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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle



Kevin Smiley, the founder of SuraiTea Inc

Kevin Smiley-image from LinkedIn
Kevin Smiley-image from LinkedIn Kevin Smiley-image from LinkedIn

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Kevin Smiley is a young entrepreneur from Ottawa. He founded SuraiTea Inc in 2015. He studied environmental engineering at Queens University. Furthermore, he went ahead and took an MBA from Ottawa University.

After graduating with the degree, he secures a job at a real estate company. Kevin Smiley has a great passion for positively impacting climate and environmental changes. He has managed to teach many high schools as a volunteer.

When Kevin Smiley is not working, you will find him cooking or preparing his garden. He always believes that everyone can make a difference in society. The company was absorbed in 2018, but Kevin is still a broad member. Currently, he is the head of sales at PayShepherd.

Early life

For almost five years, I did my research about Syrian refugees. I read a lot about their struggle in acquiring resources for non-profit organizations. This motivated me to look for something that could solve the problems. An opportunity came to school about refugee resettling. I set up some strategies to develop a business that could help the refugees find a safe place in Canada.

At this moment, I had more than ten ideas, so I took some time before making the right choice. Finally, I settled on sales and market demand. Tea had a great portion, and that’s where I settled.

My family has always been by my side. I reached out to them for some feedback. My friends also helped me to shape my idea. I figured out how the project could bridge between the organization and the Syrian community to resettle the conflicts. Still, I traveled in different parts to connect with various suppliers in the tea industry.

SuraiTea Inc

In March 2015, I was already planning on a validation statement. However, I could not work on everything alone due to more pressure. I hired a talented package designer, photographer, and videographer to document the whole process. The startup had to output creative messages to customers and capital ventures.

Luckily, I got external support from other non-profit organizations like World Skills Ottawa, supporting immigrants. In the first month, we managed to get 20 workforces from refugees. After that, the company decided to pay them a wage totaling $2500.In addition, we provided lunch for any refugee that worked under SuraiTea.

On the 4th of April, Refugee Day, we recorded many videos with immigrants. It was a happy moment, and we danced with strangers. A man in the crowd came to me and appreciated what I had done. He said that was the most beautiful day in the last five years. The man had flown from Syria due to war.

Impact on refugees

I have managed to launch an online store. Our mission is to empower the Canadian market to have a positive social impact on refugees. We are creating employment opportunities for several refugees living in Canada. We also want to establish a source of donations for non-profit organizations to allow the refugees to settle in the country safely.

Every engineer should have a smart mind to think about solutions. There are a lot of gaps in our society, and one must be able to find the right balance. Combining your skills and business models might be advantageous.

To a young Kevin Smiley, always focus on coming up with solutions. Put your first clients ahead and be ready to do community work. Help as many people as possible.

In SuraiTea Inc, we trust in the power of tea. Through the plantation, we have managed to bring social impact to the refugees. I believe the current officials shall take it to greater heights.


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