Introducing the Innovative Entrepreneur Certificate

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Do you want to start making extra money for your studies? Do you want to expand your side business? Do you want to be your own boss? YouLaunch, a division of The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) has got you covered.

YouLaunch fosters youth entrepreneurship and mentorship and continues to provide opportunities for students to grow a business of their own. The diversity of initiatives is a testament to the creativity of the youth in our community.

This school year, YouLaunch wants to help launch entrepreneurial students into business success by introducing the Innovative Entrepreneur Certificate. YouLaunch is able to present this new certificate through the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) On-Campus Entrepreneurship Activities (OCEA) program, a partnership of Algoma University, Sault College and the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre.

“The Innovative Entrepreneur Certificate will be a valuable asset to graduates from a variety of programs offered at Sault College who wish to pursue self-employment careers and aligns perfectly with our commitment to providing our students with the tools to reach their goals,” says John Coccimiglio, Manager of Applied Research and Innovation at Sault College. “We are a proud partner of the OCEA program, which provides youth with on-campus access to activities that promote entrepreneurship awareness and skills development.”

Students can take part in the Innovative Entrepreneur Certificate throughout their years of study at either Sault College or Algoma University. Community members between 18-29 are also welcomed and encouraged to take part in the Innovative Entrepreneur Certificate. “The Innovative Entrepreneur Certificate centres on business expertise with the right tools to help young entrepreneurs succeed. It encourages owning a small business as a viable career or a great side hustle,” explains Patti Trotter, Entrepreneurship Coordinator at SSMIC. “We are excited to expand on the existing entrepreneurial ecosystem that is present within the community.”

The Innovative Entrepreneur Certificate will be offered every year between September and March, covering six core topics through a variety of interactive workshops to teach Idea Generation, Market Research, Business Model Canvas, Marketing and Branding, Funding and Financials, and Sales.

The seven-month program will also offer additional opportunities for students to engage with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial resources through events such as: YouBrew: Morning Coffee Breaks and conferences.

“Getting an understanding of the basics of being an entrepreneur is a great way to help grow the entrepreneurial potential. This program by YouLaunch is a fantastic opportunity for youth in our community,” explains Peter Bruijns, Executive Director for SSMIC.

“Our team is very excited to be moving forward in close partnership with the Innovation Centre and Sault College to offer the Innovative Entrepreneur Certificate to interested students on campus. We expect there to be significant uptake by students as this is a wonderful opportunity for any student, regardless of program, to explore and develop their entrepreneurial skills and spirit,” said Asima Vezina, President and Vice Chancellor of Algoma University.

At the end of this seven-month course, students who complete all six workshops will be awarded the Innovative Entrepreneur Certificate. Students who are unable to commit to all six workshops are still encouraged to attend and will secure a LinkedIn badge of completion for their involvement. Students at Algoma University will also be able to count YouLaunch activities on their Co-Curricular Transcript.

“The Innovative Entrepreneur Certificate is an amazing opportunity for Algoma University students to get hands-on learning opportunities and connect to the wealth of local networks in place to support entrepreneurship,” said Dawn White, Director, Program Quality and Experiential Learning. “Graduates with strong entrepreneurial skills are well-prepared for the workforce, either as employees or business owners.”

The first workshop of the 2018/2019 school year started on Friday and was a success. Future workshop information can be found at http://www.youlaunch.ca/event.

Resources and opportunities to help take you from “wantrepreneur” to “entrepreneur” will be shared monthly in the YouNews email blast and on Social Media.

Click here for more info: www.YouLaunch.ca/resources.