We have worked with amazingly motivated individuals who have used our financing and our training to overcome barriers and seize opportunities. We thought we would share a few of those inspiring stories here. Enjoy!
Enterprising Women Grad breaking hearts with Boutique
Pam Wheaton (eW5) opened Heartbreak Boutique and Skates in uptown Saint John in 2012. Her store specializes in two things Pam loves; retro clothing and the Roller Derby. Besides cool fashion, she supplies skates and their accessories for teams and players in the local circuit. For Pam its a dream come true to have her own store. She loves the support she gets from the local community of fellow entrepreneurs, and of course, from her loyal customers.
Winner of Judi Chisholm Award and eW Graduate Starts Drumming
In November 2014, Financial Literacy Month, we awarded the second annual Judi Chisholm Financial Literacy Award to Kathy Young. The Award is given to an individual who demonstrates through a short essay, how they continue to use financial literacy tools in their life. An A$$ETS graduate, she used her $500 to move to a better apartment for her family. Kathy then enrolled into Enterprising Women and after graduating started Pound Fit at the Hub, a fitness class that uses drumming to beat out the sweat. To join her class, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enterprising Women (eW) Graduate Creates Goddesses & Gods Alisha Anderson (eW4) started as a make up artist and opened Dioné Cosmetics, one of only 155 cruelty free color cosmetics companies in the world! She has a store in Quispamsis, NB plus has salespeople she calls Goddesses & Gods across Canada selling the Dioné line. She has been featured on the cover of makeup magazines, and had shout outs from various celebs. Recently, she has teamed up with Pennington's to find the next cover girl in the #CurvyGirlCoverContest. We are fortunate to have her guest facilitate eW to share her amazing experience.
eW graduate, loan recipient, and Hub tenant!! Christina MacLennan first heard of the Loan Fund when she was seeking financing to relocate her Nail Salon, Nails by Christina. The Social Enterprise Hub was only a few weeks away from being completed and Christina immediately took on the space opportunity for her Nail Salon. ‘‘I feel even more connected to the Waterloo Village community now that my work is within walking distance of not only my home but also my children’s school. It makes my work- life balance of a single mom entrepreneur way more manageable,’’ Christina says. This allowed her to become even more involved in local community events and the Prince Charles Parent Student Support Committee. Christina then moved on to take the Enterprising Women Program to expand her business. ‘‘Even though I had already taken a first jab at a business plan to apply for the loan, tools such as the Business Model Canvas allowed me to envision my business in a different way and make sense of it even more. I also very much appreciated the support of the other women in the group!’’
Dan's Taxi ...plus Dan Sangster came to the Loan Fund to help finance his taxi business with the new metering system. Dan's Taxi was launched in 2016 and his gentle demeaner is welcome by regular customers throughout Saint John. In his 'off' time, Dan also runs The Recording Star, an affordable recording and jamming studio.
eW Graduate has something to crow about
Cheryl Horgan runs Inner Crows, a small company that specializes in jewelry made from recycled metals. Besides selling online through an Etsy site, Inner Crow jewelry is currently being sold in outlets in Fredericton and the Miramichi. Her favorite thing about running her business is the joy of creating. She says the Loan Fund gave her the confidence she needed in her products and her pricing. http://Cherylhorgan.wix.com/innercrows
ASSETS Graduate Excels at NBCC
Janet Hooper was motivated to change direction. She enrolled in and graduated from Power Up, then Asset$, and finally used a small loan to help her get in to NBCC Human Services Program. There she achieved an A average and after graduating got work in counselling. She says the Loan Fund helped her get ahead by giving her a sense of belonging. “They wanted to see me succeed”. That we did. Clearly, Janet did too!
Changing career is a 'laughing matter' for Steven Barnes
Steven Barnes came to the Loan Fund a few years ago to help finance his Marine Emergency Duties course and then to help purchase his family home in Red Head. He renovated the home in between his work on the Great Lakes, doing a three weeks on and one week home gig for a couple years. A pretty motivated guy, he decided to move back to Saint John permanently and start Yuk Yuk's which opened at the end of 2016. Steven joined the Loan Fund board in 2017 bringing an incredible mix of experience as a borrower and now an UptownSJ business owner.
Money Matter$ Graduate Keeps Tracking
Yvonne McGraw took Money Matters in 2015 while she was enrolled in the BEST program at the Learning Exchange. She enjoyed learning how to stretch her dollars further. Here she is with her 'Black Book' which the students use to track their spending and eventually develop their budget. Even though she completed the course months ago, she happily explains, 'I always have my black book with me.'
Asset$ and eW grad helping organizations make a difference
Rhoda Welshman is a single mom who puts a lot of care into raising her son. Perhaps that was the motivation to take risks and attend Assets and then Enterprising Women; to develop an idea that could help her son learn too, at a pace they could live with. Her business is Reaction Events, which she started in 2012. Its an event business that focuses on non-profits and getting their message out to grow their base of support and to effect more change. Her clients are recognizable; Sustainable Saint John, Gentle Path, the Loan Fund, etc. In addition to her business she also worked as a mentor recruiter for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Rhoda says, "with the help and support of her eW mentors and classmates, I've achieve my dream". What she loves most about running ReAction is the “48 hour rush” leading up to an event. reactionevents.ca
One local opportunity has led to business throughout Canada
Jason Pineau and Robyn Calvin started Precision Painting in 2009 and before they knew it, demand for their services had grown. They had the opportunity to bid on their first major commercial job in Moncton, the Hampton Inn. “When we received an opportunity to expand but we were not sure it would be possible, financing was the biggest key to the equation. The Saint John Community Loan Fund provided that key and helped make it possible. They are very innovative in arranging funding that fits the customer’s need. They took the time and had the patience to make it work.” Today, Precision Paint Applicators is doing jobs throughout Canada. In 2016 alone, they were in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, PEI and of course New Brunswick. Customers included Canadian Tire, Toys R Us, Pita Pit, Tim Horton's, etc.
eW grad Lesley Belyea on the beauty of budgeting
Lesley Belyea graduated from eW and is an accomplished artist, but what she loves most is the budgeting reminders she got from the Money Matter$ modules. “Money Matters has taught me that sticking to a budget and keeping a log isn’t just easy, it’s rewarding. You can immediately see the rewards of your cash growing and your debt shrinking. I have successfully shrunk my debt to a manageable size. I only use my credit for emergencies such as medical or repairs. The excitement that I used to get from buying a new treat has been replaced by the excitement of watching my money grow and my debt shrink. This self-control has done wonders for my anxiety and confidence.”
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Donations and investments help finance skill building, enterprise development, employment creation and neighbourhood renewal. Volunteers can help with networking, opportunity development, marketing, mentorship, accounting, strategy, and vision.