Midia Shikh Hassan - social entrepreneur

Many of us wish we could make a difference in the world, but we don’t know where to start, we fear the unknown, we’re scared of messing it up — or all of the above. Midia Shikh Hassan has been there, overcome that, and she will be sharing her story on Wednesday, May 30 at The Kindness of Strangers.

Those who have seen Midia in action wish they could bottle her energy. At just 26 years old, she has combined her drive to help others with a natural entrepreneurial mindset, resulting in a long list of accomplishments as a social entrepreneur and an even longer list of things she still wants to achieve.

Midia studied chemical engineering, health sciences and biochemistry at the University of Ottawa. She is a co-founder and CEO of Dextra, which uses 3D printing technology to provide prosthetics to amputees living in refugee camps. Dextra has been able to cut the cost of these prosthetics from thousands of dollars to $20.

Midia has also started and coordinated several programs to expand entrepreneurialism in different communities, and she was a mentor in the Women Startup Network, which provides support and peer-mentorship to women-led businesses in engineering and sciences. Most recently, Midia coordinated the new Simon Nehme Summer Entrepreneurship School at the University of Ottawa, an intensive, one-week training for budding entrepreneurs. Midia was awarded the 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders Award that recognizes exceptional community leaders across the commonwealth countries.

It wasn’t always like this. For a long time — since she was born — Midia struggled with the feeling that she wanted her life to have a deeper meaning, to help others, but she lacked a way to channel that drive. Then she discovered the world of entrepreneurship, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Her achievements led to Midia being one of three Canadians to win the prestigious 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders award, which recognizes exceptional young people across the Commonwealth, who have made a positive impact on the lives of others. Later in 2018, she will travel to London to receive the award from Queen Elizabeth II.

But before then, Midia will be speaking on Banishing Fear and Building Impact, as one of five inspirational speakers at The Kindness of Strangers. The evening of short, dynamic talks by five speakers, including CEO and philanthropist Jim Estill, is a fundraiser in support of Refugee 613’s Podcasting Project, a pilot initiative to bring information and practical advice on the Canadian financial system to refugee newcomers via their smartphones.

Join us as Midia shares her singular approach to showing kindness to strangers — taking risks and building a legacy beyond yourself. Tickets are just $50. For more information, visit: kindnessofstrangersr613.eventbrite.ca