Betty Knighton – Recipient of an NEDC Scholarship

Betty Knighton is a recent recipient of an NEDC scholarship. Betty was selected for the scholarship having just submitted for graduation for her business management certificate.

Her current major is child and youth care, and she’s entering her fourth year in September at Vancouver Island University.

How does it feel to win a scholarship?

“My reaction to winning it was just that this gift came falling from the sky and right into my lap and it was a moment of wow. Because of ...

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Affirmation of the Right Path

Justyn Vissia is a recent recipient of a scholarship from the NEDC. The go-getter won the scholarship from, “doing my best, achieving good grades in my program and putting forth my best best effort.” Said Justyn.

How does it feel to win a scholarship?  

“I am very honored to have been selected to win the scholarship; it really helps me keep motivated to ...

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From a Laptop Webcam to Video Production as a Videographer

Armed with nothing more than willingness, passion and a laptop with a webcam on it, Kayla McDonald started growing her video production skills and her career as a videographer. Kayla McDonald Video Productions is now her business which is based out of the Comox Valley, in British Columbia.

Where does a Video production company start? How does it come to be?

“Well, I first started it in 2013. I originally wanted to start photography, and then it wasn’t financially do-able at the ...

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Making Memories on an Action Packed Adventure

Love and passion for the water are sometimes all it takes to give birth to business. At least, that’s how it transpired for Carla Halvorsen, owner of Action Packed Charters located in Port Alberni.

Yes, one can charter an action packed adventure.

How is it Action Packed Charters came to be?

From a love of the ocean of course.

“I love being on the water and traveling on the ...

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Vancouver Island’s Very Own Maple Syrup

Businesses are sometimes conjured right out of thin air; entrepreneurs see an opportunity, and they take it, or they come out of the mouths of twenty-three-year-old agricultural students, which was how the company Bigleaf Maple Syrup came to be.

Rick Hewson, CEO of the Hupacasath band in the Alberni Valley, was touring through one of the forests on the reserve with an agricultural student who was tagging along when the student noticed all the Bigleaf Maple trees around them and expressed ...

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Looking for a taste of the high life here on the rock – VI Limo

The road to success often includes unforeseen detours and bumps along the way, and such was certainly the case for one Island entrepreneur starting up a limousine service from ground zero.
“There certainly were… but it’s all about the journey, right?,” says a  perceptive Selena VanApeldoorn, owner/operator of Vancouver Island Limousine.
Established in 2011,  V.I. Limo has become a front runner for those looking for a taste of the high life here on the rock.
“I kind of stumbled into it,” Selena, 33, ...
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Economic activity, fluctuates, but it’s business as usual for the NEDC.

Economic activity, fluctuates, but it’s business as usual for the NEDC.

“Always,” confirmed NEDC assistant manager Caledonia Fred.

And with over 30 years experience helping first nations entrepreneurs, NEDC  keeps close tabs on the changing landscape where economic development opportunities are concerned.

“We tend to see less applicants when the economy is strong, when there are more jobs available,” says Fred, who has a bachelor of commerce in entrepreneurial management, and has been part of the NEDC team for 16 years.  Continue Reading →

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From Internship to Assistant Manager NEDC’s Caledonia wears many hats

When Caledonia Fred signed on for an internship at NEDC, she thought, at the time, that it would be a temporary posting.

“That was 16 years ago,” she says, “and I’m still here. Still loving my job.”

Now NEDC’s assistant manager, Fred has worn many hats over the years. All of which she says have helped prepare her for her current position.

Following her one year internship, Fred spent the next four years as the youth business coordinator. After that she was the ...

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Ruth Charleson adds lifetime of experience to the NEDC’s board

Ruth Charleson may be the new kid on the block where NEDC’s board of directors is concerned, but at 67 with a lifetime of experience to draw on, she brings a lot to the table.
The NEDC board numbers 14 people — one representative each from each of the 14 Nuu-chah-nulth community’s located on the west side of Vancouver Island.
“I knew about them,” she says of NEDC, “but I was never really curious enough to approach them. I was working ...
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Denise Martineau is NEDC’s newest Business Development Officer

The future looks bright for aboriginal entrepreneurs, and helping lead the way is Denise Martineau, NEDC’s new Business Development Officer.

Raised in Calgary, Martineau, 55, is a member of the Frog Lake First Nations, and with nearly three decades of experience relating to management and personal and commercial finance, it’s safe to say she brings a wealth of information to work.

Martineau was with Bank of Montreal for 18 years, including most of the past eight years as bank manager at the ...

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