30 Under 30: Serial entrepreneur Thamer Matar is out to create more-accessible workplaces

The native of Jordan's second venture matches disabled job seekers with roles.

Credit: Ahmad Matar

Thamer Matar, 28

Founder + CEO, Accessible Jobs

Life Story: Thamer Matar spent his formative years more or less impersonating a yo-yo. He was born in Jordan, came to Surrey for his elementary school years and went back to Jordan for high school. University saw it swing back once again as he studied engineering at SFU.

His first co-op, at telecom giant Nokia’s Ottawa office, was “one of the best learning experiences in terms of what I don’t want to do with my life,” Matar says with a laugh about working at a large corporation. “I learned a lot, and there are so many good people, but I stopped innovating and solving problems. Just became a number there.”

So after becoming frustrated with the parking situation at SFU, Matar founded a smart parking company called Openspot Technologies in 2017. He expanded that business worldwide before selling it in January 2020 to one of the original investors.

Left looking for something to do, Matar found inspiration through his cousin, a disabled software developer. “She’s a genius, but she had a hard time finding a job,” he says. “So I asked her if she goes on job boards like Indeed and stuff like that. And she said, There’s nothing that really works for us.”

Matar created Accessible Jobs in early 2020 to match job seekers with disabilities and employers. “Anyone with a disability across the world can use our platform,” he says. “And all the jobs on our platform are for people with disabilities.”

Bottom Line: Accessible Jobs has 23 partner associations across Canada, including WorkBC, and has seen more than 1,000 job seekers in the year-and-a-half since it launched.