Jean Nicholas moved to Winnipeg four years ago after spending three years in Quebec. There, he started a hair salon business. After meeting his future wife, Therese, he decided to take a chance and move to Winnipeg to learn English.
After working a few minimum wage jobs, he was frustrated and felt he was spinning his wheels and not able to contribute to his growing family in a satisfying way. He decided to enrol at the Université de St. Boniface, where he earned his Bachelor Degree in Sociology with a minor in Business Administration. To further prepare him for his dream of owning a business in Canada, he connected with SEED Winnipeg and completed the Build a Business Program.
Armed with his business plan, some contacts and plenty of enthusiasm, he ran into a financing roadblock. He had no credit and no way to build it. For many new Canadians, the degree to which credit governs lives and opportunities in Canada is a shock. Jean Nicholas had no debt, but also did not have any assets to leverage.
He investigated several self-employment opportunities, including starting a cleaning company, but again ran into the problem of no assets and no equity to capitalize the business. Each day he would spend time searching the internet, asking friends and visiting newcomer organizations as he looked for a solution to his financing dilemma. Then one day he received a phone call from the Jubilee Fund, who was responding to one of the many email inquiries Jean had sent to organizations looking for a way to bridge his financing gap.
With his new understanding of how business is done in Winnipeg, Jean Nicholas was on his way. He investigated several cleaning franchise companies and decided that Jani-King had the best start-up plan. Jean was able to open his Jani-King franchise in 2011 through a Jubilee Fund loan guarantee.