Mary Campbell is the director of the board at Community Futures (CF) Sagehill and loves to contribute to meetings by being full of questions and ideas. She brings her experience as an innovative businesswoman to the board.
She has a unique business where she and her team grow fresh shoots (microgreens) and leafy greens in an organic aquaponic facility. It was one of the first of its kind in Western Canada. She hopes that her ability to think outside of the box is a benefit to Sagehill.
She first found out about Sagehill and the support they provide to rural entrepreneurs when she herself was struggling to get a bank to provide funding for a piece of equipment she needed in the construction of her facility.
Because of the uniqueness of her business, the major banks would not commit to any offering her any funding. A contractor and small business owner who was working for her was a member of CF Sagehill himself and informed her about the support that was available to her through the CF office. She called them thinking that she would be turned down yet again and was surprised by the interest they had in her project. She brought in her business plan into the Sagehill office and the staff saw value in it and in her plan. As such, she was able to secure a loan to get her business going.
Not only did this funding help her small business move forward with construction but the loan from Sagehill provided legitimacy to the business plan and she was able to secure further lending from the credit loan.
Mary credits Sagehill with helping her rural business get up and running and hopes that by participating on the board that she able to give back to small businesses who need it.
The metaphor that comes to Mary’s mind when describing the work that CF Sagehill does is
“It takes a village”. Although this usually applies to raising children, she applies it to starting and running a business. Mary remarks, “We all need the help of partners in our community from customers, to suppliers, to business advisors and CF helps entrepreneurs to raise up their businesses and grow.”
Mary believes that the stronger the community is as a whole, the stronger her own business will be. By helping to build up the business in an area, Community Futures help to strengthen the whole community.