If you've visited the NWCC Bookstore Cafe in Terrace, you have likely seen Hana Niemi
smiling behind the coffee counter or helping you get the right textbooks for your course.
What you probably did not know is that Hana is also a business student at NWCC.
Employed at Northwest Community College for the past three years, she’s been pursuing
her Business Administration Certificate.
Taking one course per semester while working full-time, Hana also began running her own
business one year ago.
“I enrolled in the Business Administration program and began by taking courses in
entrepreneurship, marketing, communications and business math,” says Hana. “My instructors
have all been amazing and the course content is very useful for starting a business.”
With a passion for animals, Hana knew that she wanted to work with dogs but she wasn’t
“An opportunity to travel to the Okanagan to complete an intensive three-week program as
a dog trainer came up,” says Hana. “I just followed my intuition and registered.”
When she returned home, she began to market herself as K9 O’Hana Dog Obedience.
She had her first client within a week.
“I’ve mostly used social media to promote myself,” she says. “There’s a great market
here for dog training and the response from the community has just been amazing.”
Her entrepreneurship instructor, Seth Downs, credits Hana’s drive and enthusiasm about
ideas for her success.
“Hana has taken her passion for animals and found a way for it to be business successful,” says Downs.
Her dedication and openness to try new things have allowed her to fill a market niche. I think she’s on
her way to being a very successful entrepreneur.”
Recently, Hana also decided to submit a business plan to a Thrive North challenge hosted by
Futurpreneur Canada. As an initiative to enhance entrepreneurship opportunities and empower youth,
it connects young entrepreneurs to business resources, financing and mentoring with the goal of
inspiring and supporting them as they launch and grow businesses.
After submitting business plans and presenting their ideas to a panel of judges contestants have
the opportunity to win up to $10,000.
Hana’s business pitch included plans to expand as a dog daycare, grooming, and training facility.
“I was very prepared but extremely nervous,” laughs Hana. “The experience was memorable and
I learned a lot.”
Although Hana didn’t make it to the competition finals, she feels accomplished for trying something
new and plans to continue to pursue her ideas while also completing her courses at NWCC.
And to also keep serving a great latte with a smile at the Bookstore Café.
For more information about our Business Administration program please click here.
To see more about Hana's dog obedience training you can visit her Facebook Page here.
Visit the Thrive North website here.