Winning business has teeth
Tracey Prediger - May 10, 2024 - Biz Releases

Sage Dental Hygiene emerged victorious taking the top spot in this year’s Community Future’s Enterprize Challenge.

Jenna Smith’s mobile dental hygiene will cater to seniors who have dementia or reduced functions, bringing the teeth cleaning service to them.

She told the judges and audience members mouth or tooth pain is why the majority of seniors stop eating and that poor oral health is linked to so many other health issues.

Smith is grateful for the support of her family, friends and the business community for making her streamline her business goals.

“Before this I was just sort of just trucking along, this just brought a laser point focus to my business,” Smith said.

Precious and RJ Gatapan’s Errands and Beyond came in second, while Gaby Flores, who caters to allergy friendly baking with her business Baking Time, took third place.

The following seven finalists made their pitch to a panel of judges in front of a live audience at Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre Thursday night:

The event marked the ninth annual Enterprize Challenge, which bolsters the economic development of local entrepreneurs.

“They spend hours in workshops, working on marketing, operations, financials, building their business and getting it to the point where it’s something viable,” says Kari Erickson, marketing liaison with Community Futures.

All three winners receive varying denominations of free advertising on Castanet and Beach Radio, free legal advice and memberships to both the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and Armstrong Spallumcheen chamber. They also gain access to bookkeeping, promotional materials and a spot in the Village Green Mall.

Sage Dental Hygiene’s first place prize package is worth over $32,000 and includes a chance to further their education with a tuition credit at Okanagan College.

Erickson said as a not for profit, Community Futures is grateful for the support of neighbouring businesses who donate all the services and supports.

“As it grew, we realized that there was a need for sponsorship and our community stepped up in a really big way,” Erickson said.

Some previous winners of the Community Futures Enterprize Challenge include Farmbound, Kaleco Clothing and Fieldstone’s Market in Armstrong.

If your new business could benefit from the mentorship and prize package Community Futures offers, registration for Enterprize Challenge 2025 opens in January.

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