Ena Papp is the Founder and CEO of a Toronto-based cleaning company- Little Engine Cleaning; a social enterprise that hires at-risk women and provides them with a new job, new hope, and new life skills. Ena was raised by her mother whose parents immigrated from Hungary, growing up in downtown Toronto in the 80s. Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) what most call the concrete jungle -- a city within itself. A place where Ena calls home.
She spent her childhood surrounded by poverty, drugs, alcoholism, and few good role models.
As she transitioned from a difficult childhood into early adulthood. She found herself in an abusive relationship and ultimately became a single mother to two young boys at a very young age. Ena experienced a new wave of obstacles losing the father of her boys to gun violence. Although young-motherhood was tough, it gave Ena a deep-seated desire to build a better life for herself and for her sons. It was during that turbulent period that she began a life-long search to uncover her true potential and desire to help others. That led her to the pursuit of a Career and Work Counsellor program at George Brown College which she proudly completed in 2007. It was at George Brown that people started comparing Ena and her story to that of the little engine that could. She became a career counsellor and found it rewarding to be on the other side of the desk helping people who had faced the same sort of challenges that she had. Ena took a leave of absence to take care of her mental health, during that time she started cleaning houses to 'get by’. While doing so she continued to pursue more education – securing a credential as a behavioural therapist from George Brown for children with autism and completed her level 1&2 life skills coaching certificates. Even though cleaning isn't a role that our society always see the value in, cleaning gave her a different sense of gratification.
Today Ena is thriving and so is her business. She is also the General Manager and Program Facilitator for The One by One Movement. Coordinating an all girls program called G.E.M.S – The Girls Empowerment Mentoring and Support program will inspire girls of all ethnic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, assisting in developing an awareness of self, strengths, weaknesses, interests, values and the vital tools to become empowered and important leaders.
"We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society." - Angela Davis