Summer camp prepares youth to be entrepreneurs
- EFN Staff | August 22, 2017
Indigenous youth end the summer with a camp that offers skills and an experience of what it’s like to be entrepreneur. The 9th Annual Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Camp (AYEC) hosted by the First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) School of Business and Public Administration started the summer program on August 12-18th.
Taylor Gardippi from Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation, will be entering in her last year of high school in the fall. The 17-year-old participated in her first AYEC and said she heard about the exciting experience from her cousin Brittany who attended the camp a few years ago.
“I enjoyed how there was so much business ideas that other people had brought to me,” she said. “I came here looking for my future…it really opened up a lot of doors for my future.”
The youth participants had the privilege of learning from various business professors who taught them about marketing, financing and how to obtain a business. The youth also worked in groups to come up with a business idea and plan. Gardippi’s group came up with a business idea to fix the roads on reserves using recycled materials.
“We threw out business ideas around our communities that need fixing so we thought since the roads are so bad where we’re from,” she said.
Gardippi hopes to study esthetics after she graduates from high school. She was deeply inspired after the AYEC youth went to visit a former FNUniv business student Jennifer Dubois who started her own business in downtown Regina called Miyosiwin Salon.
“I was so excited to be in there,” Gardippi said. “It was nice listening to her talk and tell her story. It was heaven for me because that’s really what I want to do.”
Amanda Worm who was the AYEC coordinator said 17 youth completed the program where they learned entrepreneurial skills and how to build a business plan where they presented it at the end of the camp.
“Not only [did] they learn about entrepreneurship and business skills when they were here, they also learn what it’s like to be in university,” said Worm.
Worm said some of the youth participants come from all over Saskatchewan, two from Frog Lake and one from Newfoundland, Labrador. The youth heard about the AYEC from networking, word of mouth and their social media and website pages.
“It’s a great camp and it’s completely free,” she said. “Get your registrations in early. People win great prizes when they’re here and learn great skills.”