Are you elderly or disabled and need assistance with grocery pick-up, yard cleaning, junk removal or any similar services? If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, Hutch’s Handy Helping Services might be the answer to some of your needs.
Equipped with the business skills he received in the nine-month Shouters Entrepreneur Skills Development program, 22-year-old Daniel Hutchinson – commonly known as Mr. Hutch – founded the company to provide his services to area residents.
Hutchinson said he has always had a passion for helping the elderly and people with physical challenges.
“I used to assist my mom and some of her friends and the neighbours who would in turn give me a little money,” he said. “The money was really not important because I am someone who enjoys helping others with challenges. However, when a friend told me about the program, I figured I could use it to turn my zeal into a business.”
Archbishop Rev. Dr. Delores Seivright, the founder and president of Shouters National Evangelical Spiritual Baptist Faith (NESBF) Canada, started the program to help young people advance in society.
Aimed at youth between the ages of 17 and 24, it is designed for the less-advantaged who are already committed to creating their own business. Youth selection is based on assessment and business ideas.
“This program has opened a lot of doors for me,” said Hutchinson. “It has broadened my horizon and I can now see so many opportunities that were not visible to me when I started.”
Hutchinson said the Business Plan Pro software that he and seven other successful graduates used in the program turned his ideas into a structured business plan.
With a dedicated and custom-friendly staff of five, Hutchinson plans to extend his enterprise to include drywalling, roofing and carpentry.
He can be reached at (416) 286-4249.
Kevin Ishmael migrated from Guyana last December with a dream of one day owning a business. Though the entrepreneurial landscape is now being influenced, for the most part, by new immigrants who are most likely to be self-employed, the challenging economic downturn means it could take years for someone like Ishmael to fulfill his goals.
The 24-year-old painter, however, has been very fortunate. Soon after his arrival, an aunt introduced Ishmael to the Shouters’ program and he seized the opportunity.
“I just don’t know how I could thank her for giving me a chance to hit the ground running,” he said at last Saturday’s graduation ceremony. “I painted in Guyana and that is what I wanted to do in Canada. This program has been very helpful because it has allowed me to learn about how you do business in a professional manner.”
In the process of acquiring business skills, Ishmael successfully encouraged his father, Kenneth, to be part of a father and son painting business.
“I dragged my dad into it and now he likes it a lot,” he said.
Chester Le community resident, Quashawn Aarons-Montague, is proud of the fact that he’s one of the youngest chief executive officers in Canada.
The 16-year-old oversees an e-book family firm – Books by Kids for Kids – (www.booksbk4k.com) – which caters to young people.
For Shavon Young, the program has given him a second chance to become a useful citizen.
“I was with my probation officer in his office when I saw the advertisement for the Shouters program and decided to apply,” said the 20-year-old Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School graduate who owns a film and photography company. “This program has provided me with a sense of direction and the skills needed to run a successful business. It has given me a solid foundation on which to build for myself and my family.”
George Brown College student, Quinlan Veira, used the business acumen he acquired to establish Beat Da Streetz Basketball program which caters to young people in some of the city’s priority neighbourhoods.
The George Harvey Collegiate Institute graduate, together with a small coaching staff, runs the program out of the gym at Archbishop Romero Catholic Secondary School.
“We are placing kids in a basketball environment and giving them the skills to be good people and players and also an opportunity to get scholarships,” said Veira.
Dion Waterman, 23, owns Heart of Da City which is a marketing and advertising agency that provides young people between the ages of 15 and 30 with a place to market their talent.
“I came to this program with basically nothing and am leaving with an established business nine months later,” he said. “How can you beat that?”
Alisha Stubbs turned her love for fashion into a retail clothing line – Almy Fashion – catering to women between the ages of 18 and 35.
“I am an outgoing person and so are most of my friends, so my line reflects that and clothing with a European flavour,” she said.
Coleen Brown is in the business of house cleaning. ASAP Clean Up (firstname.lastname@example.org) offers affordable, professional and personalized cleaning starting at $60 after a free estimate.
“I learned a lot about myself and have become goal-oriented through the Shouters program,” she said. “I plan to attend seminars so that I may better myself and my business.”
Minister of Consumer Affairs, Margarett Best, reminded the graduates they are the future of the province and Canada and urged them to continue to strive for excellence.
“You have just completed one phase of a journey and you are now embarking on another that will be filled with challenges and obstacles,” Best told them. “You should, however, always remember that you had to cross hurdles to get this far, so never give up.”
Service Canada team leader Neil Shinkfield presented the certificates to the graduates.
“This program has always delivered fantastic results and we are already in the process of negotiating with Bishop Seivright for next year’s program,” he said. “It’s all about giving young people the tools for success.”