Meet Ami Shah, Co-Founder and CEO, Peekapak
2022 Micro-Business Award Winner
Ami Shah began her career in marketing at P&G, before deciding to shift her career towards working on social- and education-oriented enterprises. She went on to build Peekapak into an award-winning, Canadian edtech organization that teaches social-emotional learning skills such as self-regulation and empathy in the classroom and home. Peekapak reaches over 750K educators and students across North America, using stories, evidence-based lessons, and game-based learning. Behind-the-scenes, teachers receive real-time reports showing a student’s progress and emotional state. This empowers educators to be proactive in helping curb future mental health issues.
My first job ever was… working at my mom’s flower shop making floral arrangements and being a sales person when I was just 11 years old. It was a fun way to spend time with my mom over the summer and learn from her how she managed her business.
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… I grew up inspired by my mom and her journey in starting her own business.
My best advice for small business owners is… find other business owners you can connect with and relate to. It can sometimes feel overwhelming and lonely running your own business but having friends who also own their own business can help provide perspective and the needed support.
When starting my business, I wish I knew… how much of a rollercoaster it would be. Through my business in helping children learn to self regulate, I too had a journey learning to be more mindful of my emotions and learn to practice my ‘calm body’ through the highs and lows of running a business.
The future excites me because… mental health and student well-being are now top of mind and a priority for schools. As a result, I think more and more schools will work on ensuring students have the right supports to help them not only in the present, but to set students up for lifelong success.
Success to me means… being able to bring quality learning experiences to more students and to help them learn these important social emotional learning skills. That is to be able to self-regulate, show empathy, work with others, and make responsible decisions that will allow them to feel safe and secure in school, at home and within their communities. I wish I had this growing up and I am excited to see how the next generation of students will thrive by having these skills in their toolkit.