ELEVATE ME Energy Bar

Patricia Humjan and Earl Ellison, founding partners: “We have found the (start your own business) program to be beneficial in numerous ways. The coming together of so many like minded people has helped us realize that we are not alone in our dreams of running our own business. Due in part to your excellent leadership and advice, the program has greatly surpassed our expectations.” The goal was to create the world’s simplest protein snack, keeping the finished food as close to what nature created as possible, with no added colors, flavors, or sweeteners. www.prosnack.com

EAST KOOTENAY CLEANERS

Owner Lisa Bowe won the Aboriginal BEST title for the Kootenays and took third overall in B.C. for her presentation on East Kootenay Cleaners.

As the winner, Bowe got the opportunity to compete in the provincial Best of BEST event in Vancouver where she took third place. “Of course you go there, going for first,” admits the competitive former rodeo rider. “After watching all the presentations, I was amazed I placed third.” Beside a cash prize to invest in her business and the experiences from the trip, Bowe says the program gave her the ability to take control of her business.

Bowe started East Kootenay Cleaners in 2008 and the BEST program came with good timing for her as she was ready to expand. BEST, Bowe believes, helped her take it to the next level. “They helped me tweak the business I have and turn it into the one a want to have,” she states.

DJ “O Show”

Orene Askew was pretty content with her life. She had a job, was very active, but always had some business ideas looming in her head. She decided she wanted to start her own DJ-ing business. The idea had been in her head for over 3 years, but she wasn’t sure how to pursue it head on. And then she heard about the 2011 Aboriginal BEST Program and decided to register for the classes. Orene now hosts a weekly show on Vancouver’s Co-op Radio, based in the downtown Eastside. The show, Sne’waylh, literally means “teachings” and the first 15 minutes of every program is a lesson in Squamish language. And her business, DJ O Show, keeps the dance floors hopping all over the Lower Mainland. orene_a@hotmail.com