Ryley Iverson – Townfolio

Ryley Iverson is a Saskatchewan entrepreneur, business strategist, and the Co-Founder of Townfolio, a trusted and rapidly expanding community profile network that assists municipalities and businesses in accessing hard-to-find public data and connecting them to local opportunities across the country.

Alongside Townfolio co-founders Davie Lee and Craig Paul, Ryley provides innovative solutions for organizations that are often short on time, budget, and/or technical skills to effectively leverage information for the purposes of meaningfully promoting their respective communities for investment.

The Townfolio team is already being widely applauded and acknowledged for their efforts and impact. In the words of Alex Fallon, CEO of the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA), “Townfolio is an absolute game changer in terms of providing a comprehensive economic profile that’s always up to date, yet affordable for all communities and regions. Townfolio has allowed us to promote our region and I highly recommend their software and service!”

With an affinity for economic development, technology, renewable energy, and real estate, Townfolio was a perfect home for Ryley as multi-passionate biz whiz. However, things weren’t especially easy in the beginning when the already arduous start-up phase was made even more difficult by a serious health diagnosis that he had to contend with.

While working full-time and trying to launch Townfolio, Ryley was diagnosed with a stage-3 blood cancer and was on the brink of needing serious conventional treatment. Thankfully, his health has significantly improved and he’s more driven than ever!

The experience of overcoming such a monumental personal challenge transformed Ryley’s priorities and completely shifted his perspective on risk-taking, which motivated him to tackle the start-up full-time. At this critical phase, Community Futures was very happy to assist with the financial resources and support to move the dream forward. “I personally owe a massive thank-you to the ELEVATE program,” Ryley says.

Maureen Malcom – Warren Hardware

Meet Maureen Malcom, ELEVATE client from Marquette, Manitoba. She and her husband purchased Warren Hardware in 2001 and mentions that “it would have been great to have this support [of the ELEVATE program] when we first started.”

Warren Hardware provides fuel sales, convenience store, hardware, coffee shop, livestock feed, baby chicks, lumber sales and water.

Maureen comments that the ergonomics workspace assessment that the ELEVATE program provided for her has made the world of difference for her. She is also very pleased with the software training and is looking forward to taking more courses that focus on marketing and sales. She has found the Elevate process to be extremely informative and mentions that it has been an invaluable resource for her.

For entrepreneurs with disabilities who are interested in starting their own business, Maureen advises, “Seek out the program – they are out there to help you!”

Christian Dubois – Dash Concierge Service

Meet ELEVATE Entrepreneur, Christian Dubois, owner and operator of DASH Concierge Service in St. Paul, Alberta.

Christian started this business because he likes to drive and saw a need in the seniors’ and disability communities in St. Paul for this type of service. He became an entrepreneur because he can “control his hours and trips. Always wanted to work for myself.”

Christian has had to overcome some hurdles by hearing other people say that starting a business would be tough and that a lot of people fail. He has overcome though and is proving every day that he can do things that no one ever expected he could. His business is thriving and it that includes shuttling people to appointments (medical, errands, airport) in Edmonton, Cold Lake, Lloydminster. He also offers hot shot, house supervising during vacation and many more customizable services.

When asked what advice he would give to other people with disabilities who are interested in starting their own business, Christian says “if you have an idea and it’s stuck in your head….it is a good idea to pursue it.”