Donor spotlight: Shafin Diamond Tejani

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Shafin Diamond Tejani is an entrepreneur who founded his first internet start-up from his university dorm room at the age of 19. Since then, he has launched over forty start-ups in twenty-one countries, generating more than $100 million in revenues. His most recent success is Victory Square Technologies, which provides funding, mentorship and sources to startups in the web, mobile, gaming, and film spaces. Since its inception, Shafin and his team at Victory Square Technologies have helped raise over $75 million for school programs and community organizations, and awarded over $250,000 in scholarships.

Shafin is a member of Social Venture Partners Vancouver, a network of philanthropists who donate time, expertise, and funding to non-profits. In recent years, Shafin has been given several awards not only for his contribution to the tech industry but for his philanthropy.

  • In December 2014, Shafin was awarded the 2014 BC Angel Investor of the Year award by Angel Forum for his inspiring contributions
  • In 2015, Shafin was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award for Business Leader in the region of British Columbia and the North. He kindly dedicated his award to KidSafe.
  • In 2017, Shafin was named Person-of-the-Year by the BC Tech Association for his betterment of the industry, enterprise and for his philanthropy

Last year, Shafin generously pledged the largest matching gift in KidSafe’s history; for every dollar donated, Shafin matched up to $50,000! The 2017 campaign raised an incredible $123,575 towards KidSafe’s work serving Vancouver’s most vulnerable children.

We are thrilled that Shafin has agreed to pledge another $50,000 for our 2018 Matching Campaign which kicked off on March 19, the first day of our Spring Break Program, and will run until April 30.

Shafin explains to us why giving to community organizations is so important to him:

When my family was forced to leave our home in Uganda after a military coup that took place in East Africa in the late 1970’s, they sought refuge 12,600 km away and immigrated to Canada. Our family was very fortunate when the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau granted refugee status to my community. Canada opened its doors and gave us the opportunity to grow up with a stable government, in a safe home, with access to a good education and universal healthcare, and all these great things helped us not only survive but thrive.

So, I feel a moral duty and obligation to give back to the community through all my endeavours. In B.C., our mission is focused on strengthening the organizational capacity of non-profits serving children in need and youth at risk. Our vision is to ensure more children and youth reach their full potential.

As a member of the Ismaili community, giving time and helping others is integral to our way of life, and from a young age I’ve been surrounded by examples of giving back. I believe that to be one of my greatest social inheritances.