originally published: 2022-11-03 13:46:59
In February 2020, Ontario-based entrepreneur Wahaj Ahmed left his senior executive role at a Fortune 500 company to “take the plunge” and go full-time as a business owner, founder, and CEO of Scan Consulting Group, a business he started in 2015.
“Friday, February 28, 2020 was my last day as an employee,” says Wahaj. “I loved my job, but I had big goals of being an entrepreneur and growing a global consulting business. I was incredibly excited, and my wife and I decided it was time. And then we all know what happened on March 15.”
Like so many other business owners in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wahaj had to strategize quickly while the world turned upside-down.
“The first six months were very hard,” recalls Wahaj. “I worked starting at the crack of dawn to late at night. Weekends were pretty much nonexistent. My wife is incredibly supportive, and we have young children, too. It was very stressful, with a lot of lost sleep! But we made it through.”
He largely credits Canada’s government structure with ensuring strategic support when he, like so many other employers, needed it most.
“I was able to secure small business loans which helped me not only stay afloat in early stages of my company, but also grow. I am very grateful, and I will dedicate my life to giving back and helping other entrepreneurs succeed.”
According to Wahaj, becoming a full-time entrepreneur at the outset of the pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He immersed himself in learning everything about Canadian government programs and support for business owners, from bank loans to non-dilutive funding.
“I kept thinking about the Muhammad Ali quote: ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life,” says Wahaj.
Today, he has a team of 8 fulltime employees with offices in Burlington, Dubai, Pakistan, with plans to open a new office in London, England.