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Verve People
January 20, 2017

Shivani Singh on Spearheading Her Social Enterprise, Pathfinder

Text by Zaral Shah. Photograph by Nishath R

She talks about her journey to becoming an entrepreneur

 

The Toronto-based co-founder’s work with her for-profit social enterprise aims to impact global development through solutions that will enable local entrepreneurs to provide for themselves, their families and communities. From Mayo College Girls School in India to studying management information systems in Texas and New York and spearheading PATHFINDER — Shivani Singh continues to work towards creating financial opportunities for entrepreneurs, providing them with academic enrichment and advocating policy change.

“It started with a new chapter in my life. I had spent a decade on Wall Street and by the end I was quite worn out…. For about two years after leaving that behind, I was travelling, surfing and volunteering. It’s a terribly cheesy thing to say, but I was also sort of finding myself, taking stock of my life, and calculating my next steps. I figured that it was as good a time as I’d ever get to start something completely new and different, and to take on the challenges of entrepreneurship.”

“Travelling is my absolute favourite thing to do. You’ll often hear people talk about how it has educated them in a way that life at home could never have. You learn so fast that the world is incredibly diverse and that is what makes it amazing…you never stop growing. I think it’s this passion to constantly learn and evolve that fuels what we do. We’re always working to find the coolest solutions to some very real problems. We’re constantly connecting with all kinds of people, and learning to be better at what we do.”

“I’ve never truly known what it is like to have roots…I suspect roots are more about personal, familial and communal identity, and the need to have one. But I don’t care to define my identity in a neat little box for others to understand or approve of. I’m of the world, I’m committed to the world, and am comfortable with that being my identity.

“Work your butt off! That’s the one very important piece of advice I would like to share. No matter what you’re doing, you have to work harder than you thought you ever could, and you have to prepare yourself for a long, hard slog. If you’re not able to make the required sacrifices and commitment, I can save you a lot of trouble by telling you that entrepreneurship is not for you.’”

“I’m looking forward to making it, as they say. Regarding the company, having millions in deployed dollars, social impact on several communities, and global recognition for what we do.”

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