2017-18 was another busy year for Community Futures Sunrise and on Monday night they held their Annual General Meeting at The Happy Nun Cafe in Forget.
"We had over 50 people in attendance," told Verna O'Neill, Community Futures Sunrise General Manager. "We had entrepreneurs, board members, community members from across the Southeast and it was a great evening."
CF Sunrise is led by a highly committed and passionate group of volunteers from the Southeast region of Saskatchewan.
Community Futures delivered a number of business workshops last year and assisted small businesses as they successfully started and grew their operations.
As well, office staff individually worked with over 250 entrepreneurs as they explored entrepreneurship, developed business plans, and/or looked for solutions to their business challenges.
"When I was in high school we did the YouthBiz competition and I won first place for the business plan competition in Grade 11," explained Justin Marcotte, Board Chairperson. "From there I just became more and more involved in the organization and it's been a fantastic journey."
And it wasn't just a coincidence that the CF Sunrise AGM was held at The Happy Nun Cafe in Forget.
"The owners Leon and Gayla Gilbertson are fantastic new entrepreneurs that took over an existing business in Forget," told O'Neill. "We were lucky enough to be able to help them just tweak their business plan so that they'd be ready for some financing. And they've done a great job with The Happy Nun. If anyone has a chance to go out to Foget, it's highly recommended. And they believe in life-long learning, so I hope we see them back in the office with some new questions for us in the next year."
The CF Sunrise AGM featured a steak supper complete with veggies, mashed potatoes, salad and a delicious dessert. After the AGM and meal, there was entertainment provided by Wool Tree Grove.
"When we first looked at purchasing The Happy Nun, Community Futures is where we looked at first for financing to start with," said Gayla Gilbertson, Owner and Chef at The Happy Nun Cafe. "I did have a bit of a background in business, but they gave me a different perspective and taught me a couple things I hadn't thought of. They cared more about the personal side of the business and just if my numbers would work. Since then I've gone to a couple of their seminars and Verna still reaches out to me. We still work together because it's a continual process. You're always learning new things that you didn't even think of. It's good to see that there are so many new entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan. You saw a lot of them around the room during the CF Sunrise AGM here tonight."
The Happy Nun Cafe regularly has musical acts perform at their venue and now they are looking to try some new ideas as well.
"We're really excited to offer a Medieval Feast in the fall," told Gilbertson. "It will be complete with a murder mystery, you'll have a role to play and people will be in costumes. Just something a little different in addition to our live entertainment that we have every month. And we're also looking at after harvest kicking it back to the old Town Hall, which this building used to be. And just having an old Town Hall dance and opening it up to the whole community for that as well."
For more info on Community Futures Sunrise, take a look at their website HERE.
And if you'd like to learn more about The Happy Nun Cafe, check out their Facebook page HERE.