If you’re familiar with the blog, you know that I started a Black-owned business directory in 2020 to amplify Black voices and entrepreneurship in our community. It’s been so amazing to watch this list grow with so many incredible businesses. To celebrate Black History Month, I want to go a step further and get to know a few of the business owners listed in the directory. Check back weekly to learn about someone new!
Like many of the businesses featured in this series, I learned about Imperial Cleaning last year when they were tagged on the Black-owned business directory. Constanin Mugenga owns Imperial while also working as the Regional Program Admnistrator at Kingston Community Health Centre. Imperial offers services like carpet cleaning, move-in/out cleaning, junk removal and more. Learn more about how Imperial started and about Constantin below.
Tell me a bit about yourself…
I enjoy travelling, golfing, spending time with my family and friends. I love giving back to the community and contributing economically as much as I can to ensure that young people/entrepreneurs regardless where they come from, who they are or how they look, will have opportunities to learn, work and reach their full potential as they are the future. A fun fact about me – I have lived in three different continents (Africa, Asia and North America) and have two master degrees, one of them in Applied Psychology! At Imperial Cleaning-KFLA, we are dedicated to creating clean, safe and healthy environments for both commercial and residential spaces while exceeding clients’ expectations!
When and why did you start Imperial Cleaning?
I am very passionate about helping others and creating opportunities to support self-sufficiency. Through my career path where I worked in retail industries, the immigration sector and employment services, I had opportunities to see how young people are struggling to find and maintain their jobs, especially those who are still in school, the BIPOC community and newcomers. I wanted to close the gap and create job opportunities to support young Kingstonians. Imperial Cleaning-KFLA was the fruit of that idea —it started in 2019!
Kingston is my hometown and I have fallen in love with the city since the first day I arrived to Canada. Kingston has a lot to offer and welcomes everyone with warm arms. As a young Afro-Canadian who is passionate with being a servant leader and creating opportunities for the younger generation, Kingston meets all of my checklist needs: diversity, business and employment opportunities, unique architecture and history, friendly and amazing people, opportunities to be involved in politics and contribute in healthcare/community-related initiatives, its location and so on. I am grateful to Kingstonians, the Imperial Cleaning-KFLA clients in Frontenac, Lennox and Addington areas and future clients for the support and love that they keep showing since we started Imperial Cleaning-KFLA in 2019.
What has it been like growing your business here?
It has been an interesting journey as I combine the business with my other job at KCHC. However, I would say that I enjoy every moment of it especially when a client approaches to compliment one of my employees or tells me that we are on the right path. That joy makes me feel fulfilled and grateful and want to do more to help more people and expand the business. I would say that at the beginning it was not easy as I was navigating how to start a business from scratch without any other financial support, but things have been going well and the business is growing.
Advice to aspiring business owners?
Stay focused, keep moving forward with your business ideas/goal and never ever give up. Today’s failure will be the motivation for tomorrow’s success. Also, be confident in your purpose, respectful, humble and seek advice when stuck. Remember to enjoy life with people you love as it is very crucial for your personal and business growth. As you explore the business growth trajectory, keep in mind that some entrepreneurs may reach their goals in one, three, seven or 15 years. It doesn’t matter how long it will take for you to reach your goal, just focus on the start and keep moving forward step-by-step and you will eventually get to your destination!
Anything you’d like to add?
I am so thankful and overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I have received since Imperial Cleaning-KFLA started in 2019, I couldn’t have done it without my amazing employees, clients in Kingston, Gananoque, Napanee, Loyalist, Amherstview, Wolfe Island, Invary, Odessa, Sydenham, Belleville, Quinte and more – It is my honour to keep serving you all!