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African immigrant in Saskatoon crowdfunding to achieve entrepreneurial dream

posted Jul 5, 2014, 11:27 PM by Siamak Ebarhimi

A Nigerian immigrant in Saskatoon is working hard to carve out her own slice of the Canadian dream.

Grace Mbuekor has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds she needs to make her entrepreneurial goal of owning and operating a restaurant – Mama G’s Authentic Nigerian Cuisine – come true .

“I have done everything that I can to make sure this comes together,” she said days before the Indiegogo launch at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, where she often cooks for the congregation.CrowdFunding advertizing

Prior to becoming displaced during a conflict over oil in her home country and moving to Canada in 1997, Mbuekor was involved in many business ventures. She worked as a teacher, ran a salon and grew her own food.

“When I got here, things were really difficult because I expected little pennies coming from different areas and it wasn’t coming,” she said. “So I decided (that) if I am going to make this place a home, I have to do something to live the same way as I was living.”CrowdFunding marketing

But as a mother raising four children she had to put her kids first.

“I was trying to do everything to keep them on track with school. I never wanted them to miss anything because they missed a lot with the crisis,” said Mbuekor.

“Their future was more important to me than myself.”Kickstarter Marketing

Now, she is ready to start rebuilding the professional life she left behind and she has a strong cultural background to draw from when it comes to healthy cuisine.

“It’s what I inherited from my parents,” she said.Indiegogo Marketing

In addition to Canadian dishes, Mbuekor said she hopes to serve traditional Nigerian foods featuring ingredients such as plantains, bitter leaf and okra.

“The most important thing about Nigerian food… is balanced nutrition,” she said.crowdfunding websites

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By David Khorram