Start Up Scholarship Recipient Prepares to Launch New Business

We are very pleased to announce that Megan Stearns, 2015 recipient of the Davis & Hodgdon annual “Start Up” scholarship, graduated in May from the Mercy Connections’ Women’s Small Business Program (WSBP) 52nd Start Up course.

“Start Up” is an intense instructor-led workshop, equipping students with the real-world knowledge required to take their business ideas from concept to reality. Students complete an intense 15-week curriculum with experienced instructors on topics focused on finance, marketing and business management, culminating in the completion of a “bank ready” business plan. For more information about the Start Up program visit the Mercy Connections’ website at:

As the first step in a *signature partnership developed between Davis & Hodgdon and Mercy Connections’ WSBP, the first Annual “Start Up scholarship was presented to Megan Stearns for her tuition for the 2015 winter/spring session. Megan, an animal portraiture artist recognized great potential for turning her focus into a profitable business venture.

“My business will be located in downtown Burlington, and will offer high-end hourly dog daycare, combined with some locally-sourced pet accessories and my pet portraiture”, said Megan Stearns. “This opportunity has definitely changed my life… an enormous thank you for making this giant step forward possible for me.”

*The signature partnership between Davis & Hodgdon and Mercy Connections was developed to leverage the expertise of both organizations – resulting in a concentrated social mission effort to develop a deeper, more sustainable impact within our local community. Additional segments of the partnership include event sponsorship, business service support and pro-bono assistance.  For more information regarding this unique partnership visit:

From left to right: Bret Hodgdon and John Davis, partners, Davis & Hodgdon, Megan Stearns, Gwen Pokalo, director of WSBP , Mercy Connections, Dolly Fleming, executive director, Mercy Connections 

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