A small, less-than-five-person business is levelling up after securing two grants through the Pocketed platform! Over $112,00 was secured in only 120 days using Pocketed.
For Ada Juristovski, Co-Founder of Nala Care in Vancouver, B.C., finding information on grant websites was convoluted with overly specific and narrow criteria.
Her business had never aggressively pursued grant funding because of the confusing and daunting process. The time involved simply wasn’t worth it! This outlook quickly changed after attending an ‘Ask Me Anything’ webinar hosted by Pocketed’s CEO, Brianna Blaney.
“One of the first light bulb moments I had was just understanding more about the grant process, and that was something that Pocketed really helped me do,” Juristovski said.
Nala Care is a natural body care line with the goal of finding safe alternatives to common body care products. Their first solution was a natural deodorant, and during COVID-19, a hand sanitizer (fitting for the times).
The company was founded by Juristovski and her mother, Mila Juristovski, who is a biotech engineer. Driven by a big love and a big loss, the mother-daughter duo realized it was time to challenge the status quo — and so Nala Care was born!
Nala Care operates with a team of fewer than five people, so Juristovski said they need all the help they can get. This is where Pocketed fits in.
For the summer term of 2021, Juristovski secured two grants: the TECHNATION Career Ready Program and the Career Launcher Digital Tech Internship.
The TECHNATION Career Ready Program covers 75% of a student’s salary up to $7,500, a massive boost for those looking to scale their team on tight resources. Because of this grant, Nala Care was able to onboard a student for several months with the majority of their expenses covered. And it was a super simple process to apply!
The Career Launcher Digital Tech Internship was a little more involved, application-wise, but it covers 100% of a new hire’s salary (up to a maximum of $28,000 in hiring and training expenses.) This grant has allowed Nala Care to bring on a student, full-time for six months which Ada plans to transition into an ongoing position.
Juristovski said it was a bonus that the Digital Tech Internship includes $4,000 for training because it acts as a gratifying incentive for a student hire.
“I find most young people, myself included, just want to keep learning and staying up-to-date with our skills and what’s going on,” she said.
Juristovski is currently six months pregnant and being able to share some responsibilities with new hires through grant funding is a big relief for her.
Her biggest tip to entrepreneurs, like herself, is to take advantage of free money because there’s so much funding that gets left unused on the table every year. She encourages others to make connections with their local business communities because more often than not, they’ll want to help you succeed.
“I think I would be pretty oblivious to the world of grants if it wasn’t for other business owners in this community who pushed me and said, ‘hey, we found this amazing person through this grant or using this platform (Pocketed),” said Juristovski.
“At least here in Vancouver, we have an amazing community of entrepreneurs, small business owners and growing businesses that want to help each other out.”