Success stories

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Success Stories

Community Futures is pleased to showcase some of the many good news stories in rural Alberta. Everyday we help people like you start and grow successful small businesses.

Milk River Beautification Program


Milk River, AB


Partnership between Community Futures, the Town of Milk River and the Milk River Business Association for a Downtown Business improvements loan/grant program. The town and business association chipped in X amount of dollars to provide business owners in Milk River with the opportunity to apply for a loan with CF up to $10,000 with a 20% grant to go towards renovations/improvements to their businesses. The program has been a huge success as 12 loans were disbursed in the first year while using up all funds designated to the program. CF was able to leverage over $120,000 between the 12 businesses that took advantage of the loan program and 8 jobs were created. Currently the partnership is in talks of continuing the program for another year based on the amount of interest in the program.

The Grow Zone

Sharon and Dennies Vierboom
Red Deer, AB


 

The Grow Zone isn’t your typical retail business. With a focus on various types of hydroponics, this innovative company exists to help consumers transition into a more sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle by enabling them to grow their own vegetables and herbs indoors. Put simply, hydroponics is the practice of growing plants without soil. More specifically, with hydroponics, plants are grown with their roots suspended in water containing all of the necessary nutrients.

The Grow Zone was started in August of 2013 by Sharon Vierboom, with assistance from her husband Dennies. With a wide variety of experience in multiple industries, Sharon and Dennies are the ideal team to run this type of business. From Sharon’s background in bookkeeping and healthcare, to Dennies being a triple-ticketed journeyman with a focus on plumbing and refrigeration, the couple has their bases covered and is able to handle the technical and financial matters of the business on their own.

When it comes to operating the business in terms of sales and customer service, one of The Grow Zone’s best assets is their employee Shawn.  “Customers gravitate towards Shawn and he really believes in all the products and he educates our clients on all their requests” says Sharon.  She adds that “Shawn frees up time for us to plan the next phase of the business.

While Sharon and Dennies were able to start the business on their own, when it came time to expand the business in the fall of 2015, they decided to reach out to Community Futures Central Alberta in search of the funding that they needed to increase their marketing efforts and website capabilities, as well as relocate to a larger location across the street. They had their hearts set on this larger location as it would provide space for more displays and a classroom to help educate consumers on how plants grow. The thought was that the displays and education classes would help to smooth out the sales process and show customers how their products work to grow plants. Sharon and Dennies also wanted The Grow Zone to become more of an online presence and open themselves up to the world of e-commerce, where they would be able to reach a broader group of people through selling on their website.

“Without Community Futures, The Grow Zone would not be where it’s at today”, says Sharon. “The funding we received through their organization was instrumental in expanding our business and preparing for future growth.”  If you are looking for help with starting up a business, or are looking to expand or purchase an existing business, contact Community Futures at 403-342-2055 to see what they can do for you.

For all of your growing needs, visit The Grow Zone in person at #7 6850-52 Avenue in Red Deer, online at http://thegrowzone.ca/ or give them a call at (403)356-9663 or toll free at 866-401-9663.

 

Navera Energy Solutions Inc.

Jeremy Frausel
Central Alberta


In December 2012, Jeremy Frausel started operating an electrical, instrumentation and solutions based business called Navera Energy Solutions Inc. here in Central Alberta.

As his business grew there was an opportunity to lease a commercial space within Red Deer.  There was only one problem, no money.  “Having a plan and a dream will only get you so far.  I needed money to grow my business,” states Frausel.  Community Futures worked closely with the entrepreneur to provide the financing to obtain the lease that has helped grow his business.

Navera Energy Solutions Inc. specializes in:

ELECTRICAL

  • Industrial & Commercial Construction and Maintenance
  • Plant Maintenance
  • Thermal Imaging

ALTERNATIVE POWER SOLUTIONS

  • Residential & Commercial Stand-By Generators
  • Residential & Commercial Solar Panels

With close to two decades of experience in the industrial and oilfield technology sector, Navera is the perfect company for you to work with on your next project. 

“We stand out above our competition based on our exceptional customer service.  We strive to get to know our customer’s needs and then provide a complete solution to the problems they are having,” says Frausel.  

Gaz Exhibits

George & Pamela Ziwani
Chestermere, AB


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."

Play2Learn Daycare Services

Melanie Poulin
Elk Point, AB


Early 2009 began the vision of my venture.  I am a local born and raised community member of Elk Point.  I grew up here, moved away to ad to my life experience and returned to my “home town” to raise my 4 children. I come from a strong family of entrepreneurs and knew that there was a community need that needed to be filled. It was never a thought that any project I decided to do would fail….. It was just the HOW was I going to make it work!

Along with a grant for a “Making Space for Children” provincial government initiative, I put my business plan together and came to Community Futures for support and guidance and the BUSINESS LOAN that was crucial to proceed forward.  The first stage of my “small business” venture became a reality!  But my team and I soon realized that expansion was necessary to continue to grow at the fast rate we were (and still are) growing today!

Community Futures was there again for advice, help with documentation and mentorship! Jody was calm and when my excitement for the project needed some “sensibleness”, he prevailed! The daycare has continued to make our small community stay that much more vibrant as Play 2 Learn Daycare has purchased an existing town building (thanks also to The Elk Point Elks Lodge #460). We have done renovations with Community Futures Loans and continued the growth of Early Childhood Development in Elk Point!

The potential for additional business has also been seen!  We are able to provide space for smaller group activities such as First Aid Classes, Ukrainian Dance Club, or various club meetings. We have built a permanent home for our towns Jack and Jill Preschool program. We host initiatives with Norquest College and support community members with availability of English classes right here at Play 2 Learn so that community members need not travel far to get to these needed classes

I appreciate Community Futures. As a young business person with drive and motivation to put business initiatives together YOU are an important catalyst as everything comes with a price tag. You were (and are) the help I needed and Community Futures has done just what the title implies…… helping build a community’s future!!

by Melanie Poulin, owner/operator

Lost Art Jewelry

Daniel Sommerfeld
Waterton, Alberta


Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. – Maya Angelou

Daniel and Lori Summerfeld opened Lost Art Jewelry by Daniel Sommerfeld in Waterton Lakes National Park in 1999. Daniel is a Master Goldsmith with 30 years of experience, who designs and creates by hand one-of-a-kind jewelry for the public, exclusively using time-honored direct metal working techniques. Daniel selects all of the inventory, consults with patrons about their jewelry selections, and designs and creates all the jewelry personally using direct metal working techniques.

The art of hand working a piece of metal to be light yet resilient, or even to design and construct a piece from scratch to a client’s exact specifications, is a lost art on the brink of extinction. Daniel takes great pride in exquisitely performing this lost art, creating sublime jewelry for the discerning clients who appreciate its unmatched look and feel.

Clients may select from a variety of existing items on display made from platinum, high karat golds, silver, palladium, Canadian diamonds, Alberta ammolite and other fine and very rare gems. They may also have the exceptional experience of meeting with the person who makes the jewelry, and even watch it being made for them.

Entrepreneurs are similar to artists because they both possess a vision for something new. In Daniels case, the artist is the entrepreneur. He is willing to do what no one else is, to create his masterpiece business. Daniel and Lori have built their business around their passion and values.

The true masterpieces are lives that are built around your passion and values so that every day you can wake up doing what you love and generate a profit doing it. It takes planning and sufficient resources to make the entrepreneur’s dreams come true. Community Futures is ready to help with advisory services, training, and financing for entrepreneurs and their businesses.

“This year I am returning to my roots and am creating jewelry mainly for pure inspiration.”

“My new line will mainly consist of the most beautiful diamonds set in Platinum and Gold to the highest standard of craftsmanship and coupled with some very beautiful and rare colored precious gemstones.”

“The process will be slow but be sure to check in frequently to check on my progress.”

Visit Lost Art Jewelry at:

301A Windflower Avenue
PO Box 157
Waterton Lake National Park, AB
Canada T0K 2M0
E-mail: infoatwatertonjewelry.com
Web: www.watertonjewelry.com
Tel: 403-859-2481
Toll Free: 1-866-820-2232

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Success stories

Community Futures Network of Alberta

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