CANOE Network

The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Discover your passion

By Roger Pierce

Your dream small business should combine two basic ingredients: passion and opportunity. "I'm very fortunate to have both elements working for me," says entrepreneur Hasmukh Mistry.
Hasmukh Mistry found his passion while volunteering to teach adults. Today, he owns a Scholars Education Centre in Richmond Hill.

Mistry owns a Scholars Education Centre franchise (, located at 11005 Yonge St. in Richmond Hill. Scholars Canada provides supplemental education to adults and students up to Grade 12. The company offers SAT, Grade 10 Literacy, ESL and GED programs and generally helps to fill skill gaps that students may have developed.

Mistry discovered both his passion and a great business opportunity by volunteering with his local library to teach adults.

"I really enjoyed helping people to learn," he says. "I did some market research and realized there is a growing need for teaching and tutoring services, especially for children."

Now in its second year, his Scholars Education Centre is thriving. "Our programs and instructors really make a difference in people's lives," Mistry says. "The best part of my business is seeing the broad smiles on our students' faces and pleasing their parents."

Volunteering with an organization is a great way for any aspiring entrepreneur to explore their personal passion and identify new possibilities. It's a chance to uncover hidden talents and interests, make connections and sample an industry without taking a permanent job.

Mistry credits his entrepreneurial success to his volunteer work. "It really helped me to get a taste of teaching and to identify specific needs in the marketplace," he says.

He financed his business start-up by cashing some stocks, tapping into his savings, securing a line of credit and borrowing $40,000 from the bank. "Buying into a franchise system was a good move for me, because I get plenty of support and there's less of a learning curve."

While he is anxious to expand, Mistry says he will "concentrate on making sure this Centre runs smoothly before opening a second one within the next three years."

-- Entrepreneurship expert Roger Pierce trains people on how to start a small business in the Up & Running Biz Launch Program.

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