Making a Business out of Making Memories

Rebecca Manankil is the founder and lead event planner of Presents and Presence Events, a Mississauga boutique events planning firm. After going to school for Fashion, and working for other companies, Rebecca realized that she wanted to turn her talent and interest in event planning into a business. As her first big step towards entrepreneurship, Rebecca participated in the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre’s (MBEC) Starter Company program in 2016, where she received mentorship, training, and a grant to help her start her business.

This is Rebecca’s Story

“My journey to become an event planner began with not realizing that it would take me down the path of entrepreneurship. In fact, my passion for my craft happened by chance. I took an event planning elective course during my post-secondary education in Fashion, where I discovered I had an interest in this field and developed that into my professional talent.

In 2012, I moved to Montreal and worked within Fashion industry. Some of my duties included planning Fashion Week presentations, creating digital content, marketing and public relations for various brands. After moving back to the GTA in 2014, I became a partner in a clothing boutique in the Toronto Fashion District. It was here that I began organizing events for my store to engage customers.

By the end of 2016, my creative skills and “signature eye for all things beautiful” as a planner were in demand. Thanks to family and friends asking me to plan and design their social occasions – such as weddings, baby showers & anniversaries. This support encouraged me to take the next steps on my journey to start my own business as an event planner. Applying for the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre’s (MBEC) Starter Company Grant in October 2016 was my first big step towards pursuing my dreams of entrepreneurship. I went into the program with an optimistic mindset that this experience would be one of value, whether or not I was awarded the grant. To me, the opportunity to write a business plan and have it assessed by an esteemed committee would help me see the strengths and weaknesses in my dreams.

The MBEC Starter Company program was one of one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. It required me to truly look inside myself to see if I had what it would take to become an entrepreneur. I knew it was going to be hard work to become successful, but I had the faith in my goals and myself to move forward. I was awarded the grant to start Presents and Presence Events, one of my proudest life accomplishments to date.

My business philosophy is that “Presence is the Greatest Present.” My promise to my clients is that the memories shared between themselves and their guests will surpass any gift given or received. Over the last two years of operation, we have focused on planning unique and memorable weddings. In 2018, we are excited to have broadened our spectrum to philanthropy. This summer, we have focused on giving back to the community by facilitating a weeklong outreach event for young women in the city of Mississauga. Through charity and generosity, we only hope we can inspire the youth to pursue their own dreams and find the same success that we have.”


MBEC is your central source for business information, resources and guidance. For information and guidance from business professionals, visit MBEC on the fourth floor of the Mississauga Central Library or online at mississauga.ca/mbec.