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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

2023 WIBAs: Equity Entrepreneur Award

We created the Equity Entrepreneur Award to recognize exceptional women entrepreneurs who have not only made significant strides in both business innovation and social impact, but belong to equity deserving groups and are working to overcome the challenges of inclusivity. It is with great pride and admiration that we announce Gabrielle Smith as the deserving winner of this year’s Equity Entrepreneur Award.

Gabrielle, or Arielle, as she is known, embarked on a journey filled with dreams and aspirations when she immigrated to Canada in 2019. Together with her husband, Jason, she co-founded Fix My Books, a virtual bookkeeping firm. Their story is one that captures the essence of entrepreneurship and the boundless possibilities of immigrants who bring their talents and tenacity to this land.

Arielle’s professional journey in Canada began as a part-time bookkeeper, earning minimum wage. It was a humble start, but the fire of ambition and innovation already burned brightly within her. However, her path wasn’t without its hurdles, and it was Jason who inspired her to take that leap into entrepreneurship, setting them on an extraordinary course.

In the midst of a global pandemic and the sudden shift to remote work, Arielle faced the challenges and rejections that every entrepreneur is familiar with. It took 217 rejections before she would secure her very first client, but from that point onwards, there was no looking back. In just six months, Fix My Books was inundated with clients, setting a course for unprecedented success.

Arielle’s story is a testament to the power of partnership. Jason’s expertise in constructing the back-end infrastructure transformed Fix My Books into a force to be reckoned with in the bookkeeping industry. Together, they harnessed their collective strengths, turning their dreams into reality, and establishing themselves as an unstoppable duo.

Arielle and Jason’s journey is an inspiration to immigrants worldwide, showing them that audacious aspirations can transcend borders and challenges. Their story exemplifies perseverance and resiliency, offering hope to anyone who dreams of turning obstacles into opportunities.

But their impact goes beyond the remarkable journey that brought them to this moment. Fix My Books is on a mission to revolutionize the bookkeeping industry by replacing the traditional hourly fee model with a subscription-based system. This innovative approach ensures predictability for clients, allowing them to budget their accounting expenses with confidence. Instead of being limited by billable hours, Fix My Books focuses on maximizing efficiency and client capacity, leveling the playing field for small businesses against larger competitors.

As Fix My Books looks toward the future, their goal is to expand into the United States, providing cross-border bookkeeping and tax filing services. By becoming a Certified Bookkeeper in the US and working towards Enrolled Agent status with the IRS, they aim to assist Canadian entrepreneurs in expanding into the US market while bringing back tax dollars to Canada.

Their journey is also a source of pride and inspiration for the Filipino community in Canada. With a staggering 207% growth over the past two decades, they are the fastest-growing demographic among immigrants. Arielle and Jason serve as role models, showing that the Filipino immigrant experience encompasses a wide array of opportunities, beyond the traditional roles often associated with this community.

As we celebrate Gabrielle Smith’s achievements, we are reminded of the transformative power of entrepreneurship and the ability to create change that reaches far beyond the business realm. Her dedication to equity, innovation, and growth exemplifies the spirit of the Equity Entrepreneur Award. We congratulate Gabrielle and Fix My Books for their remarkable journey and the extraordinary impact they continue to make in the world of business and beyond.

Thank you, Arielle, for inspiring us all with your journey and your commitment to making a positive change in the lives of your clients and the communities you serve. Congratulations on receiving the Equity Entrepreneur Award.

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Categorized in: WIN