2014 marked the 20th anniversary of the Business Development Department of Momentum. To celebrate, we collected 20 stories about past participants who have thriving businesses. Written by Marnie Schaetti of RaiDo Dynamics, these stories reflect the diversity, innovation and hard work of the inspiring participants who come through our doors every year to take one of our many programs.
This is one of those stories.
Entrepreneur Name: Dianne Richards
Programs: Women’s Venture Program, Micro Business Loans
Program Year: 2007
Business Description: Assisting adult learners since 1998.
Dianne Richards is so absolutely passionate about learning that she founded her business to share that passion with others.
After graduating with degrees in philosophy and English from the University of Calgary, Dianne spent several years doing manual labour. She became more and more disenchanted by employers who showed no interest in truly helping clients, and she rarely felt challenged by the work.
During this time, she sub-contracted as an academic aide, providing scribing and note-taking services for university students with disabilities. She also began a small tutoring business. While these allowed her an outlet for her love of learning, she didn’t know the first thing about advertising and had very few clients.
Desperately wanting to start a new life, she began to dream of developing the tutoring into a paying proposition. Momentum’s Women’s Venture program taught her how. It was a very important turning point for Dianne. It gave her the business knowledge, the skill in planning and advertising, and the confidence to pursue self-employment as a primary source of income.
Since 2008 her clientele has expanded threefold, and she is planning to expand again next year. Her clients come from all over the world, and she relishes the exposure to multiple cultures and belief systems. She tutors and edits on a wide range of topics at levels ranging from Grade 10 equivalency to PhD.
Dianne’s schedule is built around accommodating her clients, and her success is built on her flexibility and capacity to stay calm. That success is best demonstrated by her students: She has helped more than 40 doctors who immigrated here receive their Canadian accreditation, and some of her academic aide students have chosen to work with her for years.
Loving tutoring as she does, Dianne is far more than simply satisfied with her work: she is actually excited to get up every morning, knowing she will truly enjoy her day.
Learn more about Momentum’s Business Development programs.