Youth will be engaged, inspired, and build an entrepreneurial network


Youth will be engaged, inspired, and build an entrepreneurial network at the sold-out Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES) Algoma

Day one of the first ever Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (YES) Algoma will officially kick off this afternoon! YES Algoma is a sold-out, two-day summit where 175 youth ages 16 to 29 from across the Algoma region are gathering to learn business and entrepreneurial skills, grow their network, and learn how become active changemakers in their communities. Taking place at Algoma’s Water Tower Inn and Suites in Sault Ste. Marie, YES Algoma is funded by an Ontario 150 grant, and being organized by the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) and its youth entrepreneurship division, YouLaunch.

“YES Algoma was designed to help youth create a regional network of young entrepreneurs and business support groups, giving them the confidence, skills and network to be agents of change in their community,” said John Prgomet, Business Development Manager, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre. “From our experience at the Innovation Centre, we know that youth have incredible ideas, and given the right opportunity they can grow into successful and impactful businesses. We want to encourage and give youth the resources they need to turn their ideas into reality.”

Keynote speakers include four highly respected and successful Canadian entrepreneurs and changemakers helping drive innovation, business growth and social enterprises, including: Michele Romanow, a current Dragon on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, a tech titan, engineer and serial entrepreneur who started three companies before her 28th birthday; Ann Makosinski, a 19 year-old student at University of British Columbia, inventor, entrepreneur, and creator of the Hollow Flashlight and E-Drink; Kendal Netmaker, one of Canada’s top Indigenous entrepreneurs and founder of Neechie Gear, a clothing brand that aims to empower youth through sports; and Manu “Swish” Goswami, a 19 year-old serial tech entrepreneur and innovator, UN Youth Ambassador, and TEDx speaker.

“Entrepreneurship allows anyone to have control of their future and I cannot wait to share how it can benefit everyone at the YES Algoma conference!” said keynote speaker Kendal Netmaker, who will be addressing YES Algoma attendees on Friday afternoon at 2:00pm, in addition to facilitating two breakout sessions on Friday morning.

“I’m looking forward to YES Algoma because today’s youth are the leaders of tomorrow, but we don’t need to wait till tomorrow to lead,” said keynote speaker Manu “Swish” Goswami, who will be speaking to YES Algoma attendees on Friday at 1:00pm.

YES Algoma provides attendees with many opportunities to learn and engage with entrepreneurial leaders and organizations from around the Algoma region that offer various types of assistance to young entrepreneurs. On Friday, attendees will register for two skill-based workshops/ breakout sessions to build entrepreneurial skillsets. Breakout session topics include: Understanding Finance with BDC; 3 Secrets to Business with Kendal Netmaker; Social Enterprise with NORDIK Institute; Marketing Basics with Cavera and Jeronamo Solutions; The Winning Pitch with UP Lottery and Gaming/SSMIC; Creating a Great Idea with Nadine Warkentin-Brain; Leveraging Partnerships with Wawa Economic Development Corporation; Finding Funding with the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation; and Business Planning with UP Lottery & Gaming/SSMIC.

YES Algoma is an Ontario 150 funded event, led by the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre and its youth entrepreneurship division – YouLaunch, with support from community partners including the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC); the Youth Social Infrastructure (YSI) Collaborative; and the Sault Community Career Centre (SCCC). As a project funded by a Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport, Ontario 150 Grant, YES Algoma aims to engage youth, encourage cultural expression, promote community participation, and create jobs and economic opportunities across the region.

YES Algoma is exclusively for youth ages 16-29 living or going to school in the Algoma region. Admission is free, but registration is now closed. Visit to learn more, or email [email protected] with general inquiries. Follow YES Algoma on Facebook and Instagram regular updates as the summit takes place!