Northern Hills Connect Initiative Thriving as Entrepreneurs Move Forward

Byline: NHC Team

Following the successful launch of the Northern Hills Night Market in 2017 by Ian McAnerin, Northern Hills Connect (NHC) is already seeing results to their new Initiative ‘1 Year, 1 Business’, launched in January. ‘1 Year, 1 Business’ is the focus for NHC on 2018 – bringing one Northern hills based social enterprise business to launch in 2018, and working towards the overall goal of 5 social enterprises over the next 5 years.

The group met in January to award September pitch competition participants their prize money, and progress reports shared at that event indicated that several of the entrepreneurs involved with the group are moving forward with their business ideas.

One of those entrepreneurs is Stephanie Paull, a graphic designer residing in the community, and a hopeful candidate to launch a socially driven enterprise in the next year. “The group is filled with truly amazing and inspiring people who

offered the support I needed to lift off. I’m really grateful to be a part of it all,” said Stephanie, who helped brand the Northern Hills Night Market, and designed the NHC logos.

At the NHC Pitch Competition in fall 2017, Stephanie pitched her idea Kindlii: a platform connecting neighbours in an online marketplace which utilizes the auctioning system. “Buying and selling locally can be a fun thing! It should be community driven. I am designing a system that is simple, very efficient and truly different from what all the other platforms have to offer.”

Since the pith competition, NHC has helped connect Stephanie with the resources to progress. “I was referred to attend a feasibility study at Momentum where I then applied for and was accepted into the Self Employment Program. The course will help me build a solid Business Plan which I intend to launch with this year.”

Support from community partners has been key in moving the initiatives forward. Prize money for the fall 2017 pitch competition was provided by Arusha Centre, and Manifest Church. Brad, with manifest church, recognizes the value of working closely with Community-minded entrepreneurs. “It’s been such a privilege to interact with such gifted, passionate people and watch so many great ideas take on flesh the past few months. Manifest Church (the church I lead that meets Sunday mornings here in Nose Creek School) was thrilled to donate prize money for the winners of the pitch competition. After all, Manifest’s tagline is “You belong” because family and community are at the heart of what we’re building. I’m looking forward to seeing how we can work together to help our Northern Hills Communities thrive in the months and years ahead.”

Northern Hills Connect is a group of neighbours on a mission to create sustainable social enterprises that cultivate a culture of belonging and connection in the Northern Hills community. Watch for more profiles of community entrepreneurs, and be sure to check out our upcoming events at http://events.northernhillsconnect.com.

As published in the Northern Hills Association Newsletter.

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