BBA (Hons), 2014
Chantelle Buffie’s experience at SFU’s Beedie School of Business has given her more than just an education. It helped her discover a passion for social entrepreneurship – one which she has transformed into a business venture that benefits immigrant women.
Chantelle is the co-founder of Fusion Kitchen, a startup that offers ethnic cooking classes taught by immigrant women, focused on cuisine native to their culture. The classes are a platform for the women to build their transferable skill-sets, self-confidence, and Canadian work experience.
“Fusion Kitchen has shown me that I am passionate about social entrepreneurship and what I want to do with my career in the future,” she says. “I’ve learned that there is no such thing as failure – every opportunity I have encountered with Fusion Kitchen has been a learning experience, whether it has worked out or not.”
Chantelle developed the concept for Fusion Kitchen with her partner, fellow SFU student Sonam Swarup when she participated in the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator, a new initiative at the Beedie School of Business that fosters student start-ups addressing social, environmental and economic challenges.
The Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator provided Chantelle with mentorship, capital, and a peer-environment in which to further develop the business plan.
“Just being surrounded by like-minded people of the same age and knowing they were facing the same obstacles we were helped immensely. The advice we received and the connections the program provided to the social entrepreneurship world was amazing.”
Chantelle’s first taste of entrepreneurship came as a result of her involvement with ENACTUS SFU, the SFU chapter of the global student organization that addresses social, environmental and economics needs in the community, where she led as the 2012 Program Manager for the SFU Entrepreneur of the Year.
Combining her ENACTUS involvement with her passion for entrepreneurship, Chantelle founded Jumpstart, an eight-week accelerator for SFU students with ideas that could be launched into businesses, which provides the support and resources to take their ideas to the next level.
Chantelle hasn’t limited her Beedie experience to social entrepreneurship, and has taken advantage of many of the opportunities the Beedie School of Business has to offer – including a co-op placement with TELUS and an exchange that saw her spend a semester studying at the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Italy.
“Studying at the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi was a great opportunity for me to see another part of the world and take classes from a well-recognized school,” she says. “My experience studying abroad was a turning point in my life, and I would highly recommend it to everyone.”
“It’s important for students to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. The world is at your fingertips, and it’s up to you to grab what you want out of life – the Beedie School of Business will open doors for you.”
-Written by the Beedie School of Business
Published in May 2016