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.

At 17 years old, Dannielle left her hometown of Smithers B.C. to travel the world in search of adventure. But with roots so strong, Dannielle found herself heading back home to northern B.C. 17 years later to follow her dream of starting a business in the town that raised her.



Paving her own path


Dannielle is the owner and founder of Divine by Dannielle, a holistic esthetics service that provides a whole body, inside-out approach to nourishment and beauty. After years of experience working in the industry, Dannielle paved her own path with a passion for bringing innovative and health-conscious products to beauty.


“People I was working with were not doing things up to my standards. I was doing my most detailed and highest quality work, and I was getting paid the same as someone who had less than a year of experience,” says Dannielle.


“Prior to starting this business, I was working for other people in various spas. It’s where I learned all the tips and tricks of the business, and with 13 years’ experience I learned what I wanted my business to look like.”


The first steps


Driven by Dannielle offers a natural, chemical-free and long-term approach to enhancing natural beauty. For Dannielle, completing her business plan was both the biggest challenge and key to taking the first step in the right direction.


“With all the detail and research, I honestly had no idea how much went into running a business. Getting the knowledge and having to go through all the planning steps helped me get focused and determined to succeed,” says Dannielle.


Opening doors


The availability of local small business services provided Dannielle with the added confidence boost and reassurance that her business dream was possible. ThriveNorth opened the doors to a community of knowledge and support that Dannielle didn’t know existed.


“Participating in the Business Planning Workshop in Houston helped me realize that there is a community here that can help me thrive,” says Dannielle.


“Marko, the ThriveNorth Community Coordinator for north-western B.C. provides a lot of encouragement and knowledge support.”


Driving growth and success


Dannielle is also a recipient of the ThriveNorth Small Projects Grant. The initiative means Dannielle can purchase the equipment she needs to take her business to the next level and deliver only the best quality service.


“The ThriveNorth Small Projects Grant is helping me get a micro-needling machine – the only one in northern B.C! That’s huge business potential and a real game-changer for me and my clients.”


Dannielle also found support through WorkBC’s Self-Employment Services that offers courses and free counselling sessions.


“Without this program I probably would have needed to work part-time while running this business and would have been stretched too far,” says Dannielle.


“There were lots of courses available to participate in, and the free counselling sessions I was offered also help me get in the mindset I need to be to run my business.”


Keeping it in the community


Launching Divine by Dannielle in the town she knows as home also comes with the opportunity to run her business with her mom and stay connected with her community.


“This region is the niche that I know. I love the north and I know what people want here. People want to treat themselves to good quality food and products,” says Dannielle.


“Smithers has a healthy vibe to it that suits my vision for my business and the people it serves.”

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