we at Valu Ventures believe that only through this comprehensive, holistic approach can true progress toward a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem be achieved.

The Six + Six Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Model is copyrighted by Koltai & Company, LLC and is used with express written permission from Koltai & Company, LLC.

OUR VALUE PROPOSITION


Our value preposition transcends the quintessential business benefits afforded directly to the clients. Our value proposition encapsulates the widest socio-economic advantages that can be created by a social enterprise that is connected on the ground to a variety of stakeholders. We work to improve the state of the economy by creating employment, solving most pressing issues of diverse communities, and by enhancing economic value-addition of the products and services our clients offer.

In terms of our value proposition for the clients, we help them:

  • shorten the time from idea generation to commercialization;
  • minimize business startup cost;
  • improve turnover and revenue;
  • raise awareness for their products and services;
  • gain access to capital required to grow their businesses;
  • gain access to suppliers, vendors and customers; and,
  • reach out to experienced entrepreneurs, mentors and experts to solve problems and exploit opportunities.

KEY CLIENT SEGMENTS & POSITIONING


The key client segments for Valu Ventures include diverse range of audiences within immigrant communities in Canada. In terms of geographical, demographic, behavioral, and psychographic characteristics, our clients include the following:

Geographical


  • Anywhere in Canada
  • Focus on areas closer to Valu Venture’s presence

Demographic


  • Educated male and female immigrants between 25 and 60 years of age
  • All socio-economic groups and occupations

Behavioral


  • Readiness to avail services
  • Positive attitude towards advice and support

Psychographic


  • Value high standard of living
  • Ambitious, progressive and forward-looking

Our positioning statement encapsulates our target market, our point of difference and our brand promise in simple, easy to understand words.

For Canadian immigrants looking to become successful entrepreneurs, Valu Ventures services reduce the time it takes from idea generation to product/service launch and to grow the business. Valu Ventures provides access to experienced mentors and advisors willing to devote their time to work with you. Our incubation and acceleration service promises to be a one-stop shop for your entrepreneurial success.

OUR SERVICES


We provide two primary service streams to our clients – Value Creation Stream (V-Create) and Value Acceleration Stream (V-Acstream). Each of the streams include services tailored to the needs of the clients. 

V-Create


  • Co-working space (coming soon)
  • Office services, tools and resources
  • One-on-one mentorship with successful entrepreneurs
  • Consultation with experts from a broad range of areas
  • Opportunities to pitch your business to investors

V-Acstream


  • All V-Create services, plus the following
  • Strategies to enhance market outreach
  • Access to capital
  • Networking with a community of like-minded entrepreneurs
  • Mentoring and expert advice

TWO SUCCESS STORIES COME TOGETHER


Valu Ventures was started by Majid Kazmi and Gerard Keledjian, widely recognized for their own immigrant success stories. As newcomers to Canada, they faced immense challenges in their attempts to find meaningful work that would allow them to leverage their experience and potential. Their solution to the problem was to step out of their comfort zone and be innovative in their approach.

Majid Kazmi

As a newcomer to Canada, Kazmi, a seasoned banking professional with over one a half decade of experience, spent almost six months looking for relevant work in his field. In early 2013, he set out to look for meaningful work as any other immigrant job seeker. By early 2014, Kazmi was sitting on the board of directors of Toronto’s workforce planning board, working toward improving the employment situation for individuals and communities in Toronto.

One month after he joined CIBC as Senior Product Manager, Kazmi was on the lookout for opportunities to give back to the community. He started giving lectures and conducting workshops for other newcomer job seekers at various non-profit service agencies free of cost. Soon his volunteer work expanded to include many other organizations and he frequently met new immigrants, sharing job search and career success strategies with them. He spoke at conferences and extensively wrote about career success for immigrants. Realizing a need for integration support for newcomer employees within CIBC, Kazmi worked with the bank to start an employee affinity network, CIBC International Professionals Network (IPN) and was appointed its first co-chair.

In 2014, his work as a mentor was recognized by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) and featured on CBC television and radio apart from many other publications. In 2015, Kazmi was appointed an ambassador for United Way of Toronto & York Region, the largest United Way organization in North America that runs the biggest United Way fundraising program in the world. That year, United Way of Toronto & York Region raised $100.2 million – the highest since inception.

Gerard Keledjian

The co-founder of Valu Ventures, Gerard Keledjian is also a widely recognized immigrant success story. Recipient of the 2015 Pioneers for Change Award, Keledjian arrived as an immigrant in 2011 from Dubai. As an experienced media professional, he soon realized that it is extremely difficult to find work in his profession in Canada. In response to this challenge, he reached out to other immigrant media professionals in similar situation and started a professional network called New Canadian Media Professionals Network (NCMP). This was a unique idea that quickly gained momentum and evolved into the go-to place for support needed by immigrant media professionals in Canada. 

With the help of TRIEC, Keledjian, now chair of NCMP, was able to start conversations with a few media companies like the CBC and Global TV (Shaw Media). While all this was happening, he volunteered at Rogers TV community channel in Toronto to produce a weekly magazine for newcomers to Canada, called Introducing Toronto. The program put him in touch with many non-profits organizations, specifically immigrant-serving agencies, who started approaching him for help with their video and content needs. Keledjian realized the opportunity immediately. On the one hand, there were non-profits who realized the importance of professional video for their websites and social media channels, but needed cost-effective solutions that addressed their budget challenges. On the other hand, there was a large pool of skilled media-professionals, camera people, video editors and writers who could resolve the problem. That’s when Keledjian pursued a partial self-employment option for and founded a company called New Horizons Media.

Today, Keledjian, the Executive Producer of New Horizons is recognized as one of the pioneering individuals in the field of video programming covering immigrant related topics. He produces a television series for Rogers TV, called New Canadians.
 

PRESS RELEASES


  •  First press release coming soon

SAMPLE STORIES


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Valu Ventures is a social enterprise that supports immigrants in Canada to start their businesses. Valu Ventures’ primary focus is social innovation. We want to create a collaborative culture across Canada where individuals and organizations come together to support Canadian immigrants achieve success through entrepreneurship.

We also work to develop a cluster-based entrepreneurial ecosystem in Canada where each cluster will comprise of organizations from various sectors (government, corporate, non-profit, educational etc.) and all work to create synergies.

Valu Ventures helps Canadian immigrants launch and grow their businesses. Most of our clients bring business ideas to us that have the potential to solve a social problem while at the same time, generate revenues.

We work with the clients to further crystallize those ideas, prepare a business plan, validate business assumptions, test market the products and services, and prepare business launch and growth strategies, including connection with potential investors.

We provide a range of services for immigrants in Canada who want to start their businesses. These includes:

  • Office space (coming soon)
  • Mentoring and expert advice on business planning, launch and growth strategies
  • Events and networking opportunities
  • Research reports, online tools and resources
  • Connections with service providers, clients and business partners

Visit what we offer for details.

We provide some services free of cost for one year. You only need to sign up to get access to online material, invitations to free webinars, discounts on events and a lot more.

Services offered under the V-Create package are based on monthly fees. The exact fee structure depends on the services requested, frequency of use and the duration.

Under V-Acstream, all services are provided without any fee. However, in return for the services, Valu Ventures takes an equity share in the company based on mutually agreed terms.

For more details, reach out to us.

There is clearly a disparity of income between immigrants and Canadian-born employees with similar education and experience. Also, an immigrant expects little in terms of salary raise and is likely to be passed over for promotion. Lack of a credit history and access to alternative sources of financing further compounds immigrants’ economic problems.

All this puts an immigrant at a disadvantage that creates strong motivation to turn tragedy into triumph. Immigrants are therefore far more likely to turn to entrepreneurship to increase their household income then non-immigrants.

On the other hand, immigrants face far greater challenges when starting up a business. They do not have the network that can connect them with mentors and investors. They lack basic knowledge of starting and running a business in Canada.

Research shows that immigrants are better risk-takers—the decision to uproot yourself and your family from your native country being a daring endeavor in itself. They are highly qualified, experienced, and have exposure to diverse business and social environments.

These opportunities help Valu Ventures step up to the plate and solve the above problems for immigrants in Canada.

 

IMPORTANT DATES


  • Valu Ventures incorporation – Jan 11, 2016
  • Website launch – Feb 11, 2016
  • Company soft launch – Mar 22, 2016
  • Press launch – Apr 2, 2016

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