Former scholarship recipient gives back

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Business Administration – Operations Management (2009) grad Ashley Brown is the owner and artistic director of She Implements. © 2016 Jen Allison Photography

A woman with an education is unstoppable. That’s what award-winning entrepreneur Ashley Brown believes, and it’s why she makes it her mission to help empower women – or, more specifically, help them empower themselves to rise.

Since she graduated from Niagara College’s Business Administration – Operations Management (Co-op) program in 2009, Brown has risen up in her own right. As the owner and artistic director of She Implements, she helps entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level by providing unique, cutting edge virtual business support.

Her work has earned her a 2017 Top 40 Under 40 Business Achievement Award from The Business Link Niagara. She was also a finalist at this year’s Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Awards in the Emerging Business category.

Getting to where she is today however, hasn’t been easy for Brown. She enrolled in Niagara College’s Business Administration – Operations Management (Co-op) program as a mature student at the age of 24 with a three-month-old baby girl at home. “I knew I wanted to have a better life and be able to tell my daughter that no life situations can stop you from reaching your goals,” she said.

While she was thankful for the support of her husband who could cover basic household costs and for the ability to afford childcare, investing in her future came with financial constraints. With a baby at home, she wasn’t able to take on a job in addition to her studies. As a mature student, her parents weren’t footing the bill for her education. For Brown, receiving a scholarship “was a blessing.”

“I can honestly say that I would not have been able to start college without the financial assistance I received,” she said. “It helped curb the costs of tuition and allowed me to purchase my books to get started. It bridged the gap between OSAP and the balance I needed to make it in the doors.”

Brown now uses the skills she acquired in her classes at Niagara College to run her business. Combining her education with “hustle, ambition and action” has helped her design the life she desires – one that enables her to work from home while raising three children.

She finds it extremely rewarding to work with other entrepreneurs as she assists them with planning and implementing their growth strategies. “I get the pleasure of taking action and helping others rise daily,” she said. “I enjoy that I am able to give back and live my life to its higher purpose of helping women empower themselves to create a bigger impact on the world.”

One of the founding principles that Brown has built into her company is one that is personally meaningful to her: education support. She does this through the She Implements scholarship fund – making a yearly commitment to help mature women attend post-secondary education.

“I believe financial assistance is so important,” she said. “It removes a restraint for people who are trying to better their lives.”

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