Mark Mahar and Sherri Spatuk are investing their time and energy into building an alternative housing business.
Their business, M4G Alternative Housing (M4G stands for My Four Girls) opened in January 2017 and is located at their home in Marshfield, PEI.
“We were away from our young children for long periods of time, sometimes 60 hours a week,” says Sherri. “We thought if we have to work long hours, we might as well be investing them into running our own business, which would benefit our family.”
Mark and Sherri construct the tiny homes themselves. “We do all the work except for the electrical wiring.”
“Both our parents, who live in Souris, have owned and operated their own businesses for decades, so we have knowledge about what it takes to run your own business,” says Mark. “As well, we both have experience in business and the trades.”
Mark and Sherri started this business because alternative housing was something they were both interested in. When completing the market research portion of their business plan, they confirmed that there is a demand for micro living.
“Our research indicated the housing market is going in the direction of micro living,” says Sherri. “When we developed our business plan, we found out through our research that many members of the younger working generation are not interested in living a lifestyle that has high mortgages and debt.”
The couple accessed the following business resource
They heard great things about the Montague Rural Action Centre (RAC) and the programs it offers. “Once we had a concrete business plan, we approached the RAC.
“They were fantastic, and provided us with the additional funding we needed,” says Mark.
“The RAC staff has been very involved and very supportive of our business,” says Sherri. “We can call them anytime with business-related questions, and they are quick to provide resource information and answers. This allows us to focus on developing and growing our business.”
Eastern Prince Edward Island is flourishing with existing and new business developments. Rural Action Centres are client focused, one-stop service centres housing multiple federal, provincial, and non-government organizations that are all focused on business and community development.
All services provided by Rural Action Centres collaborate through a cooperative service model to ensure complete and seamless access for support to development programs for entrepreneurs, business people, and community groups.
For more information, visit Montague Rural Action Centre at www.ruralactioncentres.ca.
Future business plan
“I would like to hire a carpenter,” says Mark. In the future, the duo plans on building more than just tiny homes.
Sheds, bunk houses, converted shipping containers, and even developing land for alternative housing communities are all options they are researching.
For more information about M4G Alternative Housing, contact Sherri Spatuk or Mark Mahar at 902-213-9697 or search M4G Alternative Housing on Facebook.
For a complete list of resources for start-ups and for existing businesses, click here.