Nfld. & Labrador

This MUN student has built a tutoring business of more than 40 people

To say Matthew Lawrence is a busy man would be an understatement.

TutorNL given nod by Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Community Business Development Corporations

Matthew Lawrence is the founder of TutorNL, which has grown to include 40 tutors and two managers. (Submitted by Matthew Lawrence)

To say Matthew Lawrence is a busy man would be an understatement.

The Memorial University mechanical engineering student has built his Conception Bay South tutoring business to include 40 tutors and two managers. All the while, Lawrence, 21, has been working full-time at Husky Energy.

"It's like my little baby, something I grew," said Lawrence, who was recognized at an award ceremony Thursday night by the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Community Business Development Corporations as having the Youth Venture of the Year. 

"I was always interested in entrepreneurship and I saw an opportunity here to start offering more educational services to the students of Newfoundland and Labrador."

One of the keys to success was "hiring the right team members with the right skill sets," he said.

"If you take care of your team members, they're going to take care of your business."

Got a business idea?

The private tutors are mainly university students, Lawrence said, which allows them to more easily connect with the kindergarten to Grade 12 clientele.

Lawrence approached the development corporation in C.B.S. and asked for advice before launching his business. 

Roseanne Leonard, the association's managing director, said they typically help people ages 12-29 develop their business ideas — but they won't turn anyone away. 

"Entrepreneurship is so integral to supporting and growing this province that if anybody has an idea, the CBDCs and the rest of the delivery sites are certainly going to help run with it," Leonard said.

More than 200 youths have gone through the program this year. 

Lawrence's business plan has grown in leaps and bounds, and he credits that to the program, which kept pushing him to update his business plan. 

The results paid off with the award, voted on by a group of external business owners.

"It's a super-big accomplishment for us and sets us in the right direction to keep moving forward," Lawrence said, adding the company plans on starting online services in September.

In the future, Lawrence hopes to combine his two loves — engineering and business.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from The St. John's Morning Show

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