Upon hearing or reading about immigrants in a new country, we immediately think of traditional families with strict guidelines on living life. Henny and his family came to Canada from Ethiopia and their story was no different. He followed the steps configurated by his parents and went to school not knowing what the word ‘entrepreneur’ meant. Henok Yeshanew, now renowned by Henny was a regular student growing up, excelled in school, and ended up in a university to become a lawyer. He perceived that in an immigrant household only three careers existed, a doctor, an engineer, or a lawyer so he chose the one that reflected his skills at the time. University was a learning moment for Henny, teaching him the importance of responsibility, being alone, and the effort success demands. Henny realized by the end of his undergrad that becoming a lawyer was not his passion and decided to self-evaluate and found that helping others was a core component of what he wants to do with his life. He showed an understanding of the business world from an early age. Henny understood the principles of creating and producing for consumers. He decided to create his own business surrounding small businesses and marketing. He still wanted to make his parents happy, so he decided to graduate.
After graduating, he went full-time into the marketing agency as a one-man show. For over a year, Henny did everything in his business; the sales, client relationship, advertising, marketing, and everything under his agency. He knew that to be successful, he needs to understand how each part of the business fit together and how he can scale the agency. He met his business partner, Adam the next year, and knew they were meant to work together. Adam excelled in positions Henny did not, and with this partnership, Henny knew that they could take this agency to the next level.
In the following three years, Adam and Henny built a full team consisting of 9 team members, working with clients offering small businesses with successful growth tactics that are affordable and operated by them. The success did not come easy, they went through many tribulations such as clients not honouring the work done or staff not delivering their best work, but everything was a learning moment for Henny and his team.
Henny on reflecting on his journey and credits the people who pushed him to continue upon his path in moments when he wanted to quit and go back to school. He finally understood what it meant to be an entrepreneur; it not to launch a business, but it is to continue to pave a path that people can use to excel as well. Henny today, at the age of 24, mentions that he has only scratched the surface on what he wants to accomplish and will continue to move forward even when the road doesn’t exist. He wants to continue educating others, especially immigrants, that entrepreneurship is an avenue worth taking. Today, Henny reminds his parents that it was the best decision he made in his life and they understand it and encourage him to break down more barriers.