The YSBEC team hail from a wide range of industries and experiences. They are friendly, energetic, dedicated people committed to helping innovative entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses across York Region develop and succeed so they can, in turn, contribute to the continuing growth of Ontario’s economy.
Our highly qualified and multi-talented small business consultants and advisors play a meaningful role assisting our clients, and cultivating a vibrant business community across the northern six municipalities we proudly serve.
Starting a business is challenging. Invest in your future by taking advantage of our extensive knowledge, resources, access to community stakeholders and business leaders, and learn about and how to apply for government grants and financing.
Get to know us and get in touch
Jenifer Benakis specializes in providing entrepreneurs and small business owners with savvy startup and marketing strategies to help them grow their businesses. She joined the YSBEC team in 2014 after spending four years as Small Business Consultant and Program Assistant at the Town of Richmond Hill. Jenifer holds a joint honours B.A. in Communications and Sociology from York University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Marketing Management from Seneca College. A frequent traveller, Jenifer often spends her spare time researching and planning for her next journey abroad.
Small Business Consultant
Daniela Mazzaferro brings 15 years’ of experience working closely with small and medium start-ups and established businesses, non-profits, government agencies, community groups and youth. Previous to joining the YSBEC team she spent nine years as the Small Business Consultant with the Town of Richmond Hill where her focus was business events, seminars and consulting with entrepreneurs to develop comprehensive business support services to further their goals and navigate the waters of entrepreneurship. Raised by adventurous business owners, Daniela understands where her clients are coming from.
Small Business Assistant
Pauline Nagelmakers brings more than eight years’ experience serving as both a small business assistant and marketing professional to the YSBEC team, and more than 25 years’ experience in various marketing and administration roles, including two at small businesses and one startup company. She possesses a strong aptitude for accurately assessing a startup business’s needs and is responsible for delivering valuable resources and information to YSBEC’s clients. When she isn’t helping manage YSBEC’s Summer Company program and networking events, administering client applications and publishing the organization’s monthly e-newsletter, Pauline enjoys golfing and spending time outdoors.
Manager, Strategic Economic Initiatives
For more than 20 years working in both the private and public sectors, Jonathan Wheatle has dedicated himself to supporting small businesses and startups by assisting and guiding them with everything from business plan development and funding applications to international expansion. He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Wilfrid Laurier University and a B.Sc. in Applied Physics and Mathematics from the University of West Indies. When he isn’t working to support the business community in York Region, Jonathan spends his time watching science fiction movies and track and field competitions. A little known fact about Jonathan is he once worked as a zookeeper and he has built (and been zapped by) lasers.
1-877-464-9675 ext. 71594
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