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This success story recipient got funding because they took the first step and contacted our Centre to learn about their funding options. Although we cannot guarantee you will get funding, the more you know about others experiences the better your chances.

Young Entrepreneurs take their Business on the Road with $45,000 in Govt Backed Loans

Project:
$30,000 loan from the Business Development of Canada (BDC) and $15,000 towards start-up costs from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF)
Industry:
Retail Trade/ Services
City:
Pointe-Claire, Quebec
Touting themselves "the dynamic duo" of screen repairs, childhood friends Jacob Stroud and Idriss Bouhmouch seemed to have found a niche market in the suburbs of Montreal. With the help of a $30,000 loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and $15,000 towards start-up costs from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), the two partners have launched "Moustiquaire Mobile Service à Domicile Inc."

Incorporated in December 2010, the company offers on-site window screen repairs and installation to Montréal homeowners. Taking their lead from Dad's Screenmobile Inc. (their main supplier and sister company operating in Ottawa since 1996) they service clients in their screenmobile truck. Outfitted as a mobile workshop - or "screen store on wheels" - it includes window screen hardware, retractable screens, custom window and enclosure frames, pet doors, and motorized screen systems.

With Bouhmouch's Queen's University commerce degree, and Stroud's three years of field experience as a fulltime Dad's Screenmobile technician, the venture seems to make perfect sense: "Not only is there an obvious need for window screen repairs onsite in the Montreal area, but we grew up here - so we know the people, we know the community and we have complimentary skill sets; I can work the business side of things and Jacob can work the production side of things, which makes us a dynamic duo."

With the 2011 Montreal National Home Show as their first major publicity push, the partners put their funding towards developing the company website, and printing business cards and promotional material."It was helpful because we were starting to run out of savings - we had already invested a large amount of money before the CYBF loan - it was perfect timing really."

After making contact with The Centre for Small Business Financing, the team was made aware of their eligibility for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), a national charity "dedicated to championing tomorrow’s entrepreneurial nation builders." They deliver their program coast to coast through a collaborative network of like-minded organizations called 'Community Partners', who work directly with the young applicants to guide them through the entire CYBF process to obtain both funding and a mentor.

Pierre Dufresne, Vice-President of land development at Tartan Land Corporation, is along for of the adventure. With a mentor offering advice and checking in on their progress for the next two years, Bouhmouch and Stroud hope to "work hard, take notes, and really learn from this year one experience. Our mentor can guide our ambition, drive and energy with his experience and knowledge to help us grow our company to the next level."

Their advice to other young, aspiring entrepreneurs is twofold: "Make sure your business plan makes a lot of sense - make sure you have it reviewed by different people in different areas - to not only have someone take care of the financials, but also someone to take care of the strategic direction of the company - that's something that needs to be explicitly done during the start-up phase." Stroud adds the importance of "really knowing what you are getting yourself into, learn to know your product and believe in what you are representing." They also remind us of the age-old adage, "you never know until you ask."

"So really do your research on municipal and provincial governmental levels," adds Bouhmouch. "There is a lot of money out there, it's just a question of finding it. And I think that might be the toughest part for young entrepreneurs - that they don't know exactly where you can access all these different resources."

www.moustiquairemobile.com

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