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Success Stories

Starter Company Profile: Kawartha Combat

Kawartha Combat - Man Kneeling in Martial Arts Ring, facing away from the camera wearing a Red Kawartha Combat Vest

At Peterborough Economic Development’s Business Advisory Centre we are lucky to see a variety of different business ideas come through the door. Health and wellness-based businesses are popular, including fitness businesses like Kevin Henry’s Kawartha Combat. We were able to support Kawartha Combat on their journey to entrepreneurial success through the Starter Company program.

This is Kevin’s story:

Q: How would you describe your business/what does your business do?

A: Kawartha Combat is a Martial Arts & Fitness Academy that caters to fitness and recreational needs of the community of Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes and the surrounding counties. We offer various programs including martial arts programs, personal training, events and children’s camps.

Q: What influenced your decision to start your business?

A: I began Kawartha Combat following my journey to Thailand, as I was Peterborough’s first and only local to fight professional Thai Boxing and train in the Mecca and birthplace of the sport. Growing up, I had spent much of my life devoting time into various martial arts as well as going to Fleming College for Fitness & Health Promotion, followed by Recreation & Leisure Services. These combined experiences influenced me to begin Kawartha Combat aiming to create fun, rewarding & memorable experiences through Martial Arts for my friends & family in my hometown.

Q: What makes Peterborough & the Kawarthas a great place to be an entrepreneur?

A: The community is very supportive; being able to do what I love and help people in the town I grew up in is a very rewarding experience. I aim to provide support and create future programs to help at-risk students/youth, by providing them with opportunities to develop skills in life and have a positive outlet for stress.

Q: How did the Business Advisory Centre help you? (For Starter & Summer Company businesses, an additional question would be: What has the program funding allowed you to do?)

A: Working with Maddie Wilson at Peterborough Economic Development’s Business Advisory Centre was very beneficial for me. She helped me organize and prepare my business strategies and ideas in a comprehensive business plan that has helped me to set goals and benchmarks for Kawartha Combat to be able to successfully grow!

We have begun to use the funding we received through Starter Company to create a friendly & inviting front desk/lounge area, purchase safety equipment, padding for steel support beams, invest into advertising for our children summer camp and also pay for my two youth staff members to get CPR, First Aid and HIGH FIVE certified for assisting my with my children’s summer camp.

Q: What is next? (how will your business continue to grow and evolve?)

A: My next goals include:
– looking to begin a children’s after-school program
– hiring a front desk assistant to help with following up after trials
– possibly expanding to additional locations in surrounding cities/expand locally.

Q: What advice would you offer aspiring entrepreneurs?

A: My advice would be to make sure they are entering a field they are confident in, willing to constantly grow their skills and they can see themselves enjoying for life. If they can’t look forward to going to work on stressful days in the early years of the business, they may be entering the wrong career path. If it is something they are truly passionate about it is worth giving it a try!

Q: What is your personal definition of “success”?

A: Success to me means that I am constantly raising the bar and never accepting that I have made it to my big goal. There always are more steps to climb and areas to improve. By setting goals and accomplishing the small tasks it takes to get there, I will constantly succeed and maintain growth.

Do you want to learn more about Kevin Henry’s Kawartha Combat?

Visit their location: 910 High Street Unit #15, Peterborough

Visit their website:

Like them on Facebook:

Call: 705-868-1119