February 2022 Newsletter




Upcoming events and opportunities
Entrepreneur Spotlight – PhoneTech Voice & Data Ltd.

In case you missed it – Recap and video link to our January Entrepreneur Ecosystem Coffee Break: The Importance of Mentorship

How to connect with us!


UPCOMING EVENTS & OPPORTUNITIESpage1image24331200page1image26319568

Navigate presents: February Entrepreneur Ecosystem Coffee Break – Perfecting the Pitch

As Albert Einstein once put it, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

Perfecting your business pitch is one of the most important skills every entrepreneur must master. Why? Because a compelling clear pitch is what tells the story of your business. It is your “why” and is ultimately what will convince someone to believe in your product or service as much as you do.

Join us on February 22 to discuss the critical elements of an effective pitch and how to develop a dialogue that will help you connect with the head, heart and gut of your future clients and investors.

February 22, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Please register in advance here!
This is a free online event.
In partnership with Spicer Facilitation and Learning

Upcoming funding opportunity with Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship (MCE) – Mel Woodward Cup – Apply now!

The Mel Woodward Cup is an exciting startup competition organized by the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship (MCE) and generously supported by members of the business community. The primary objective of this competition is to help accelerate the most innovative and high-potential student-led startups at Memorial University.

Annually, two students or teams respectively win $25,000 and $15,000 of leverageable funding and additional in-kind prizes from partners. All applicants will also receive feedback from judges on their startup idea and be able to share their applications with partners for further opportunities. For the 2022 Mel Woodward Cup, MCE will also award an “Entrepreneurship Award for Women or Non-binary Leadership” ($2,500) and an “Entrepreneurship Award for an Early-stage Idea” ($2,500).

This competition has been built on the memory of Dr. Mel Woodward, an entrepreneur who started his journey on a dream and a truck. Read more about Dr. Woodward HERE.

Applications close – March 1 @ 6 p.m.

Top eight interviews (in-person) – March 8 Top five finalists announced – March 11 2022 MWC Finals (in-person) – March 23

For details and eligibility requirements visit the website.

Apply Now!page3image24337344


Atlantic Women’s Business Series

Rural Women Entrepreneurs Leading the Way in Tourism

Atlantic Canadian Women in Growth Partnership (ACWGP) is thrilled to announce the next event of their Atlantic Women’s Business Series.

This webinar series features interviews with distinguished women entrepreneurs from Atlantic Canada who will share their personal journey: how they got started in business, what obstacles they encountered, what they learned along the way, from whom they got the support and advice they would give to new businesses and those ready to expand.

When: February 9th, 1 – 2 pm

Get tickets here for free.page5image24339264page5image26318944page5image24337920


Let’s talk Business Succession & Acquisition

Thinking about selling your business? What is your exit strategy?
Join Laura Churchill, CPA & Chartered Business Valuator with Grant Thornton as she discusses the types of exit strategies for entrepreneurs and how you can prepare your business for acquisition.

The session will discuss topics including:

  • Succession Planning
  • Types of Exit Strategies
  • Capital Gains
  • How to value your business

When: February 10th, 10 -11 am

Get tickets here for free.


CBDC Recruitment Event

CBDC Humber is excited to be partnering with Hire For Talent to Host a Leading Inclusion Workshop. This event is open to any entrepreneur in the CBDC Humber service area which covers Corner Brook, Bay of Islands, Humber Valley, White Bay, and Gros Morne.

When: March 9th, 1:30 pm


Steve Churchill, Owner, PhoneTech Voice and Data Ltd.page7image26318320

Steve Churchill, Owner, PhoneTech Voice and Data Ltd., sits on the Navigate Advisory Board. Navigate asked Steve to tell us how he got started, his vision for Navigate, and his advice for those delving into the world of entrepreneurship.

Tell us about your business profile/how your business got started?

I started PhoneTech in 2004 when I moved home from Kingston, Ontario. While in Kingston, I worked for an independent telephone repair company for six years, where I learned my skills. When I moved home, I tried getting a job with local companies, but nobody was hiring so I decided to start my own business with support from government programs and local contacts. My first contract was wiring chalets at the Humber Valley Resort which allowed me to purchase a service van and tools. My office was based out of my basement on Country Road. From there, I slowly built the business up to acquire new contracts from both local business and national companies. I was able to hire my first employee in my second year and by my fifth year, I had three employees and my own office away from my home. Today, I own five different businesses all related to telecommunications and have over 30 employees across the island.

We are a dealer for Xplornet Communications, Bell Canada, Shaw Direct, CareHawk, NEC, Lenovo, DSC, and Kantech security. We offer services in Business Phone Systems, security systems, nurse call, paging, structured cabling, computer services, cell phone repair, satellite systems, high-speed internet, cell phone boosters, and point-to-point wireless systems. In 2022, we will open our first retail location in Corner Brook at the Valley Mall and from there I plan to expand into Gander and Marystown. I am 45 years old and hope to be able to pass this business down to my kids.

What are some successes/achievements you’d like to share?

We are one of the largest independent telecommunications companies in NL. Over the past 17 years, we have completed some larger structured cabling projects in NL and currently, we maintain service contracts with Western Health, Labrador Grenfell Health, Xplornet Communications, Shaw Direct, Bell Mobility, RCMP, Bell Canada, Government of Newfoundland, Federal Government and many more. We have over 600 residential and commercial alarm accounts. We also have a full- service cell phone and screen repair shop. Our technician base covers the entire island and offers more remote service to residential customers than any other local telecom company on the island. Our technicians are all fully trained in their skills and carry the latest tools required to do the job. Our company is COR certified, and we maintain an up-to-date safety policy that is updated and maintained frequently along with all the required training and equipment needed.

What is your role with Navigate?

This is my first year with Navigate as a board member. I was asked by Adam Anderson, Navigate Co-chair, earlier this year to get involved and I took on the role.

What is your vision for growing entrepreneurship in Western NL?

My vision has been to grow a business to be sustainable that will continue to grow into the future. I have many colleagues who are entrepreneurs, and I look to them from time to time for advice or to lend an ear. I do the same for them. The reasoning to join Navigate is to meet new people with the same drive and hopefully learn from them and in the same manner, pass my experiences on (good and bad). NL has a lot of potential, however, we are a very sparse population, so it’s important to understand your customer base and meet their needs while still making a profit.

What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs?

Develop a business plan based on the geographic area you plan to set up the business in and make sure it is a plan that truly makes you feel happy and fulfilled. It is crucial to speak with people and local businesses about your idea to obtain feedback to determine the need for your product or service. Research local government programs as they can be critical to getting you started and follow up on these programs regularly and develop a budget that is smart and makes sense. It will take a few years to make real profits, so expect this and work it into your plan. If you set real expectations, then success is much more likely.


IN CASE YOU MISSED ITpage10image24344064page10image26320400

Navigate Entrepreneur Ecosystem Coffee Break – The Importance of Mentorship

January was National Mentorship Month and so January’s Entrepreneur Ecosystem Coffee Break was about the importance of mentorship. Several support organizations from our ecosystem joined us to share information about their mentorship programs, and we heard stories from mentors and mentees alike about their valued mentorship experiences.

A recording of the coffee break is available here. We’d like to send out a huge thank you again to everyone who shared their expertise and mentorship experience stories.

During January’s discussion, we talked about the purpose of mentorship, the types of mentors and mentorship available, the different stages of mentorship as well as what support a mentor can provide to an entrepreneur or startup. We also talked about the key ways a mentor can support you including:

  • Sharing their entrepreneur journey and hard-earned experiences (the do’s and don’ts of starting a new business or growing an existing one)
  • Advice on strategic planning, operations, HR and more
  • Help solving problems and identifying solutions
  • Motivation when things get tough
  • Guidance in establishing goals and targets
  • Connection to a broad network of contacts and resources to help open doors

We also heard some great advice from our guest mentors and participants alike. What were the key takeaways for a successful and meaningful mentor-mentee experience?

  •  Trust and honesty are paramount. Mentorship is an investment in another person and requires putting your faith in each other as well as a commitment to honesty – don’t paint a pretty picture.
  • Be frank about your business’ positive and negative sides, as well as your fears. Be up front about your strengths and weaknesses and be willing to learn and grow.
  • Be proactive to get the most out of your limited time together. Make a list of your expectations and goals and follow through.
  • Seek out the expertise you need. You are not restrained to using the services of only one mentor. There are a lot of people out there who want you to succeed.
  • Keep an open mind and accept your mentor’s honesty, no matter how hard it might be to hear. Better to hear it from a trusted peer, than an angry client or investor.
  • Lean on the support and skills of the people who have forged a path before you. They will help you weather the storm when times are tough.
  • Glean as many best practices as you can from the mistakes and hard- earned wisdom of others so that you don’t have to learn the hard way.
  • Know when to trust your gut as well. Not all advice given will be right for you.
  • Even a few hours with the right mentor can make all the difference for your business.
  • If you want to become a master in your field, you need to learn from the best. Get a mentor.
  • Mentors learn a lot about themselves from mentoring as well. It’s a two-way street.
  • Getting or becoming a mentor will be one of the best things you ever do for you and your business.

A huge thank you again to our guest speakers who included Geoff Wareham, of Harbour Financial Group, who spoke about his experiences as a mentee with the Business Wings Program; Carolyn Wakeham from NLOWE who spoke about NLOWE’s Mastermind, Mentorship for the Win and one-on-one mentorship programs; Hillary King with Atlantic Study & Stay who shared information about their mentorship program and how it is helping international students to stay, work and start businesses in the province; and Scott Andrews of Furturpreneur Canada who spoke about how mentorship is an integral mandatory component of the support that they provide as it has been proven to help generate successful businesses. More information can be found about these and other programs in the links below.


Guest Speakers

Geoff Wareham, Owner/Advisor, Harbour Financial Group, Corner Brook

Geoff is a 5th generation independent business owner who is a big supporter
of local business and initiatives supporting local growth. He has been involved in countless local committees and fundraising and is one of Navigate’s newest advisory board members. Geoff can be reached at To learn more about his business visit

Carolyn Wakeham, Director of Programming and Evaluation, NLOWE, St. John’s
Whether you are just starting out with a business idea, or you have new plans to expand your already established business, NLOWE offers all entrepreneurial- minded women in Newfoundland and Labrador access to quality information, valuable connections, and exciting opportunities for development and growth. Tolearn more about NLOWE’s programs and service contact Carolyn at or visit

Hillary King, Retention Coordinator, IENL, Atlantic Study & Stay Program, St. John’s
IENL manages the Atlantic Study & Stay program focusing on retaining international students following graduation by supporting them to find employment and start businesses. To learn more, Hillary can be reached at

Scott Andrews, Business Development Manager (NL), Futurpreneur, St. John’s
Futurpreneur Canada supports young entrepreneurs (between 18-39 years old) with financing, mentorship and free business resources. In partnership with the BDC, they can provide financing up to $60,000 towards the startup (or purchase) of a business for eligible applicants. For more information, contact Scott at 709- 769-1205 or or visit

This month’s coffee break also provided local entrepreneurs and support organizations an opportunity to connect and to highlight their businesses and programs including:



Alison Butler, Chief Wellness Officer, Alison Butler Consulting, Paradise

Alison is a Mental Health First Aid Trainer. Stress Management and Burnout Prevention. Conference Speaker. Wellness and self-care champion! For more information, contact Alison at

Andrea Sharpe, Karlande Designs, Clarenville

Andrea creates jewellery with natural gemstones/crystals and incorporating essential oils. Support and connection are core values in her life and business. Connect with Andrea @karlandedesigns on IG and FB,
website or email

Carmelita Morgan, Carma Yoga, Deer Lake

Offering yoga classes and retreats in the Deer Lake / Pasadena area. Also available to present at retreats, conferences, or workshops. For details, contact Carmelita at or visit or

Dafna Ziv, AR Management and Business Consulting Services, St. John’s

Dafna is a registered CCP specializing in cash flow and accounts receivables. You can reach her via email at

Diana Boyd, Mudder’s Soap

Diana makes 100% Natural Artisan Soap Handcrafted in Newfoundland.
Visit or email for more information.

Janis Evans, The Roost in York Harbour

Janis is one of three managing partners of this unique craft shop located in York Harbour. Open during the winter months by chance or appointment. You can reach Janis at or visit

Julie Lewis, SassyTuna Studio, St. John’s

SassyTuna Studio – a Makerspace (art + tech + coding) long before there was a definition for it – 20 years running. You can reach Julie at

Lauralee Ledrew, Upper Humber Settlement, Cormack

Lauralee operates a farm stay B&B, and honesty market. Follow on Facebook at

Sharon Evans, SEVA Meditation, Pasadena

Seva Meditation offers instruction of Primordial Sound Meditation. Choose from a 4-session course and/or weekly group guided meditation sessions. To learn more visit: or

Sheldon R. S. Crocker, St. John’s

Sheldon is an inspirational speaker and author. Be sure to visit him
at for more details on him and his book!

Valerie Spencer-Barron, Crooked Branch Enterprises, Bonavista Peninsula

Valerie and her husband have an apple orchard and bee yard. They are considering starting a farm stay Bed and Breakfast.


Support Organizations

Andrew Hibbitts and Kelli Radford, Horizon TNL (formerly RDÉE TNL), Mainland/Stephenville
Horizon TNL provides support to francophone and bilingual entrepreneurs. Contact Andrew at, Kelli at or visit for details.

Brent Decker, Department of Industry, Energy and Technology, Corner Brook

Brent is an Economic Development Officer with the Government of NL. He can be reached at

Leah Callfas, YMCA of Western