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REF NO.: 110

SUBJECT: Military transition business boot camp returns to St John’s

DATE: July 24,2017

Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE), a program of Prince’s Charities Canada, started its seven-day business boot camp for transitioning Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members at Memorial University on July 23.

POE provides business education to transitioning CAF members and veterans. The program helps military members embarking on their second careers to start their own businesses and create economic and social impacts in their communities. Initially developed in 2008 as Based in Business by Enactus Memorial (a community of student, academic and business leaders enabling progress through entrepreneurial action), the seven-day boot camp provides an opportunity for participants to focus on their next mission and their own success.

Community and student collaboration are key components of the boot camp experience. Throughout the week, professors at Memorial University, on a volunteer basis, share their expertise and industry knowledge in the classroom. Undergraduate students from Enactus Memorial are paired with participants and provide one-on-one guidance to begin crafting plans for their businesses. Strong community support comes from local entrepreneurs who share their experience at networking events and local organizations that contribute to the program through meal sponsorships.

“These military members will be ready to start their second careers,” said Lynn Morrissey, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Business Administration responsible for the genesis of the program, as well as managing training for the week. “At Memorial, we are proud to support military members’ transitions and offer this group of 20 participants the skills and confidence they need to succeed in business.”

One of the military participants, Jason Coady, an engineer who left the Canadian Armed Forces in 2014 after 14 years of service, recently opened Marine Electronic Electrical Consulting Inc. Based in St. John’s, MEE Consulting Inc. emerged in response to the forecasted shortage of technical staff in the near future. 

Mr. Coady’s mission is to partner with Canadian companies to help Canadian military veterans who have technical and engineering experience find employment.        “Military veterans have a unique set of leadership skills that are often forgotten in key civilian roles”, he said. “They take ownership and pride in their work, are extremely driven, motivated, organized, follow procedure and are fantastic leaders.” Tapping into this resource pool of skilled technical and engineering labour to help fill the shortage is ideal.

“Being able to help veterans find work is very important to me, plus being able to financially better my family to ensure retirement ease is also a driving factor,” says Mr. Coady added. “At boot camp I hope to learn more about the financial side of running a business.”

POE is the only program of its kind in Canada.

“We have seen many inspiring stories of business success,” said Amanda Sherrington, president and CEO, Prince’s Charities Canada. “His Royal Highness is deeply committed to supporting the military community, for whom he serves as colonel-in-chief to seven regiments.”

Since 2012, more than 200 businesses have been started by the 330 graduates of the POE boot camps. Many of them are listed in POE’s new Canadian Veteran Business Directory, an online searchable directory of veteran-owned businesses in Canada. Now patriotic Canadians can choose to “buy veteran” from businesses ranging from home inspectors and artisan bakeries and to kitesurfing tours and photographers.

About Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur

Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE) combines three of The Prince of Wales’ lifelong interests of encouraging entrepreneurship, young people and support for the Canadian Armed Forces. A program of Prince’s Charities Canada, POE helps transitioning military and veterans become entrepreneurs by offering one-day workshops, seven-day boot camps and ongoing support to build confidence and launch successful businesses. Supporters of the program include the Government of Canada, True Patriot Love Foundation, Wounded Warriors Canada, TD Bank, TruShield Insurance, Irving Consumer Products, J.D. Irving Limited, Irving Shipbuilding Inc, Boeing, Accenture, COBS Bread, BDC, UPS and Via Rail Canada.

About Prince’s Charities Canada

The work of Prince’s Charities Canada (PCC) is focused on The Prince of Wales’s core interests that have been well-established in the U.K. for more than 30 years. These include improving the lives of disadvantaged youth, education, responsible business, improving the built environment, regeneration of heritage, environmental sustainability and support for the armed forces. PCC works with existing Canadian charities already connected to Prince Charles and facilitates new opportunities for charitable organizations in Canada and the U.K. to work together.

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For more information, please contact Kathleen Kilgour, at (647) 282-7868 or Kathleen.Kilgour@princescharities.ca, Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur. 

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