Naomi Pereira – Learning from Peers to Build Success

Naomi is the CEO and co-founder of JobJar and an alumnus of the PeerSpark™ program.

Before co-founding JobJar, a Calgary based startup that brings homeowners and handymen together, Naomi Pereira was already a veteran of entrepreneurship. When she was just twenty-four, Naomi started Pedini, a high end European kitchen design studio in Calgary. Although she was not hit as hard by others in Alberta in the latest economic downturn, she still felt the effects. “We have seen that our clients are just taking a little bit longer than before to make a decision,” Naomi said. “It’s not an industry that stops, but it certainly has slowed down.”

JobJar has been a brilliant result of this slow down. Naomi came up with the idea when she was trying to conquer her to-do list but couldn’t get a general contractor to come out for a few relatively small jobs. Perhaps created at the perfect time for an economy with an abundance of unemployed skilled labourers, JobJar puts those in need of a small home repair in contact with those who are able to do it. The business specializes in those annoying projects that are too time-consuming for a DIY project, but too small to get an established contractor to commit to. “People that were in the oil and gas industry that have construction skills that would normally do these jobs for their own home or their friends and family now have a way to actually create a small business of their own.”

JobJar and Pedini are very different types of businesses, so Naomi looked for help from AWE when she decided to start this new venture. They provided financial support to help JobJar take off. But what may have been more important is her participation in the PeerSpark™ program. “I’ve been looking for years for a peer-to-peer mentorship group when I joined AWE,” Naomi said. “The best experience for me was actually learning from other entrepreneurs and business owners that were going through what I was going through in a different industry, and learning how they reacted to their challenges.” Naomi gained the experience of others and the confidence to feel that she could operate another business in a realm far from her original career. Now boasting a database of approximately 900 users, JobJar is lending a hand to those who need a job, and those who need to get the job done.