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Entrepreneurship camp aimed at Aboriginal youth

July 31st, 2010 18 Comments » Filed under Acknowledgement

The dream of one day operating your own business is enticing for many Aboriginal youth, but becoming your own boss has its challenges.

For most, a lack of proper business training is the biggest obstacle standing in the way of developing a good idea, but with the support of the Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Camp, students can gain the necessary skills this summer to achieve future success in the field of business.

“A lot of time our youth have all these great entrepreneurial ideas and they don’t get the opportunity to fully explore it or get the chance to really look into it,” said Thomas Benjoe, coordinator with the Entrepreneurship Camp.

“What we try and teach them is that with the help of the school of business or coming to post-secondary they will be able to gain all the skills necessary to become entrepreneurs.”

It is the second consecutive year the camp has been hosted by The School of Business and Public Administration at the First Nations University of Canada. To be eligible to attend participants must be an Aboriginal student in Grades 11 and 12 and must be residing in Saskatchewan.

Throughout the six-day camp students will be given the opportunity to learn about marketing, advertising, preparing cash flow projections and creating a new business plan.

“It will give students a better heads up into what has become the fastest growing market out there for First Nations people,” Benjoe said. “We have businesses opening up everywhere, it is growing at a pretty good rate for Saskatchewan, so we want to make sure our First Nations people are getting those skills they need in order to be successful.”

Students enrolled in the camp will be placed in teams of four and challenged with the task of introducing a new product to the marketplace, during which they will have an opportunity to produce their own commercial using video and editing equipment provided by the Indian Communications Arts (INCA) department.

There will also be various student outings to organizations in support of young entrepreneurs, such as the Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation and Springboard West Innovations Inc., where students will learn the ins-and-outs of starting a new business and how to market a new product.

“As much as possible we want the students to have networking opportunities where they can be out there in the community speaking to different people and gaining experience and wisdom from others who have been successful,” Benjoe said.

Throughout the week students will also have the opportunity to hear from various guest speakers who will describe some of their experiences in becoming entrepreneurs — along with the challenges and rewards of being your own boss.

On the camp’s final day prizes such as laptops will be given to the top team, in addition to other prizes handed out on an individual basis.

The camp is free of charge, but due to limited space interested participants are asked to compete for one of 16 spots by responding to an essay question discussing “the importance of economic development in Aboriginal communities.”

To learn more about how to register, students can contact the School of Business and Public Administration at 790-5950, extension 3225 or email tbenjoe@first

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

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The Thought Provoking, Irreverent Pearl Necklace Grandmother of the 21st C. Paradigm Shifter, Poet, Storyteller, Marketer, Visionary, Blogger, Coach. Mrs. Fire

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