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How One Calgary Entrepreneur is Staying On Track

Necole HinesNecole Hines has never been afraid of hard work.

When the Calgary entrepreneur isn’t serving up spicy Jamaican jerk chicken wings and other Caribbean-inspired food in her catering business, Wings n Tings, she’s raising three sons and working a part-time job.

We first met Necole in 2013 after she completed the Women’s Venture Program, a self-employment program funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Soon after, she launched Wings n Tings.

Since then, she’s been super busy securing a spot at a local farmer’s market and creating a new ‘Chef for Hire’ service for dinner parties. She also won a community award for ‘start-up business of the year’ in 2014. “That was a major milestone, to be recognized by a panel of people,” she said.

But sometimes, hard work isn’t enough.

Six months ago, Necole found herself struggling to pay the bills and started looking for part-time work to supplement her business income.

“That was a stressful financial moment. I really wasn’t making enough to cover my business expenses as well as my household expenses. But I woke up at the very last minute and I’m getting myself out of that slowly but surely.”

Things started to turn around when Necole took a followup program called the Venture Accelerator program, which helps women entrepreneurs take their existing small business to the next level. “Some of us are so new, like myself, and then you have some people who have been in business for more than a decade. But we all have these strengths that we can pull from each other.”

She updated her business plan and is now in the process of launching several new initiatives, including partnering with local businesses on tasting events, hosting a patty-making workshop for this year, and developing a delivery service.

Necole still has an unwavering passion for Wings n Tings, and will continue to do whatever it takes to grow her business and keep her end goal in mind: a brick-and-mortar location for Wings n Tings.

“I’m changing the way I view my business,” says Necole. “It’s all about mindset.”

The Women’s Venture program and the Venture Accelerator program are delivered by Momentum Community Economic Development Society and funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

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