The 2018 Annual General Meeting marked 25 years serving small businesses in Oxford County! The Community Futures Oxford staff, board of directors, partners and clients celebrated small business success by announcing the 2018 winners for entrepreneurs of the year. CFO announced three award recipients yesterday.
Access to Capital Program Entrepreneur of the Year: Sandra Shank, owner of Details Garden Spa
In September 1998, Sandra Shank opened Details Garden Spa where she provides total body care and employs three beauty technicians. Sandra has been doing aesthetics and hairstyling for 20 years and has enjoyed every minute. She is always looking to bring in new and unique products and services to her business because it is as exciting for her to learn and do new treatments as it is for her clients to experience them.
In keeping up with trends and providing new experiences for her clients, Sandra approached Community Futures Oxford in 2015 to finance a Laser Hair Removal machine which she wanted to introduce the service to her clients. Community Futures Oxford is proud to congratulate Sandra Shank of Details Garden Spa for a job well done. Sandra has shown excellence in small business with success spanning nearly 20 years in Oxford County.
Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Ethan Williams and Evan McHugh, co-owners of Gym Fleet
In 2016, Ethan Williams noticed that independent gym owners were at a disadvantage because corporate gyms had facilities across the country and could up-sell their members for extended access to any of their facilities. What he also noticed was that consumer habits were changing; people wanted to be able to do cross-fit one day, yoga on another and then weight train the next. Gym Fleet, he believed, was the solution. Consumers could have membership access to a wide variety of independent gyms with different equipment, classes and specialized trainers. Independent gym owners could be more competitive by partnering with Gym Fleet to mimic the flexible access corporate gyms could offer. Not long after crafting the idea, Ethan partnered with Evan McHugh to bring it to life.
These entrepreneurs were driven by solving a problem in the market. For two years since then while also working full-time jobs to fund their start up, they worked to build an online platform which was released online and as a mobile app known as Gym Fleet in February of 2018.
Gym Fleet has built a network of 26 partners gyms and counting across Ontario- all the way from Windsor and right up to Ottawa and now into Manitoba. They currently employ 5 people.
Community Futures Oxford also spent the day celebrating its contribution to Oxford County’s economy over the past 25 years. Some of the highlights included:
- $16.4M in loans and equity disbursed to 283 businesses
- 2,729 jobs influenced (created or maintained)
- Investment leverage factor of 2.32:1
Community Futures Oxford is proud to support the economic vibrancy of the community. For more information about how CFO can support your business or project, see the services section of its website.