On Friday, May 6, 2016 at Medicine Hat College (MHC) four student entrepreneurs from the Entrepreneur Development Centre’s (EDC) Summer Company program received $40,000, combined, in start-up funding. This was thanks to the ongoing support of JMH & Co.
This year, not only were all of the students who pitched their business concept successful, but they also received the full $10,000 to start their business which is the maximum.
The recipients included: Justine Mann of Little Owl Learning Centre, a licensed child care business able to accommodate up to 52 children daily; Dylan Spetz, Matthew Wass and Tanner Peterson of TMD Seeds, a native seed harvesting and selling company serving the environmental reclamation sector; Daniel Wilson of Wilson Tech, an aerial photography service that utilizes a remotely piloted vehicle; and Beth Fodor the owner of E. Marie Photography, a photography company which relies on capturing special moments for clients in their natural state.
“I worked closely with these students and each one showed a passion and drive that I was confident would impress the judges,” says Tracy Stroud, business development manager. “These are full-time students who are juggling their studies and personal lives while creating a business concept that is ready-to-launch.”
Stroud mentions that all of the businesses will operate on a full-time basis and have aspirations to take it past the summer and operate year-round.
“These students are looking at entrepreneurship as their career and through the process have realized the feasibility of doing it full-time and as a sole source of income,” says Stroud. “What makes it even more exciting is that thanks to JMH’s lead, other partners have joined the program, and we are now able to provide support that exceeds the summer term.”
Ryan Dorton, partner at JMH & Co says that they are really impressed by the growth of the program and see the value of supporting post-secondary education and entrepreneurship.
“Being part of the Summer Company program has been a rewarding experience for us. We’ve been able to provide students the chance to break into small business, while removing barriers both from a financial standpoint and through mentorship,” says Dorton.
Dorton adds that being involved in a mentoring capacity has enabled them to help the students answer questions that many new businesses face.
“We see the value of being involved at these early stages of entrepreneurship. We can help answer some of the initial questions like how to get a business license, if they should incorporate and whether they need a GST number. It allows the students to focus on their business instead of getting bogged down in the details,” says Dorton.
The EDC’s Summer Company program is funded by JMH&CO and helps students start a business by offering coaching and mentorship, while also facilitating access to finances and support services.