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Shafin Diamond: Working at the Intersection of Business and Community

Posted by SVP Vancouver

About Shafin Diamond 

He describes himself as a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and sports junkie, and it’s not hard to see why.

Shafin started his first business 18 years ago at the age of 19.  It has since spiraled into launching 28 start-ups, in 13 different countries, generating over $50 million in revenues.

He learned at an early age the value of working for yourself and the importance of helping others.  Shadowing his entrepreneurial father and uncle, as well as being influenced from his Ismaili community, giving back was always an integral part of everything he does.  Guided by three principles, offering time, knowledge and money, Shafin has included a strong social component to all of his businesses.  Over the years it has attributed to tens of millions of dollars raised for school programs, student activities and community organizations and awarded over $250,000 in scholarships.

“Through all of my ventures, it’s never been purely about the bottom line. It’s about social entrepreneurship. It’s about giving back to the community,” Said Shafin.

He is particularly interested in supporting children’s education, health and women’s programs.  Internationally, one of his focuses has been investing in the education of women in third world countries.

In his free time, Shafin enjoys spending time with his family, especially his 22-month old son.  He can also be found on the ice rink, court or field playing hockey, basketball and football. If he’s not playing, he loves to watch the game.  This summer he’s very excited to be attending the World Cup in Brazil.

About Shafin’s SVP Connection 

Shafin was referred to SVP by an SVP Partner, Hamlet Abnousi.  He knew of Shafin’s passion for social responsibility, the interest of working with like-minded people and getting involved with grassroots initiatives locally.  Shafin met with Tanya Oliva and joined SVP in May of 2013.   He immediately got involved participating in a variety of initiatives with our investees, KidSafe, Athletics for Kids (A4K) and Growing Chefs.

Shafin has joined the Board of Directors for A4K and has developed an ongoing campaign raising funds for KidSafe through sales of Save Everyday (SED) memberships. Specifically, donating 100% of the profits from every $20 SED membership purchased from December 1, 2013 until January 31, 2014 and 50% after that.  With every purchased membership, KidSafe will be able to provide a full day’s nutrition for 3 children, a week of transit access for a youth, a free community program and an educational trip.

Shafin’s favourite SVP memories have come from his projects developed with KidSafe.  SED donated a booth at the Christmas Market to KidSafe, helping them with their marketing and promotions objectives.  Along with the booth, SED also provided a day at the market for the kids of the program.  Bus transportation, carrousel rides, food, drinks, and chocolate were arranged and for Shafin, it was an amazing day filled with wonderful memories.  SED also attended the KidSafe Job fair in 2013.  SED’s focus was to remind the kids that the skies the limit, even if they are in a difficult situation now, it can be changed.  It was extremely well received by the kids and they awarded SED with the best company award.

Shafin loves what SVP stands for.  He has grown up valuing the importance of contributing time, money and knowledge to people and groups that need it.  That’s exactly what SVP does.  He also values the connection to like-minded individuals; He has met incredible role models like Paul Geyer and Praveen Varshney who have managed successful businesses, grown and nurtured their families and continue to give back to their community.

About Victory Square and Save Everyday

Shafin’s latest project, Victory Square Labs (VSL), is a start-up accelerator that provides funding, mentorship and a creative workspace to start-ups in the web, mobile, gaming and film spaces.

“We are currently working with 7 very exciting teams in the mobile, gaming and film verticals. I believe in people with passion and vision.  Helping them fuels the entrepreneur inside of me. It gives me a sense of great satisfaction.”

One of those start-ups, Save Everyday, recently won the Small Business BC Best Company Award, was runner up for the Best Community Impact Award and was just named to the Inc 500 fastest growing companies in the US.

Our Partners not only do great things for SVP, they are developing and managing really great businesses too.  

Visit Save Everyday and Victory Square to learn more.