Janet Fitzgerald & Colleen Best
After caring for their own elderly parents, cousins, Janet Fitzgerald and Colleen Best had experienced the ebb and flow of the time constraints of giving their all to ensure that Mom or Dad were content and comfortable, spending quality time with others, etc. "You learn a new appreciation for age and illness and your level of compassion seem to just grow. I guess when it's meaningful like that, it's just something that you keep coming back to, something that you want to do because it feels right, it feels good."
From these experiences, the concept of Kindred Companions was realized. Spending time with another whose family may be far away by offering companionship. Helping clients go grocery shopping, going to appointments with them, maybe cook a meal together, etc.
Their business idea was to offer a non-medical companionship service to seniors and persons with disabilities. The ladies made an appointment with Community Futures Wild Rose to discuss their idea and based on the information received, they decided to venture into this field. A lot has happened over the course of twelve months.
Mention was made of the 'Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge' being an annual program that offers eight weeks of free business training. Kindred Companions were participants in the '9th Annual Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge' who entered their completed business plan into the competition. Submitted entries are scored and the top three finalists are chosen, one being Kindred Companions!
Janet and Colleen were runners-up receiving $2500 cash and in-kind services including business coaching, media assistance and radio advertising, to mention a few.
"We are well on our way to establishing ourselves in the community. You and your staff provide a top-notch service which has been critical to us in moving forward with our business plan. Thank you all so much."
Ry-Dan Strathmore Glass
Dan & Ryan Belanger
Originally focused on home renovation services, when the opportunity arose to purchase a local glass business and merge it with their existing construction enterprise, Ry-Dan turned to Community Futures Wild Rose for help. By providing business guidance and financing for the purchase and merger of Strathmore Glass, Ry-Dan Strathmore Glass was created. From window and door installations to complete home renovations (and everything in between), Ry-Dan Strathmore Glass has since seen an uptake in their services and is poised to grow - and they are quick to acknowledge it was all made possible through the support of Community Futures.
In business for over a decade and an accredited Better Business Bureau member, Ry-Dan Strathmore Glass was recognized by Strathmore & District Chamber of Commerce as the 2010 Small Business of the Year.
George & Pamela Ziwani
Seeing an opportunity to assist businesses, schools, agencies and other organizations with tradeshow and event installations, George and Pamela Ziwani approached Community Futures Wild Rose with their idea.
Providing step-by-step business counselling as well as start-up capital to get their business off the ground, the Ziwani's believe the planning and financing support provided by Community Futures Wild Rose was key to making their small business dreams a reality.
Through hard work and strategic decisions, Gaz Exhibits has grown to include five full-time employees, two company trucks and a 5800 square foot facility to house their inventory and equipment.
"Thank you, Community Futures Wild Rose, for putting our dreams on the right path and staying with us for the long haul."
Canada Tire Doctors
For Robert Eden, it was the urging of his son, Bryan, that inspired him to venture into the field. After much research, the Eden's decided there was a need to provide 'the convenience of home shopping with complete tire services at your doorstep" within the larger Calgary region. Canada Tire Doctors - a family-owned and operated business - was born.
Their services are targeted for those who may not have time to go to a traditional tire shop to have their tires serviced, those who prefer the convenience of having tire services performed at another location or those who need emergency tire repair while on the road; their business does it all.
The need for start-up capital brought them to Community Futures Wild Rose, where our advice, guidance and financing fit what the Eden's were looking for.
"We met a couple of times...they gave us really good guidance and sent us what we needed to look at so we knew what we should be doing."
With financing in place, a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van and equipment were purchased to enable Bryan to work with regular- and high-end (such as Jaguar, BMW and Cadillac) - vehicles. Specialized mounts, "no-touch" tire changers and advanced wheel balancers allow Bryan to work on virtually any vehicle, in virtually any location. Financing was also arranged to help cover early operational costs.
Thankful for the resources and local support offered through Community Futures Wild Rose, Robert Eden shares, "I'd like to see how far we can take it. Instead of my son working for someone else, technically he's working for us...but it's going to be something that he's going to take pride in because it's also something of his. He's helped create it and in the future he'll be hoping that it'll eventually become his."