Balbir Sohi, owner of Smiles on Wheels, a Brampton-based mobile dental hygiene practice, was able to lean on the solid skills she gained at the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre when she faced the Dragons on CBC’s Dragons' Den.
Smiles on Wheels is a mobile dental hygiene business that Sohi launched in 2012; she has been a Brampton Entrepreneur Centre client since 2014. Working with Business Advisor Jennifer Vivian, Sohi has taken advantage of a number of the Centre’s services, including business plan consultations, seminars, workshops, and mentoring and networking opportunities.
Her Dragons' Den episode was filmed in the summer of 2016, and now, finally, all of Canada will see how it turned out on Wednesday, February 8 at 8 pm on CBC.
“Balbir is a young woman who I have watched with great pride - she is a great example of not only the entrepreneurial passion necessary to be successful but someone who gives back regularly to our thriving city,” said Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey. “We’re all very proud of her and the small part the City could play in supporting her business dreams.”
“I learned so much from the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre,” said Sohi. “My experience there really helped refine my business model and prepared me for my Dragons' Den pitch.”
Sohi’s fully equipped and retrofitted Smiles on Wheels Mercedes Sprinter travels across the GTA, sporting all the dental equipment required, and even a TV screen so clients can enjoy a movie during treatment.
Sohi has strong roots in the community, and she has received multiple commendations for her support of a number of charitable organizations, including the William Osler Health Centre. She also conducts oral health education seminars overseas in India in rural area public schools to provide dental health awareness – distributing toothbrushes and toothpaste to school kids.
Sohi’s pitch impressed the dragons, especially Jim Treliving, a Franchise Baron who has 40 years of franchising experience with both Boston Pizza and Mr. Lube. Treliving found Sohi’s presentation so impressive he offered her a deal of $240,000 for a 25% stake in the company. Sohi accepted, and the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre, is anxious to find out what’s in store as for Sohi, as Smiles on Wheels now has the investment needed to grow.
The Brampton Entrepreneur Centre runs events throughout the year to support business and connect entrepreneurs. They also offer individual consultations and advice, and are the access point for funding and programs to support start-up and established businesses.