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London Cross Cultural Learner Centre receives donation to support newcomer entrepreneurs

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The London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC) is getting a financial boost to help immigrants and refugees become entrepreneurs.

Moharram Ventures Inc., a local project management and business consulting firm, is donating $10,000 to support what’s being called the “Dream, then Do Venture Competition.”

It will be used to support an annual grant of $1,000 over the next 10 years, for current or recent CCLC clients, to provide seed money to create small businesses in London.

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The CCLC said research shows that immigrants and refugees are two to four times more likely to start new enterprises, which ultimately creates more jobs for all Canadians.

“The generous gift from Moharram Ventures Inc. is addressing a real need to provide better support to newcomers who are starting businesses in our community,” said CCLC executive director Valerian Marochko in a press release. “We are very excited about supporting this initiative and working with newcomers who are starting new business ventures.”

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Officials with Moharram Ventures say they try to bring Londoners together in order to achieve project goals.

“At Moharram Ventures, we foster the innovative capacity achieved by collaborating with groups of bright individuals from diverse backgrounds,” said Moharram Ventures founder and president Tarek Moharram, who also serves as chair of the board of directors at CCLC. “I firmly believe that by donating the funds necessary to implement this initiative, we will be supplementing the CCLC’s existing efforts to better integrate newcomers into our community, thereby creating a better London for all.”

The first grant will be available in 2019. Candidates will be required to submit an application to the CCLC by March 31.

The winning idea will be chosen by a CCLC Review Committee and announced in June 2019.