Success Stories

Celebrating Success Stories

From champions of women's economic empowerment

Meet Estrellita Ho Canada

Financial Consultant | Finance | Medium enterprise

What are three benefits you’ve experienced as a result of joining the mentorship program? 

The mentorship program gave me an opportunity to give back to the community.  With almost three decades of experience as a professional accountant in multi-national enterprises, I have been hoping to one day use my knowledge to serve communities around me (e.g. newcomers, students, and women businesses among others). This mentorship program supports women entrepreneurs through increasing economic independence which can help build confidence as well as improve standards of living. Through mentoring, I have worked with my mentee to improve her business financials and adjust business models.  Before joining this mentorship program, my professional experience mainly occurred in a corporate environment where I do not have much exposure to the day-to-day operations of small and medium businesses. Through this program, I have gained new knowledge that has helped support my mentee, for instance accounting software for small business, operating cash flows, menu costing and profit contribution among others.  

What is one key takeaway that you have learned from the mentorship program? 

My greatest takeaway was gaining knowledge of a different culture. Education, media and technology has helped us learn about other countries tremendously these days. In addition, we've had opportunities to travel and see different people and places (until pandemic restrictions were enforced). The mentorship program has exposed me to cross-cultural learning experiences related to business, such as customer experience, government aid, local labour market, buyer-supplier relationship, cash handling, banking, and labour laws about termination. Hearing these experiences directly from an entrepreneur is interesting and eye-opening.  

If you were to recommend this mentorship program to someone, what advice would you give as a mentor or as a mentee? 

This is a year-long program and thus requires commitment from both mentors and mentees. Mentoring is built on trust, respect and open communication, both parties are committed to work towards common goals and to learn from successes and failures. In the beginning, it may be a slow start due to needing time to understand your mentee’s business and what to focus on, technical difficulties, and other life priorities – it would require both parties’ commitment to each other in order to keep the meeting cadence and continuously provide feedback to make sure mentoring is focused and on the right track. However, at the end of the program, my mentee gained skills which have benefitted her business for the future, while also giving her confidence in life and economic independence. It is very rewarding when both mentee and mentor can celebrate success, have fun and continue the bonding outside of the program.