One of London’s newest entrepreneurs shares his journey and reason for giving back
LONDON, ON. May 15, 2013. Like most entrepreneurs, Andrew Stephenson saw an opportunity in London’s market so he set out to do what he loves and provide a service that best captures and showcases his clients – through videos. It took months of planning with help and guidance from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) as well as The Business Help Centre, a Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC), after finishing the Business Administration - Marketing program at Fanshawe College.
On December 20, 2012 Stephenson received funding from the CYBF and Business Development Corporation (BDC) allowing him to launch AV Marketing Inc on January 1, 2013. “I’d been doing audio production for years and wanted to do work in a creative environment,” said Stephenson, 25. “So I looked online, spoke with my teachers and contacted local organizations for help to put a business plan together.”
The CFDC and the CYBF offers entrepreneurs like Stephenson, a variety of products and services to promote small business growth and community economic development. Brian Chalmers, Business & Loans Advisor at CFDC, guided Stephenson along the process of creating the business plan for AV Marketing Inc. “We tell clients to believe in themselves and their opportunity and to have the tenacity to keep knocking on doors until you get the right financial support, and, in Andrews’s case, the right client support,” said Chalmers. “It was very clear when Andrew first came into the CFDC offices that he intended to make his business succeed. Working with us and in conjunction with CYBF, Andrew continuously dug down to come up with whatever was required.”
Since launching his company, Stephenson has landed various projects, most notably, the 2012 Miss Canada “Break the Silence” video campaign speaking out about abuse. Currently, AV Marketing Inc is working with Competition Toyota on creating various videos surrounding product launches as well as a corporate style video.
While AV Marketing Inc is just a couple of months new, Stephenson is keen on giving back to the community. Starting at the beginning of June AV Marketing is looking to hit 500 ‘likes’ over 4 weeks on their Facebook page (facebook.com/avmarketinginc) – at which point they will donate $500 to the Canadian Diabetes Association. The organization choice was a no brainer for Stephenson as diabetes has affected his family.
London, ON, September 28, 2012. On Friday September 21, 2012 approximately 500 people came out to support the 6th Annual Little Black Dress Event that was held at The Music Hall located on 185 Queens Ave. All proceeds raised go to support Wellspring London and Region – a local organization that offers free programming to those affected by cancer as well as their family members and caretakers.
Being just as brave as her fight with cancer, Bekka De Mers took to the stage to tell her story sharing how “everything quickly became a blur” upon discovery and confirmation that she had cancer. “Every day I’m grateful there is another day’” said De Mers. “This journey has taught me so much. You can’t do everything on your own. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to receive help. I truly believe I’ve been so blessed.” Bekka stood proud and strong as the sea of people listened to her personal journey – a journey that lead her to a new destination in her life – a life as a cancer survivor.
Emceed by Fresh FM’s Natalie Lovie (Fresh Mornings) and Toni Ross (Fresh Mid Day Host), the evening went on to consist of various entertainment with vocal performances by McKenna Langdon and Kincardine’s Brontae Hunter to dance performances by Georgia Langdon and Aspen Gallant. One of the main entertainment features of the evening was the Avant Garde fashion show – a show unlike any before in the Little Black Dress Event history – that was coordinated by the staff at Nova Vita and well received by the audience. Clothiers who sponsored the event by dressing the models, included Elizabeth Noel, Desigual, Saffron Road and Love, Poetry Corsets.
“We are very pleased to say that in our 6th year we have just surpassed the $90,000 mark of funds raised. A rather impressive amount, by our grassroots anomaly of an event,” said Melissa Whittle, owner of Twisted Pickle Small Business Emissaries and Managing Partner of the Little Black Dress Event. “To top that, we’ve been getting great feedback that this past Little Black Dress Event was our best yet. It was an uplifting sight to see the great community turn-out as well as the fun everyone was having. We know we couldn’t have done this without the volunteers and all of our sponsors.”
For more information about the Little Black Dress Event, please visit www.littleblackdressevent.ca or contact Fran Tran at email@example.com.
Photo Credit: Mike Anstee from Henry's at the 6th Annual Little Black Dress Event
A First for the 6th Annual Little Black Dress Event
London, ON, September 5, 2012. On Friday September 21, 2012, the 6th Annual Little Black Dress Event will be taking place to raise support and awareness for Wellspring London with all proceeds going to the local organization.
Wellspring is a Cancer Support Center that offers 20 programs and services free of charge to help people restore the dignity and control often lost when diagnosed with cancer. Programs and services are open to individuals, family members and caregivers of those coping with cancer; any type and any stage, in a warm non-institutional setting. Receiving no core government funding, Wellspring's various programs and services are made possible through the generosity of donors and community-based fundraising initiatives such as the Little Black Dress Event.
The September 21st event will be held again at The Music Hall located at 185 Queens Ave with another amazing hair and fashion show from Nova Vita, one of London’s most prominent salons. With an anticipated attendance of over 600 guests, this year’s Little Black Dress Event will be returning with another year of fun, fashion and music, and a new dedication to this year’s event that has never been done before. This year, we ‘Believe with Bekka’ – who is currently battling breast cancer. Braving a radical mastectomy and aggressive chemotherapy treatments, we celebrate the hope and belief that Bekka can confidently call herself a survivor.
To date, the Little Black Dress Event has raised over $75,000. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased in advance for $40 at Nova Vita located at 740 Richmond Street or online at ticketscene.ca/events/6416. If available, tickets will also be sold at the door for $50.
The Little Black Dress Event is one of the few events in London that exists by the donation of time, talent and effort of almost all parties involved. “Year after year, we’re amazed by the level of dedication from our volunteers as well as the community in supporting this event,” says Melissa Whittle – a managing partner of the event, “We’re looking forward to another great event this year.”
For more information about the Little Black Dress Event, please visit www.littleblackdressevent.ca or contact Fran Tran at firstname.lastname@example.org for a press kit and/or to arrange an interview with one or both of the Little Black Dress Event Managing Partners Melissa Whittle or Rhonda Bernardi, or a Wellspring London representative.
Owner of FMT PR & Media. Film. Music. TV. Talent.