Millworks - Centre for Entrepreneurship

SUCCESS STORIES

HarleenHarleen

Harleen Puaar Shukla

BradBrad

Brad Senecal

JessicaJessica

Jessica Maione

Amanda Cora & Brad Robinson
Thrive Tours

Seeing a great opportunity to thrive within the tourism sector in the Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma region, Amanda Cora and Brad Robinson decided to move their family and their Indigenous Eco-Cultural Tourism business, Thrive Tours, to the Baawaating (SSM) area which was established in June 2020. As an Indigenous-owned and operated business, this dynamic duo also strives to educate their guests about the real Indigenous history of this beautiful and sacred area which is also referred to as the heart of Turtle Island (North America). Thrive Tours offers a variety of exciting year-round outdoor activities to suit any size of group or organization while always striving to uphold a zero carbon footprint in all of their tours and programs.  

“Starter Company Plus offered much-needed mentorship and support to help build our business plan,”  says Cora. “They also offered us meaningful connections in the community, and tap into local resources to help us succeed in these important early stages of growth in this region.” 

To see more of what Thrive Tours has been doing you can check them out on Instagram or if you are interested in participating in some of their great adventures, visit their website to learn more and book your own adventure! 

      


Jennifer Johnson 
iC Avec Immigration

Like everywhere else is Canada, our community here in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma has continued to see a population rise with newcomers coming to a new country. With this new growth, Jennifer Johnson saw the opportunity to follow her lifelong passion for intercultural work by expanding the operations of her company iCA  interCultural Avec Immigration). As a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Jennifer and her team provide immigration services to foreign nationals seeking to settle in Canada. To support long-term success, the team provides consulting for organizations around equity, diversity and inclusion as well as the process of hiring foreign workers.  

“Working interculturally is very personal to me,” says Johnson, “My curiosity has put me in contact with many different cultures, and I have to admit that I wasn't always effective at understanding the complexity and nuances; it was a skill I have had to learn over time and one that I continue to learn. It's deeply fulfilling to learn about the experiences of immigrants who are settling in Canada and to work with organizations in the community which are diversifying their teams. We help with the technical aspects of immigration, and we really are passionate about the personal and organizational transformation that comes along with it.” 

“The Starter Company Plus program was instrumental in helping us to get started. We benefited so much from the guidance related to business start up since none of us had launched an enterprise previously. There is so much to learn!  Writing a business plan and pitching for funding gave us the opportunity to gain our voice and practice telling the public what we offer.  The mentorship aspect was more valuable than we could have imagined. We didn't know what we didn't know - but the team at Millworks supported us all along the way.” 

To learn more about the great work Jennifer and her team are doing, you can check them out here for more information about their teachings and services. 

      


Angela De Geus, Brittany Miller & Jody-Lyn Rebek
Hearterra

If you strive to be environmentally friendly then you need to check out the Sault’s local refillery Hearterra. Started by partners Angela De Geus, Brittany Miller, and Jody-Lyn Rebek, Hearterra provides the community a shopping experience like no other. Focusing on zero-waste initiatives and food sovereignty practices, the company provides a diverse line of products made from clean ingredients and high quality. The products sold at the shop include but are not limited to; personal care, cleaning, and accessories that come from a variety of suppliers who share their vision.  

“What keeps us going is our customers,” De Geus. “They are so excited to have an option to reduce their waste and learn about zero-waste living. It is rewarding to provide refilling services to people living in the Algoma District. We are seeing new customers coming in all the time which is encouraging, as the more people we reach the greater our impact will be. We truly love that we are making a difference to the environment in the products we use and with the services and education we provide. We are certainly a new way of doing things that is simpler and also better for you and the environment!” 

“The Starter Company Plus program gave us the confidence to move forward with opening our business. The grant money was very helpful for some of the upfront professional fees of starting a business. There is so much time and effort required to start-up a business. The money provided by Millworks gave us the support we needed to launch successfully.” 

You can visit the shop at 112 March Street in the City’s downtown. Be sure to check out their website to learn more about the company. 

  

HarleenHarleen

Harleen Puaar Shukla

BradBrad

Brad Senecal

JessicaJessica

Jessica Maione


Raija Morrar 
Events By Rai

Raija Morrar always had a passion for planning events for settings such as work projects and personal gatherings for friends and family. Over the years she has acquired the knowledge and developed the proper knowledge to the point where she deciding taking a hobby she really enjoyed and turned it into her own business. Launching Events By Rai, she is now servicing special occasions of all types by providing the full planning and execution for clients upcoming celebrations.   

“I love helping people in our community bring their visions to life by adding that “unique touch” to make their events feel extra special & memorable,” says Morrar. “The Starter Company Plus program helped me find the motivation to put a solid plan together and finally start my business.” 

Visit Events By Rai on Facebook or Instagram to see what Raija can do for your next event!

    


Erica & Spencer Hogan
Hogan's Homestead

Spencer and Erica Hogan started Hogan's Homestead as a hobby with the dream that it would turn into something more. In four short years, the company has gone from a 10 to 30,000 tap operation, making Hogan's Homestead the third largest Maple Syrup Producer in the Algoma District and an award-winning Maple Syrup Producer. Hogan's Homestead is known for their innovative and creative naturally flavored Maple Syrup, Maple Confections, Maple infused Pantry Collection, and of course, the Original Maple Syrup.  

“Thanks to the help of the Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship Bridges to Better Business Competition in 2019, we took our dreams and turned them into a reality,” says Erica. “We were able to use the resources to navigate the growth of our company and we have continued to use those resources to keep reaching goals and creating new ones.” 

“What makes our Maple Syrup special is that it’s made with love,” says Spencer. “Not only are we being unique with the flavours, the company itself is what makes it the sweetest because it is first generation and that alone is huge for us. That’s what makes it special and unique because it’s family grown,” adds Erica.  

You can shop the Hogan’s Homestead products at 536 Second Line West, their Sugar Shack in Goulais River, ON or online.