Entrepreneurship is embedded in the student experience at Saint Mary’s University (SMU). Students like Nevell Provo and Guillermo Villarreal are among the innovative thinkers launching their own businesses while also working towards their undergraduate degree at SMU. It was announced last week that both Nevell and Guillermo would receive $1,000 to put towards their businesses; funding offered through new a micro fund offered by the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre (SMUEC). Nevell and Guillermo have been receiving ongoing business support from consultants at the SMUEC since September.

“Managing cashflow is essential, especially in the early stages of a business. We are excited to see this funding go to two hardworking student entrepreneurs and help their businesses flourish. We’ve already seen huge growth in both companies just since September,” said Michael Sanderson, Director of the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre.

Nevell Provo is a Saint Mary’s varsity athlete, Commerce undergrad student, and Founder of Smooth Meal Prep. This meal subscription service is committed to bringing healthy meals to Canadians. The company was launched in January 2019, with the help of his Mother and brother; the team has since hired 9 employees, served over 10,000 meals, and generated over $150,000 in revenue.

Nevell plans to use the $1,000 in funding to put towards marketing materials and branded mini fridges that will be placed in local gyms. In October, Nevell placed second in the Atlantic Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards, receiving $750 in funding, a one-month kiosk at the Halifax Shopping Centre, and additional prizes. Smooth Meal Prep set up their kiosk on Black Friday, and will remain at the Halifax Shopping Centre until December 27.

Guillermo Villarreal, Founder of Clean Catch Baits, began working on his business concept in the summer of 2019. In the fall, he launched the company with four students in his entrepreneurship course. The team of five developed a prototype for a 100% biodegradable, PVC-free, recreational soft bait fishing lures, as an alternative to single use plastic-based fishing lures. Their plan is to use the $1,000 in funding to purchase professional molds and raw materials.

The team recently competed in Innovacorp’s Blue-Green Challenge, a pitch competition that focuses on innovative solutions to problems in the ocean and agricultural sectors, where they received $5,000 to progress the idea further. Clean Catch Baits place second in the Spark Zone pitch competition last Friday, securing an additional $300 in funding.

If you’re a student entrepreneur at SMU, keep your eye out for the opportunity to apply for one of two additional $1,000 grants that will be available in January, 2020.

 

 

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