Speaking + Events

Yes, I would love to share my story at your event

I graduated from journalism school in Canada. I worked very hard to get rid of my foreign accent by taping CBC radio newscasts and would repeat the words over and over – I was ashamed of sounding different and all I wanted was to blend in.

But as I coach immigrants who want to open their businesses, I have realized two things:

a) OUR story matters
b) accents make us uniquewhat matters is the message.

The only way you grow is by mastering the uncomfortable, right?

I know my mouth will get dry, my hands will get sweaty and my accent will come out stronger. But as soon as I start telling my immigrant-to-entrepreneur story and talk about how I am making a difference in fellow immigrants’ lives, fear disappears and passion kicks in.
I have spoken to audiences big and small – from intimate workshops to full stage events. I connect with listeners through relatable stories; teach them what I wish someone had taught my immigrant business family when we first came; and leave them inspired to strategically action their dreams.

Upcoming Events +
Speaking Engagements

I am looking forward to speaking these events:


Feb 25, 2020

Invest Ottawa

This seminar is designed for newcomers to Canada (permanent residents and/or citizens) who have five years or less in the country and have experienced difficulty finding out information on how to access funding to finance or grow a business.

We will have speakers from different organizations that have newcomer-entrepreneur specific loan programs. Find out what is available, what is required and ask all the questions to get you started in your business journey.

SOLD OUT. WORKSHOP: opening a business in canada as an immigrant

Jan 14, 2020

Invest Ottawa

This seminar is designed for any newcomer who has thought about opening a business in Ottawa, but doesn’t know what steps to take or who to talk to locally in order to make that dream a reality.

You will come out of this seminar with a general idea of what to do to take your first step; you will learn about financial programs available and will walk out with a list of available resources to get you started.

Immigrant to Immpreneur

Would you like me to speak at your event?

Please contact me and tell me:

– Date, location and speaker budget
– Size of audience
– Topic(s) you are looking for me to touch on

She’s the Change

March 24, 2018

Speaker: From Immigrant to Entrepreneur

Opening a Business in Canada

June 20th, 2018

You will come out of this seminar with a general idea of what to do to take your first step.

New Entrepreneurs of Ottawa Network (NEON)

April 25, 2018



June 2, 2018

Immigrant Entrepreneurship panel discussion with City Councillor Mathieu Fleury

World Skills: Career Bootcamp

September 15, 2018

Guest Speaker and Business Mentor for high skilled newcomers

In-Tac Virtual Seminar

April 27, 2018

Speaker to an online Asian audience about to immigrate to Canada interested in opening a business upon their arrival.

Youth Can Do It!

June 11, 2018

Guest Business Mentor at Invest Ottawa for 25 youth from across Canada

Panelist: Immigrant Women’s Small Business Expo

September 30, 2018
Ottawa, Ontario

Karla will be joining the Immigrant Women’s Small Business Expo hosted at the City Hall in Ottawa as a panelist speaking on the topic of minimum wage increases and the impact it is having on our businesses. This is a free all-day event full of learning, networking and exhibitors.


“Great presentation, excellent summary of what to be aware of, without overwhelming the audience. I would recommend it – looking forward to attending the future ones.”

Jennifer Fieldhouse, ALGONQUIN COLLEGE
“Karla Briones gave an engaging and informative presentation on Setting up your Business in Canada to my Business English class. She was able to provide timely information for my students, many of whom are considering opening small businesses in the future. Karla shared her experiences as an immigrant business owner, providing tips to help newcomers successfully navigate the bureaucratic hurdles in the Canadian business landscape. My students were inspired by Karla’s talk and discussed how they feel more prepared to begin the development of their own entrepreneurial dreams.”