Your Name: Oussayma Canbarieh

Business Name: Symage Media, a communications service for businesses

Type of Business: Media content and Media literacy

Business Location: Montreal, Canada


Reason for starting
I’m passionate about both journalism and entrepreneurship and I’m always looking for ways to blend the two. I speak four languages fluently and I’m great at digging information and communicating them in a friendly and simple way. But finding a job that allowed me to use all of those skills was challenging. Entrepreneurship allows me to find ways to apply all the skills I have and constantly learn new ones. It also allowed me to meet people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Many aspects of the corporate world didn’t make sense to me, such as heavy bureaucracy, lack of creativity and the resistance to change.
I wanted to work on projects that mattered and that gave me a sense of pride. I’ve always wanted to own my business but I was too scared to make the move. I thought: girl, stop being a chicken…it’s now or never.

How do you define success?
I define success as doing what you’re passionate about and see your projects prosper without compromising your health, values and personal life. Balance is key!

Biggest Success
I had the chance to cover stories and work on journalistic projects I cared about. My web documentary ”Me, the Muslim next door” is one of the biggest accomplishments. You can see it at It was important to tell the stories from different perspectives and bring diversity on the table. Another success of mine is launching my own business, although it’s a constant bumpy road, it teaches me incredible life lessons.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Being an entrepreneur is a daily rollercoaster and it could sometimes be overwhelming. Since I have to wear many hats, I need to be super organized and generate creative ideas on a regular basis. I also need to constantly be positive and quickly get up when I trip.

Who is your most important role model?
I admire my parents a lot. They taught me wonderful values such as hard work and integrity. They are also my greatest support system. I also admire young women from different ethnic backgrounds who start their own business and succeed. It takes a lot of courage and they often have to face a triple challenge in a world where older white males have it relatively easier.