Client stories

Growing up in a small town thousands of miles away, Azam Janani had big dreams. She wanted to be an entrepreneur. A successful business leader who could inspire young women to pursue their passions. A role model, much like her mother and grandmother before her. It was a dream that took her all the way to Canada, through obstacles big and small. 

The path wasn’t always easy, but with the love of her family, and some support from her Scotiabank advisor, she was able to turn these dreams a reality. 

“When I immigrated to Canada, I was living through a very tough period of my life,” she says. 

As a single mother of three, the responsibility of raising her children in a new country fell solely on her. Without the support of her mother and siblings, she struggled with feelings of loneliness and homesickness—all while studying to get her license to practice pharmacy in Canada. 

“Since I had my own pharmacy back home, I thought, ‘Yes, I have to do this,” she adds. “Because this is what I love.’”

Though she had both the strength and perseverance to obtain her license and open her own pharmacy, securing the funds she would need to get started proved a lot more challenging. The year was 2020 and the pandemic had just begun. With businesses closed down due to COVID-19 restrictions, she had a difficult time connecting with advisors who could provide her with the right guidance. After a lot of searching, and a lot of ghosting, she finally caught a break.

“I was introduced to a Scotiabank advisor and I started my journey.”

Over numerous one-on-one sessions, and a lot of hours, Azam and her advisor at Scotiabank created a solid business plan that laid out her vision for her business. Armed with the numbers and know-how she needed to demonstrate her ability to be an entrepreneur, she was able to obtain the loan she needed to open her first pharmacy from Scotiabank.  

“The support from the bank was amazing,” she says with a smile. “I didn’t think I could do it, but I did.”

But the support didn’t stop there. Throughout the process, Azam and her advisor developed a close connection.

“She encouraged me a lot,” she adds. “She’d say, ‘I’m so proud of you.’ It gave me the energy and motivation to move forward…she’s an incredible person.”

It was through her advisor that Azam was introduced to the Scotiabank Women Initiative—an experience that left a deep impression on her.

“It was amazing to see so many women with successful businesses,” she adds. “Women who have had hard journeys, but who have also found success. It was very inspiring.”

And just like those inspiring women she learned about through the Scotiabank Women Initiative, Azam has also found success.

Today, she owns her own pharmacy and is the leader of a thriving business that continues to grow.  

But her story doesn’t end here. Azam is always looking forward to what’s next, and is excited to continue growing her business with Scotiabank by her side.

With a program that offers an abundance of resources for female entrepreneurs, as well as innovative partners like Pocketed that help provide them with access to capital, she has nowhere to go but up.