AXIS in the News

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Check out AXIS, featured in the St. John's Economic Update for September 2014!

To read the full economic update, please click the link below!


Tips When Creating an Effective Business Plan

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The thought of creating a business plan can sometimes leave you feeling overwhelmed. However, in order to increase your likelihood of success, this task should not be ignored. Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing your business plan:


  • ~ Do your research! Always begin with market research. A well-developed idea will have supportable market data.

  • ~ Consider your audience! Keep in mind the purpose of your business plan, who will be reading it, and for what purpose (banker, investor, financer etc).

  • ~ When using acronyms (an abbreviation formed from the initial components in a phrase or a word), always spell out the actual words the first time it’s used. If your business plan requires a lot of acronyms, include a glossary at the end for reference.

  • ~ Always write in the third person – do not use “I” or “we.” Always use the name of the company.

  • ~ Focus on positive themes and benefits to your customers/clients.

  • ~ Avoid repetition! Don’t repeat content or duplicate sentences, even if the point you are making fits under several categories in your business plan.

  • ~ Use facts, numbers and sources to back your statements up.

  • ~ Use graphics, charts and/or tables to provide a visually attractive and clear business plan.

  • ~ Use clear, simple language. Avoid using technical terms that could cause confusion.

  • ~ Show how your business sets itself apart from its main competition.

  • ~ Review and edit each draft of your business plan multiple times before it is read by an evaluator, in order to eliminate any grammar or spelling errors.

The AXIS Entrepreneurial Coordinator is available to assist you with each step of your business plan. For further information, please contact



Client Interview - Danilo Gonzalez

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Originally from Chile, Danilo Gonzalez first came to AXIS Career Services approximately 1 year after his arrival in Newfoundland and Labrador. Danilo has been an active participant in our Business Development Supports Services (BDSS) program, and has gained invaluable business knowledge by attending business workshops, tapping into current networking opportunities, and receiving one-on-one consultations with AXIS. He began operating his non-profit, Garden Mind (now known as “Growing Global Wellness”) in 2013.



Growing Global Wellness is a non-profit which assists the community in creating new green spaces, and ultimately a sustainable system of food production based in urban areas. Growing Global Wellness has two main elements: urban agriculture and wellness. The directors, Danilo Gonzalez (Agronomist Engineer-Urban Agriculture Specialist) and Courtney Manuel (B.Sc. (Honors) and Medical Student) work together, combining their expertise to promote ways to grow healthy foods year-round indoors/outdoors, in small or large spaces. 

When asked about what Danilo considered to be his biggest business challenge, he reports that: “The biggest challenge has been to show everybody that it is possible to grow food everywhere and anytime. Our mission is 100% educational and our challenge is trying to change the way locals think. We are having good results, and it is a bit better every time. Young participants are very inspired in our sessions, as are many families who have agricultural backgrounds.”

For newcomers, Danilo offers the following advice: “Study the culture, and the local community. Take part in the business workshops and use the services like those offered at AXIS in order to gain a better understanding of the local business environment. Explore your strengths and match them with any unsatisfied needs in the community. Newfoundland and Labrador is growing, and as a result, so are the opportunities within the province.”

For further information on Growing Global Wellness, please visit



Examples of Free and Low-Cost Tools & Apps That May Be Helpful As You Explore/Grow Your Business

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As a business owner, you are often on a limited budget. Using free (or low cost) marketing tools will enable you to use some of your resources elsewhere. Every business, no matter what size, will want to market their products or services in order to attract new customers, and retain current customers.  The following are 5 examples of free (or low cost) tools that are available to assist you in growing your business.


1) Craigslist/Kijiji – These are tools which enables you to target specific locations of interest. In addition to selling products and services and ultimately creating awareness for your business, these can also be used to recruit talented individuals for your business whenever the need shall arise.


2) SocioPal–This tool offers assistance in setting up social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter, and will also help you with the creation of your website. If you’re looking to build your online presence, this is a great tool to consider.


3) Hootsuite – If you are using social media sites to promote your business, Hootsuite is a great site that will enable you to manage multiple accounts (For example:  Facebook and Twitter) through one interface. This site also enables you to schedule the times when your posts will be published, depending on when your followers are most active.


4) Square – This is a free tool which enables your business to accept credit card payments through your smart phone. Your business only pays for this service when a sale is made.


5) MailChimp – This is an email subscription tool that allows the user to have up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month absolutely free of charge. Using this tool, enables businesses to notify subscribers of new products/services, promotions, and business news.


When starting or growing your business, it is important to do your research, and consult with the AXIS Entrepreneurial Coordinator to see which tools are available to you. You may be pleasantly surprised at what’s out there for free!



Client Interview - Abiari Nelson Echendu

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Abiari Nelson Echedu was born in Nigeria and arrived in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2011 with a dream of starting her own clothing alteration and creation business. Shortly after her arrival, Abiari became aware of AXIS Career Services, and decided to seek assistance in order to make her dream a reality.


Since participating in the Business Development Support Services (BDSS) program at AXIS, Abiari has been able to gain a better understanding of the Canadian entrepreneurial landscape by attending various business workshops, receiving one-on-one consultations, and accessing the numerous networking opportunities, all made possible by AXIS.


While Abiari currently provides alteration services, she is looking to expand in the near future to include the sale of both traditional Nigerian clothing, as well as clothing that features a Nigerian/North American blend.



Abiari is feeling very positive about her future as an entrepreneur and now believes anything is possible. “If you have a goal, do not give up! Although it may be challenging, nothing worth having comes easy. Work hard and you will eventually see results.”


For more information on Abiari’s work, please contact