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Women entrepreneurs find success in Canada

Arwina Mogul has always had a natural curiosity about life.

She was born in the Philippines, spending her childhood and teenage years in Manila and then Hong Kong where she taught herself how to code at the age of nine.

Mogul moved to Canada when she was 16 years old after her parents divorced.

By that time, she had four passports and had spent a lot of time travelling with her family.

“I actually went to five high schools on three different continents. I was able to toughen up and handle situations maturely at a very young age,” she recounts.

Mogul gives that tough love the credit when it comes to working in a male-dominated industry where you are the boss.

Always a self-starter, in order to help her mom with rent, Mogul would sell MAC make-up and create websites for small businesses while in high school.

But surprisingly, when it came to picking her post-secondary major, it wasn’t technology or business, but social work she chose.

“At the time, I felt strongly about the immigration industry after experiencing the struggles my mother faced with settlement,” she recalls.

A week after graduation, Mogul received an offer to join the Region of Peel as a caseworker. But once comfortable in her position, her attention turned, and she started playing video games and tinkering with technology again.

It was in 2011, when Valve Corporation, the publisher behind the game Dota 2, announced a one million-dollar Esports tournament that Mogul became heavily involved with. Esports is popularly defined as people watching other people play videogames.

“I was intrigued because of the high prize pool and that it could be a potentially viable career,” she says.

“I started to play Dota 2 and I was instantly hooked. It was a combination of mechanical skills, team chemistry and strategy. The game challenged me in many ways.”

However, she wasn’t satisfied with the experience, so she decided to organize her own tournaments and events online. Mogul’s first event was in 2014 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and things took off from there. She successfully built Esport communities and that brought attention to her skills and abilities.

Her company was acquired and, in 2016, she got an offer to become the consultant for the world’s first Esports theme park in Doha, Qatar.

After an amazing learning experience, she resigned from the theme park and returned to Toronto in 2017 to build her own startup, Beam, a platform for Esports events and communities.

It’s a marketplace that empowers people to become event organizers and offer consistent discovery experiences for the consumers. Think Eventbrite for gamers. Her projected revenue for 2023 is 121.9M.

The plan is to expand the team to 15 by the end of next year.

Mogul’s vision and tenacity are just two of the reasons she was chosen for the Startup and Slay Digital Series highlighting Canada’s diverse women entrepreneurs.

A national call out was made earlier this year for self-identified women entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented communities to share their stories of starting and scaling a small business in Canada.

“We were overwhelmed and excited by the response,” said Emily Mills, founder of Startup & Slay and the Toronto-based networking group, How She Hustles.

“There are so many amazing stories of women entrepreneurs who are making an impact and contributing to our economy. Our goal is to make sure these stories are heard. We want to inspire other women to work that side hustle, grow that business and support each other to succeed.”

Six businesses were chosen because of their inspirational and unique stories and Mogul’s entrepreneurial journey caught the panel’s attention.

She has big dreams of financial success and an even bigger vision for Beam.

“The future for Beam, I’ve thought about this vision for a very long time and our vision is that in the future when families gather around on a Sunday morning and they say, ‘Hey, I want to attend a gaming event today, or let’s watch this, so and so E-sports team,’ the first thing that they’ll think about is Beam. We want to be the pioneer in gaming, Esports and geek related types of activities.”

The series, featuring all the entrepreneurs, is available for viewing at www.howshehustles.com. 

Posted: Dec 3, 2019

May 2020

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

© CanadaBound Immigrant 2016