Shawnee currently resides in Membertou with her husband and four children. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Community Studies Degree from Cape Breton University. Shawnee and her husband are small business owners themselves, having started E & R Plumbing & Heating in 2006 and then expanding to include Kingston Construction in 2008 as well. This first-hand experience as an entrepreneur has provided her with an inside perspective of what it takes to own and operate a business on reserve as well as a deeper understanding of the challenges and barriers that First nation people face in becoming entrepreneurs. Her work experience as the Project Coordinator for the Balance Means Business program through the Membertou Entrepreneur Center, has benefited Shawnee with the direct experience needed to be a valuable player in this research undertaking.