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Did you know?

Did you know that when you work with one of Business Link’s Business Advisors or Facilitators, you’re not just working with someone who’s done a lot of reading about regulations, but someone who has real-life experience as an entrepreneur?

We define a side hustle as any type of employment outside of Business Link hours. While it could be as simple as working part-time at a coffee shop, our advisors have an indomitable entrepreneurial spirit that has them creating businesses that allow them to follow their passions (outside of helping you).

We like to say that our client services team works hard every day to be your trusted advisors. But they’re more than that. They’re also experienced advisors.

Mission Ignite Management Consulting Inc.

Suzanne Ebelher, our Director, Client Services, runs Mission Ignite Management Consulting. At first glance, it may seem like her side hustle competes with Business Link, but that’s not accurate. She reaches an audience that Business Link can’t. Says Suzanne,

I love helping businesses of all sizes! Business Link allows me to help entrepreneurs; my side hustle allows me to support larger organizations that have more complex issues.

In the past, Suzanne also worked as a partner in several different franchise organizations, and her extensive educational background (MBA specializing in Executive Management, BA, Certified Management Consultant designation, CHRP designation and certificates in E-Learning and Adult education, and more), passion, and experience in business make her a formidable ally. Her humour and compassion, though, are what makes her stand apart as an advisor.

You learn best by jumping in and doing. My best mentors have been those that have been there, done it. I’m now paying it forward through my service to future entrepreneurs.

Shady Ape

Shay Bachelet just joined Business Link in June to become our new Marketing Coordinator. She was motivated, in part, to apply to work with us because she had used our services while setting up Shady Ape. She knew that she’d be working with a team that not only cared about our clients but was effective.

Along with her partner April Prescott (Shady Ape is a registered partnership), Shay set up her business to offer mindfulness-based classes, workshops, and apparel in YEG.

We’re passionate about bringing mindfulness to the world in a way that removes as many barriers as possible, believe in the power of connection—to ourselves and our community, and do our best to show up just as we are.

You can certainly see this in Shay’s work, which is contemplative but showcases her spirit and unique sense of humour. But how does a marketer get involved in mindfulness and meditation?

Mindfulness and meditation have changed my life. I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression since I was a teenager, but my practice allows me to stay grounded and to be OK, even when life is hurling lemons at me. I believe mindfulness is a superpower, especially when dealing with mental health, and I want to share that superpower with the world.

Edmonton Inventor Meetup

If you haven’t had the opportunity to work with Senior Business Advisor David Bayda, you might have seen him online. He’s an enthusiastic Twitter user, and sometimes shares information on Business Link before our official social media feeds can!

David’s side hustle isn’t exactly a business. Instead, he organizes a Meetup Group so that local inventors can learn from each other. David facilitates the sharing of connections, advice, and knowledge related to intellectual property and patenting (which is why you can find him sharing this expertise in our BizChat webinars). The Meetup meets every few months so inventors can bounce ideas off each other and improve their designs and products based on feedback from their peers.

I love helping to bring other people’s ideas to life! Everyone needs someone who believes in them. Sometimes you just need a helping hand along the way.

This is how David operates at Business Link, too.

Breast Buds

Wendy Muise, Business Facilitator, who is also active on Twitter, has a history of side hustles, including Ground Floor Labs and WAIT App. But the one she’s spending the most time on right now is Breast Buds, a platform for those affected by breast cancer. She helps connect patients to essential resources.

I asked Wendy, “What motivates you to work on a side hustle? Don’t we keep you busy enough at Business Link?” Wendy replied,

I’m motivated by the problem. When I was preparing for my double mastectomy, I felt really isolated. I watched the women in my family suffer and die from this horrible disease and saw how isolated they were. I felt an obligation to see if others felt similarly and try to find a solution.

Wendy is the sort of person who is happiest when she’s busy. A regular workweek just isn’t enough to keep her brain busy, and we’re so glad that Business Link can offer our staff opportunities to follow their passions.

Global Chamber Edmonton and DB McKenzie Group

Our new Executive Director, Barbara McKenzie, is currently operating two side hustles as well as learning how to helm the Good Ship Business Link. Global Chamber Edmonton is a chapter of a global membership-driven organization that supports companies wanting to trade and export globally, so having Barbara on our team means that Business Link has vastly increased our knowledge on exporting. DB McKenzie Group is her husband’s incorporated business, and Barbara runs the marketing and administration. They offer photography and videography, creating 3D virtual tours, 2D floor plans, 360° imaging, and more.

I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 11. I started Global Chamber while I was between “main hustles” and want to continue as it plays an important role in building Alberta companies.

Indigenous Strategies

Another new addition to our team, Indigenous Procurement Coordinator Perry Kocis runs Indigenous Strategies, an Indigenous consulting service.

I’m a First Nation person and have a personal interest in helping Indigenous communities and businesses succeed in growing their economy.

Indigenous Strategies has three main areas where they affect change: Education, Social Work, and Leadership. Under Education, they work with Indigenous and Native American educators on reserve and in urban settings. Their services include annual conferences and workshops.

Their social work is focused on creating tailored programming from a social justice and decolonization perspective.

Leadership is all about using traditional values to create leadership models for youth. They’re currently working on building leadership opportunities in land and water stewardship.

But that’s not all

This blog post is already longer than usual, and we’ve only covered some of our staff’s Sizzlin’ Side Hustles. Many more of our staff have operated past hustles, or are in the process of getting a new one rolling.

Don’t forget to call or email one of our trusted, experienced advisors today!


Ready to take your next step towards starting your business?

If you are looking for one-on-one support for your small business, give the Business Link Business Advisors a call at 1-800-272-9675 or email askus@businesslink.ca. You can also visit the events page for upcoming activities!

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