In December 2019, the ThriveNorth program successfully completed its five-year mandate. Managed by Futurpreneur Canada, the program helped young entrepreneurs in Northern B.C. launch and grow their businesses by connecting them with resources, financing and mentorship.

Active in her community and eager to bring people together and improve lives, Heather Bohn is preparing to launch a coffee shop, eatery and meeting space in the Kitsumkalum community.

Our Roots, Café Eatery & Community Space will provide delicious treats and great coffee, as well as a common community space offer programs for youth and elders. It will support the local economy by employing community bakers, chefs and harvesters, focusing on fresh, local seasonal ingredients.

Revenues sources will include sales from the coffee shop as well as corporate sponsorships. Through this, Our Roots will be able to develop and deliver meal and training to meet the needs of people in the community.

Heather graduated from the UBC Sauder School of Business Ch’nook program for Entrepreneurship and Community Development in 2013. The idea for her business came as she was doing comprehensive community planning with other members of her community. They found that both elders and youth wanted a common space to get together.

Our Roots is currently in the planning stages and Heather hopes to open in the summer of 2017. She has tremendous support in her community to move the project forward. The Chief and others are helping her move a vacant log house that will be used for the coffee shop to a more accessible location.

Heather recently received $10,000 as well as training and support for her business idea by winning top prize in 2016 Best New Social Enterprise category in the ThriveNorth Business Challenge. Currently, she is moving ahead with business planning and also securing additional financing.

She had this to say about the support she received through ThriveNorth from Futurpreneur Canada:

“Futurpreneur Canada made this social enterprise a possibility, giving it not only financial support, but credibility and the validity that a small business creating jobs in the community can be a reality.

Without Futurpreneur, this would just be another “crazy idea”/dream for a self-sustaining community space that gives people opportunities to contribute to not only their culture but the local economy, by essentially going back to their roots of being self-sustaining; by harvesting traditional seasonal local ingredients, cooking, preserving, enjoying good eats and actively participating in the economy.

We have a lot of work ahead of us still, but it’s all possible and their training and support have helped tremendously! Futurpreneur has made a long term positive impact that will last in this region for many generations to come and has shown what can be possible, even when the odds are stacked against you.

T’oyaxsut ‘nüün (Thank you).”

We wish Heather the very best with Our Roots!

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