Dr. Melanie DeCunha began her journey into entrepreneurship with the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre’s (MBEC) Starter Company program. Melanie, a Naturopathic Doctor first launched her business, ONE Health Services in Mississauga and has since grown into a multidisciplinary clinic in Etobicoke. ONE Health Services is a one-stop integrative clinic, where patients can have all aspects of their health addressed. This program was the start of Melanie’s vision to collaborate with business professionals to open and operate this clinic.
Melanie recalls hearing about the Starter Company Program in Mississauga from a former participant in the same profession. After hearing about his success with his practice, Melanie decided to apply to the program. The biggest advantage with the Starter Company program, Melanie states is “that it kept me on track with executing my business plan. Without having guidelines or deadlines in the program, I probably would have delayed my business. This program made me get my research done and held me accountable for my plans…and obviously the grant was helpful!”
Melanie credits the Starter Company Program in supporting her even when she doubted herself. She calls upon the MBEC staff and her program mentors for being “so supportive – they have had nothing but confidence in me and that has been the best thing at that point because there were so many moments where I felt incapable.”
When asked what trait(s) a young entrepreneur should possess, Melanie responded saying “patience is key because when starting a business you are not going to get overnight success … I know a colleague who has already left the profession when we were both at the same stage. It is hard work but if you don’t have the patience and trust in your plan or yourself – then you will never get there.”
Ultimately, Melanie believes entrepreneurship is definitely a viable pathway for anyone, especially the younger generations contemplating about their future. Melanie’s decision to start her own business was definitely worth the hard work, she says “because you have done everything yourself, there is so much reward in seeing your hard work come to fruition. To know that someone walking in the door is possible now because of every little step that has come before that.”
The Starter Company Program is funded by the Government of Ontario. For information about the Starter Company program, visit www.ontario.ca/page/start-company-young-adults
The Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC) is Mississauga’s central source for business information, resources and guidance. MBEC delivers the Starter Company Program in the Mississauga area.
For more information or help with your business contact MBEC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-615-4460.
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