BOURSES NIKANEWIN : Helping to Make Your Entrepreneurial Projects a Reality
The First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Economic Development Commission (FNQLEDC) is proud to support the Nikanewin Bursaries initiative. This bursary is offered specifically to members of the First Nations in Quebec who have a business project in mind and are looking to take action.
To show you the impacts that the bursaries can have, we decided to introduce you to two of the ten $2,500 bursary recipients for 2021: Ms. Grace Edwards, a Mi’gmaq from Listuguj, and Ms. Susan Montour, a Mohawk from Kahnawake.
Ms. Grace Edwards, transportation broker
According to Grace, she started her third-party logistics business after working 39 years in the transportation industry. From invoicing to customer service, she carries out many well-defined tasks in order to carry out her business.
With the bursary she earned, she was able to pay for two months of using the Loadlink management and dispatch software. This gave her hope for her entrepreneurial project as well as confidence in her new start as an entrepreneur. With the help of the Nikanewin Bursary, she got the motivation boost she really needed! She was able to reduce her stress for the first two months knowing that her software was paid for. “I am happy to say that my business started 10 months ago now and I have had over $600,000 in sales since! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in me!”, said Grace.
She strongly recommends that all budding entrepreneurs apply for the 2022 Nikanewin Bursaries because anything is possible, and your dreams can come true!
Ms. Susan Montour, mobile dental clinic
Susan is a dental hygienist. Her entrepreneurial dream is to open her own mobile dental hygiene clinic. She would like to provide dental care in homes and private facilities for people who do not have access to dental services.
Since receiving her bursary last year, she has pursued her goal of starting her own business. In the months after receiving the bursary, she contacted more than twenty dental supply companies in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia to obtain quotes on equipment and supplies. She encountered some difficulties in finding suppliers willing to deliver to the community. Some suppliers did not want to send an order to an individual’s home address. Slowly, over time, she bought all the items she needed.
Last September, she was invited to join a group of like-minded entrepreneurs, the Hygiénistes dentaires indépendants du Québec (independent dental hygienists of Quebec). This group allowed her to make many new friends while benefitting from sound advice and valuable support.
In October, she used her bursary money to order the aluminum trailer needed to transport her dental equipment. In November, she secured the rental of a dental autoclave from the local hospital to sterilize her instruments, a process that took six months. In the meantime, she applied for funding from Tewatohnisaktha Economic Development to start her small business. She has since obtained her independent practitioner number from the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) and, on December 20th, she was approved as a provider for the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program. Thus, she can finally start serving her community of Kahnawake.
“I strongly recommend to those who dream of becoming entrepreneurs to try their luck and apply for a Nikanewin Bursary. It comes with the support of an organization that has the resources to help you make your dream come true. For me, this was one of the first steps in motivating myself to put my dream into action. Receiving the bursary was like a pat on the back to keep going, and confirmation that other people thought my business idea could be realized,” said Susan.
The entire FNQLEDC team would like to congratulate these two entrepreneurs for all the actions they have undertaken during the year to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.
The FNQLEDC would like to remind all future entrepreneurs that they can benefit from the free support and guidance of its team to develop their project.
To learn more about the Nikanewin Bursaries 2022 or to submit your application, please visit our website.
If you would like to read more entrepreneur portraits, we invite you to visit our blog section.