March 12, 2019, THUNDER BAY, ON – Confederation College and the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre are partnering to deliver a new Experiential Entrepreneurship course thanks to a financial contribution from RBC Foundation of $175,000 over two years. Part of RBC’s Future Launch initiative, the new course will focus on skill development in team environments.
“Training and supporting young entrepreneurs is very important to Confederation College and we are delighted to be offering the Experiential Entrepreneurship course this fall because of the investment by RBC,” said Confederation College President Kathleen Lynch. “With RBC’s support, we are well positioned to advance our shared goals of facilitating innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration for our learners. I look forward to seeing what exciting ideas our students develop.”
Students will be introduced to entrepreneurship concepts and will have the opportunity to test their skills in real-life employment scenarios. Working in pairs or teams, the students will have the choice to work on their own product or business idea, or to work on a project with a local company.
“In collaboration with Confederation College and the Northwestern Innovation Centre, RBC is striving to help address the Quiet Crisis of no experience-no job, no job-no experience affecting the now and the next generation of young leaders,” said Annie Beauchemin, Regional Vice President Northwestern Ontario, RBC. “Canadian youth are entering the workforce at a time of profound economic, social and technological change amongst other barriers, requiring a new mix of skills. Through innovative courses like this that help young people seize opportunities and create their own opportunities, they and our communities will be best positioned to thrive and prosper.”
Engaging Indigenous students will be a cornerstone of the course, with a goal to have Indigenous learners representing 30% of the class. Using distance education portals, the course will be accessible to Indigenous students in remote communities.
With out-migration of youth representing an ongoing challenge for First Nations communities, this course will serve an important purpose in emphasizing the benefits of starting a business in the region. Providing entrepreneurship training gives young people the education, support and mentorship to bring their business plans to life.
The announcement followed a Speed Mentoring event, a window into what students can expect in the new program. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions of entrepreneurs and RBC advisors, in order to gain a better understanding of what it takes to bring an idea to market.
Any Confederation College student may enroll in this elective course offered in the fall 2019 and winter 2020 semesters. Students who successfully complete the Experiential Entrepreneurship course will have the opportunity to participate in the Pitch Competition – Performance Based Accelerator Program (May-August 2020), which includes a bursary to continue developing their business idea.
Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has eight regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Geraldton, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake and Wawa.
Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 6,500 combined full- and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 850 full- and part-time employees. Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $643.4 million annually.
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