Success Stories

YSBEC Success Stories: HBC Landscaping Limited

  Ziggy Talaska is only 25, but he’s worked in the trades for a decade. At age 15, he was framing drywall and building decks. By age 18, he was coordinating jobs for another contractor. “I grew up seeing my dad and uncle building fences and decks and I got involved,” says Talaska. “Their handiness rubbed off on me.” At

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YSBEC Success Stories: K+A Personal Concierge

Kirsten Martin and Anne-Marie Gabrini don’t, typically, book private jets or plan lavish parties for their clients. Rather, as partners in K+A Personal Concierge in Aurora, they’re more apt to help clients with ordinary tasks such as grocery shopping or finding a good electrician. The two friends launched the business in 2017, after identifying a gap in the marketplace. In

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YSBEC Success Stories: Julia’s Best Ever Inc.

Should you — and how do you — turn a hobby into a business? Those questions dogged Julia Brown when she was at university. In her freshman year, she started roasting and blending almonds into nut butter for fun. By third year, as word spread about her sweet and savoury butter, she was whipping up batches of it regularly for

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YSBEC Success Stories: Gents Fitness

Running a business is a bit like exercising: You need to be motivated and persistent to see results. Matt Gentles knows a thing or two about motivation and persistence. As owner of Gents Fitness, a personal training service that prioritizes overall well-being over “quick fixes,” he inspires his clients to stick with, and reach, their fitness goals. It’s been a

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YSBEC Success Stories: DJ Dash

For Dash Bylykbashi, it’s easy to throw himself into his work. When he’s DJing a wedding, he moves and grooves right along with the guests. “I really get into it. I’m dancing the whole time,” he says. “That’s the reason people love my services.” In 2014 the Aurora entrepreneur—known as “DJ Dash”—launched his business, which provides music, lighting and MC

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YSBEC Success Stories: STEM Minds

After a 20-year banking career, Anu Bidani had a decision to make: She could continue in the corporate world or she could channel her passion for technology and innovation into her own business. “I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart,” she says, so she chose the riskier route and created STEM Minds, which provides STEM — science, technology, engineering, math — and now arts — programs for children.

YSBEC Success Stories: Professional Lifestyle Services

When clients walk in the door of Nicole Weston’s office they are greeted by a chalkboard sign that reads “Welcome. What you focus on expands.” Weston knows all about focus. A lifestyle coach and counsellor, she’s intent on building her business, Professional Lifestyle Services, and empowering others to live their best life. Her drive to succeed led her to Starter

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YSBEC Success Stories: Love Lakeri

When business economics grad Rachael Senjule launched Love Lakeri, a clothing accessories business, she was pretty confident she could manage the financial side of the venture. It was the marketing side she wasn’t so sure about. “A successful business owner told me that, when you’re new, 75 percent of what you do should be marketing,” says Senjule. She took that

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YSBEC Success Stories: Falcon Lam Financial

Certified financial planners Marlene Falcon and Thuy Lam are in the habit of providing advice and information. But as small business partners, they’re just as open to receiving guidance as they are at offering it. In 2006 their curiosity led them to the York Small Business Enterprise Centre (YSBEC). Back then, both were self-employed consultants working for a large financial

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YSBEC Success Stories: OHSpros

In high school, Paul Pires drove a forklift truck part-time. By age 19, he was training co-workers on a variety of lift trucks. And now, at 40, he’s launched OHSpros, a company that specializes in province-specific online forklift training and health and safety documentation software. “I saw where safety training was heading and that was one of the main reasons

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