Shelina Mawani

Shelina

Shelina Mawani

Co-founder, Nanas Kitchen

Canada

Shelina was born and raised in a small town on the shores of Lake Victoria, Mwanza in East Africa. She was always interested in business growing up, and was fortunate enough to manage a series of Motels for her father in Mwanza. While managing the motels, she became involved with the Lioness club and became one of the chair persons in 1979. Shelina developed and started the leprosy project as it was a major undictated disease at the time and was spreading really fast. They had major Ear, Nose and throat camps for locals and sent eight children to England for heart surgery as they were suffering from heart murmur. She was also involved in opening a local orphanage for children which she is still involved in Watoto wa Africa. That was her first taste of the business world and what possibilities could be out there for her, and how succeeding in business would help her to continue to give back to the communities she is involved in. As an owner and co-founder of Nanas Kitchen which was established in 2000 along with her sister Nasim. Shelina has seen their company grow from a small family restaurant into a large manufacturing facility which is the only HACCP/BRC federally inspected plant in British Columbia in this category. They produce over 25,000 hand made samosas daily. Today their Convenient Comfort Foods with a Global Taste are sold in the Deli case at mainstream grocery chains across North America and as far as Alaska and Hawaii. Her vision was of a business being a safe and welcoming space for new Canadians to get their first job in Canada. We know that by having employment, new Canadians come to gain independence, learn contribution, and assimilate into the Canadian way of life. Nana’s Kitchen has employed over 45 employees, many of whom have arrived in Canada as immigrants, with minimal English language, a lack of cultural adaptation skills, and a limited understanding of Canadian culture. Seventeen years later, many are still on staff, but now are assimilated into Canadian culture and living self-directed lives. Over time, many have succeeded to become managers and supervisors on our team. Shelina is most proud of her long-term relationships with her staff, and the empowerment that she has support in new Canadian women. Shelina slogan is “Everything with Love & respect”. Shelina is grateful for the experiences and success that she has embraced in Canada. In 2014 she won the BC Ethno Canadian Entrepreneur award, and was also a recipient of Shakti awards in 2014. Nana’s Kitchen was then nominated in 2015 for one of the Top 25 fastest growing women Businesses in Vancouver. Shelina was also the recipient of the BC Provincial award in 2015 for Multicultural business of the year. In 2016 Shelina won the Business women of the year by Times of Canada and also was awarded the 2016 Surrey Board of Trade award for best export business. Shelina has had the honor to have been featured in many local TV programs, newspaper articles, and magazines, and has recently been blessed with opportunities to speak at many different functions about her failures to her success.