News and Events

Student businesses continue to grow thanks to start-up funding

May 1, 2013

Three Medicine Hat College students received start-up funding for their businesses today, thanks to a partnership between MHC’s Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC) and JMH & Co.

Today’s awards totalled $19,000 in funds and numerous hours of business planning assistance from the firm. It is the third time the funds have been awarded, as part of a five-year pledge from JMH & Co.

Today’s winners include:

Strivebar: Austin Desharnais
Desharnais received the largest award of $10,000, divided into three parts. The first part of the grant is for $2,500, available immediately to assist with start-up costs including marketing, tools and inventory as outlined in his business plan.

Royal Thieves: Thomas Anderson Balmer III
Balmer received a start-up grant of $5000, available in three parts. The first part of the grant is for $1,500, available immediately to assist with the start-up costs of inventory.

Extra Bold Photography: Brandy Naroznick
Naroznick received a start-up grant of $4000, available in two parts. Part one will go toward the purchase of supplies and marketing activities.

Desharnais said the award will help him fulfill his business ambitions.

“I’d like to thank JMH & Co. and the EDC,” he said. “Creating this program to give students to conquer and take on some small business goals is an excellent opportunity.”  

Event attendees included staff members from JMH & Co., community business leaders and last year’s largest grant recipient, Anthony Merkel from Elevation Landscaping and Irrigation.

JMH & Co. partner Ryan Dorton said the relationship has been win-win for the firm.

“Heading into the third year, we couldn’t be happier with the outcomes that we’ve seen,” he said. “We’ve seen them step into the real world and try their business ideas, and it’s really rewarding for the whole team.”

The five-year gift from JMH & Co. in 2010 also includes scholarship assistance. For more information on entrepreneur scholarships and business grants, visit