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.

Tell us about yourself and your business

I am a certified dog obedience trainer and work at the Thornhill animal shelter, which has been a great learning experience that led to the creation of my business Kalum K9 Services that offers off-leash hikes as well as house/pet sitting. The hikes run year-round, rain or shine, and I have dogs of all sizes and ages who learn about socialization & benefit in many ways from this group activity.

As a life-long animal lover, my work is very personal to me, and all of my clients are like family. I love my clients like my own, and am very blessed to work with them and their humans, who also appreciate the convenient pick-up/drop-off system offered in this service.

There are so many beautiful sights to see in Northern BC so I also love exploring and adventuring, hiking, camping and photography, when I’m not spending time with my family and friends.

Why did you decide to start your own business?

Inspired by my dog, Eddie (the one in my logo), I wanted a job where I didn’t have to leave him alone all the time. It started with taking friends’ dogs hiking, which led me to establishing my business this year. I have worked with 60+ dogs and have learned a lot!

I also enjoy being my own boss, making my own schedule, and running all aspects of the business. I would love to see my business grow to full-time work!

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Getting my dog obedience training certificate was definitely a huge accomplishment. I find each day I gain experience and knowledge that helps me learn and do things better. Every dog is different, so building the relationships with each dog and confidence in myself to be the leader is perhaps the biggest milestone of all.

How has ThriveNorth helped you and your business?

Organizations like ThriveNorth and Futurpreneur provide great avenues for training and support. The experienced staff and amazing free programs and mentorship are invaluable, and the encouragement and support from start-up to receiving a grant for my small business has given me the ability to keep pursuing my dreams.

Even if your pace is slow, any progress is progress.

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