JewelRide, a forward-looking transportation company serving the Metro East with a primary focus on non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT), has opened in Edwardsville.
Owner Tapiwa Mupereki has worked with the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May since August, receiving assistance to successfully plan and start the business.
â€œEach year, more than 3.6 million people miss an appointment due to lack of reliable transportation,â€� Mupereki said, â€œI have always had a passion for initiatives for access to healthcare for individuals and communities. It is important to me to help those who donâ€™t have transportation access.â€�
Mupereki and his wife, Rutendo, a pharmacist and pediatrician, respectively, understand the importance in increasing access to healthcare. They were inspired to provide this critical service since there is no medical transportation service like it in the area, and they are extremely proud to be fulfilling this need within their own community.
JewelRide takes pride in offering reliable, trustworthy, and affordable non-emergency medical transportation to bring smiles and convenience to individuals, families and communities. Their services also include medical and hospital appointments, dialysis visits, seniorsâ€™ transportation, assisted living transfers, pharmacy/drugstore prescription pick-up, errands, and tailor-made transportation needs.
Mupereki is quite appreciative of the SBDC and DiMaggio May for the diverse range of useful business guidance offered thus far, including a strong business plan, marketing, creating both a social media and web presence, and thinking about clients and employees.
â€œThe SBDC has a visible intention to help small businesses succeed,â€� Mupereki shared. â€œThey put in a lot of time and commitment to going through each step, understanding where you are and what needs to be done.â€�
Looking to the future, Mupereki has high hopes that JewelRide will grow and become a household name throughout the Metro East and surrounding areas.
â€œTapiwa has been diligent in learning everything needed to be a successful business owner. It has been an honor and joy working with him,â€� DiMaggio May said. â€œJewelRide is going to be a true asset to the Metro East. I look forward to assisting Mupereki further as he grows his company.â€�
Services extend to all villages, towns, and cities in Madison and St. Clair counties, as well as transporting those who have travel needs from these two counties to the greater St. Louis metro area.
The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists start-up ventures like JewelRide, as well as existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE as a service to Illinois small businesses.
By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining new jobs and encouraging new investment. It enhances the regionâ€™s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research, and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.
To learn about the SBDC, contact theIL SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE at 618-650-2929.
Photo: JewelRide owner Tapiwa Mupereki and his wife, Rutendo.