Edmontonian Ghalia Aamer is the CEO of TalkMaze, a company that helps students connect with resources to improve their public speaking skills.
She’s also just 19 years old.
“I didn’t have much experience in business when I started my first company at 13,” Aamer said. “But when I got into entrepreneurship at such a young age, I realized how entrepreneurship is really about using business for the power of good.”
Aamer is now set to represent Canada at the 2022 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), an international pitch competition that helps move young-owned businesses forward.
“I’m honestly thrilled,” Aamer said.
“I think that it is a recognition of hard work from so many people from our entire team.
“We’ve been working countless hours this past year to build a platform where we can empower students through effective communication skills.”
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While TalkMaze was launched as a communication-building tool for both students and schools in Canada, Aamer said now the goal is to expand its reach worldwide.
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“We essentially provide training, coaches and resources for schools and students, to help schools implement public speaking and debate programs, and also to help students access those programs,” Aamer explained.
“I struggled to speak up when I was younger, and joining the debate team changed my life.
“But then I realized that less than 15 per cent of schools — at least in (Edmonton) — offer these speech and debate programs, despite the fact that over 73 per cent of people are afraid of public speaking.”
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TalkMaze is the second company that Aamer has launched. When she was 13, she started Toon Tutors, an Alberta-based tutoring service.
“I think my number one piece of advice is definitely that no one ever has it all figured out,” Aamer said.
“Just go for it. Try, you might fail, but if you don’t go for it, you’ll never know.”
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Aamer is currently a student at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Business. She’s set to graduate in 2023.
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