Rose Handy -- Building a Successful Company from Scratch--from
Handy thought she was living a great life. She was a
successful sales executive in one of North America's
largest financial institutions, she was financially
secure, had a loving and equally successful boyfriend,
and - at nine months pregnant - she was ready to give
birth to their first child.
When she came home
from the office one day, she was certain that her landlord
had made a huge mistake: He had left a notice of eviction,
claming non-payment of rent. "I had been giving
my boyfriend the rent money to pay the landlord, but
the rent was never paid." Rose explained. When
she investigated further, she discovered that her boyfriend
had stolen the rent money. What's worse, while he left
for work every morning, he hadn't had a job in six months.
He also emptied her bank account. The life that Rose
knew unravelled in a matter of minutes. Rose had to
face having her baby without a home and with no money.
She gave birth to her
child and then she and her baby were placed in a Women's
Shelter. "For four months I sat there and just
shook my head. I was angry at myself. I thought 'how
could I have let this happen?' ". The shelter provided
Rose with a good environment in which she could take
care of her newborn while also dealing with the trauma
of what had happened to her. "Before the healing,"
she said "there is a pre-healing period. A time
when you just need to deal with what happened to you;
to be angry, to cry, to just sit with it and understand
it.". Rose was able to take advantage of the services
that were made available to her in the shelter: counselling,
education, and resources, while having a bed to sleep
in and food to eat. "The shelter helped me to be
the best mother I could be for my child, while I was
dealing with my circumstance and getting back up on
There was also another
benefit that she found: "In my shelter, there was
a library. There were a variety of books that I could
read, and some of them had to do with starting your
own business. I had always wanted to start my own company,
but, like most people, I wanted to do it wisely: work
at a job, save some money, start the business part-time,
and then launch into it full-time. Now I had no money,
no home, and I thought 'well, I have nothing to lose,
so why not?' ". A native of Cameroon Africa, Rose
is fluent in French and English. In Canada, she saw
significant opportunity for a business that centered
around the need for bilingual resources. Rose started
her bilingual consultancy that day in the shelter.
"I did one engagement
while living in the shelter: I had an opportunity to
act as a community consultant for a women's conference."
Rose reminisces. "I got dressed up, I conducted
the engagement as a professional, and then I came back
home to the shelter."
Today Rose's business
has grown and prospered. She has run countless bilingual
job fairs, helping to connect hundreds of candidates
to employers. Her company has created the only bilingual
employment paper available in Toronto, and she has expanded
her reach by creating a service online which provides
information and insight on bilingual employer profiles,
a list of potential employers, a calendar of future
job fair events and the system for recruiters and candidates
to find each other.
Rose is also now the
proud mother of two beautiful healthy girls.
Rose's company can
be found here:
Copyright 2007 Lia Grimanis all rights reserved