Greg Kerr is a part-time entrepreneur who is fully committed to providing premium drain cleaning and plumbing services to residential and commercial clients in Medicine Hat, Alberta.
“My full-time job is with the City of Medicine Hat in the environmental utilities department, however it’s a flexible environment that also allows me to run my own company - Top End Drain Cleaning and Plumbing - on evenings and weekends.”
When asked why he works two jobs Kerr explains that his work is complimentary to the services that the City provides. “It’s a nice sideline venture, that can be done year-round to help grow my skills and abilities. It’s also financially beneficial.”
Kerr received his plumbing and gas fitting ticket through Medicine Hat College, where he was also introduced to the world of entrepreneurship.
“When I was in the third year of my program, some of the instructors mentioned that for anyone interested in starting their own business, drain cleaning was a viable business opportunity, so it was always in the back of my mind. And then I started attending the noon hour Be Your Own Boss sessions, hosted by the Entrepreneur Development Centre, which really made me start looking at different avenues to get a business going.”
Once he finished the course, Kerr says that he was fully committed to starting the business and was taking the steps to buy registration, insurance and ensure everything was in place to start.
Although Kerr was already committed to starting his company he mentioned it was an added bonus to be accepted into the Summer Company Program. The program is funded by JMH & Co. and helps students start a business by offering coaching and mentorship, while also facilitating access to financial aid and support services.
Kerr explains that originally he applied to the Summer Company Program for the financial incentives, but soon after found that it was the business support that he found most valuable.
“I didn’t really have any mentors before I started,” he says. “Through the program I’ve had access to a variety of supports, in particular my mentor Ferron Kenmore, from Kenmore Holdings Inc., who has provided me some good advice and business expertise.”
Kerr also explains that the Entrepreneur Development Centre helped simplify the process. “I had kind of a ‘deer in the headlights’ look thinking ‘oh my goodness what am I doing’ but the EDC was very easy to work with. They are both knowledgeable and talented and make the planning process more manageable.”
Through the Summer Company program, Kerr was awarded a grant which covered half of his startup costs, and within the first four months he was able to breakeven.
When asked why he pursued a career in plumbing and gas fitting, Kerr explains that although it wasn’t in his original plans it is a direction he is happy he took. “I attended MHC years ago, and did a university transfer course. I have a bachelor of arts in sociology with a major in criminology. However it just wasn’t meant to be and my life took a new direction. Overall my whole experience with MHC has been phenomenal and I’m impressed with how the college has grown from the programs being offered, to the creation of the Entrepreneur Development Centre.”
For more information on the Entrepreneur Development Centre and the Summer Company program visit www.mhc.ab.ca or contact Jon Sookocheff at 403.504.3585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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