30 Under 30: Vision2Reality co-founder Ryan Ching helps newcomers find their footing

Ching started the Vancouver-based nonprofit to help immigrants start businesses

Ryan Ching | Age: 24

Co-founder and co-CEO,  Vision2Reality Foundation

Life Story: Growing up in Hong Kong, Ryan Ching enjoyed charitable work. The company his mom worked at donated gifts to an orphanage every year, and Ching remembers dressing up as Santa to deliver the presents. “It was always very rewarding to see,” he says with a laugh.

It’s also what inspired him to continue with similar efforts after moving to Vancouver: while studying business administration at SFU (2017-22), Ching served as the VP of finance for Wish Youth Network Society, a club that supports youth with serious medical conditions.

In 2019, he joined Coquitlam-based NexGen Accounting as a junior bookkeeper. Founded by Winnie Hsu, the company provides cloud-based accounting services in B.C.

Ching eventually moved on to an emergency specialist role at YVR but remembers being very moved by Hsu’s stories of entrepreneurship. Such conversations sparked something in both Hsu and Ching, who, together with Queenki Gao and Hubert Liu, decided to launch an online nonprofit dedicated to helping newcomers start businesses in 2021.

Today, Vision2Reality offers programs, workshops, networking events and mentorship. It gives internship opportunities to post-secondary students at institutions like UBC, BCIT and Douglas College, and also provides its online community with access to resources from partners like the Surrey Board of Trade, Immigrant Services Society of BC and S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

“Over 60 percent of newcomers to Canada want to start a business,” says Ching, “but a low percentage actually do, because of the barriers to starting a business in a new place. Vision2Reality addresses that… through actual help. Despite being at 800 members, if you joined the community today and sent our CEO Winnie a message, she’d get back to you in, like, an hour. And that’s something we pride ourselves on.”

Bottom Line: In 2023, Vancouver-based Vision2Reality grew to almost 800 members and made $80,000 in gross revenue.