FastStartDC virtual services support launch of student wellness entrepreneur

FastStartDC is home to student entrepreneurship at Durham College (DC). Since early 2020, the team has been working one-on-one virtually with students to support them in launching their own small business. Using the free, online FS360 Course, students are able to embrace the tools and landscape of e-commerce and prepare to be virtual champions in response to COVID-19’s devastating impact on small businesses around the world. 

“Helping my peers develop a brand and business has been incredibly rewarding as a graphic design student,” says Alex Colella, who is studying in DC’s School of Media, Art and Design (MAD) and work-studies as FastStartDC’s graphic design specialist. “Like myself, they’re facing a post-graduation world that has truly changed. Through our FastStartDC experience, we’re helping each other prepare for that.” 

FastStartDC’s team of dedicated employees and work-study students celebrate the success of the program’s aspiring entrepreneurs. This year, with so many hardworking students to celebrate, they chose to share one story in particular, of a student who exemplifies true resilience, passion and ambition. Erin Malcolm, a second-year Business – Entrepreneurship and Small Business student, is working with FastStartDC to launch Methodically Yours, a multi-level wellness coaching business born from her personal history of suffering in the grips of trauma and addiction. She credits the help of reiki, formal therapy, yoga and irreplaceable mentorships and friendships for her inspiration to create the Whole-Hearted coaching program.   

FastStartDC has supported Erin during the last year with bi-weekly, virtual business mentorship meetings and weekly remote creative service support, including graphic design, videography and photography.

“My mission is to forge a path for those who suffer, helping them reconnect with themselves and those who love them,” says Erin. “My vision would be nowhere near reality if not for the guidance, support and encouragement from the FastStart program team. The resources, mentorship and time dedicated to this project has been crucial to my success.”

Lindsey Irwin-Jeremiah, manager, Entrepreneurship Services, knows the FastStartDC community thrives on challenge. The results of the pandemic have proven the need to act quickly to keep students motivated and encourage them to work remotely with the same passion and drive they would feel on campus.

“With awareness and sensitivity around student mental health, we have fostered a world of coaching and mentorship where we prize resilience and confidence and actively promote the development of durable skills as part of the 2021 toolkit for student entrepreneurs,” said Lindsey.

With today’s employment landscape, there’s never been a better time to embrace resilience, channel creativity and explore self-employment. FastStartDC is available to all current DC students. From tech and artwork to beauty products and software, the FS360 program teaches students how to create their own summer jobs, generate revenue and bring their business ideas to life.

For more information about FastStartDC, to access the FS360 program or to sign up for support, please email