A group of Canadian Forces members are calling Memorial University home this week as they participate in SIFE Memorial’s Based in Business program.
The program, which is a partnership with the Department of National Defence, gives medically-discharged Canadian Forces members training and mentorship as they develop business plans and put them into action. It’s the first-ever program of its kind in Canada.
The participants are on campus from Aug. 14-20 where they will be taught sessions on entrepreneurship, accounting, marketing, finance, ethics and human resource management throughout the day. These sessions have been collaboratively designed and facilitated by SIFE volunteers and Memorial University professors. In the evening, SIFE volunteers will help participants research and write their business plans using the business plan model from TD Bank.
The on-campus seminars are the culmination of a year of planning by SIFE students. “We worked closely with the Department of National Defence to put together a program that would really work for veterans,” explained Sarah Fisher, vice-president of Based in Business, SIFE Memorial. “Based in Business is SIFE Memorial's way of giving back to Canadian Forces members. This is a group of extraordinary individuals who have helped and protected the lives of many from their own country as well as abroad and we are honoured to be working with them.”
Dr. Christopher Loomis, president and vice-chancellor pro tempore of Memorial University, says the university community is very excited about this project. “The Based in Business project is a new and important way in which we continue to honour the memory of those for whom this university was founded, and to help those who have put themselves in harm’s way in service to our country. Everyone at Memorial University, including Retired General and Chancellor Rick Hillier, is enormously proud of the SIFE students for creating this program and working so hard to bring it to fruition.”
Several university faculties, departments and organizations, in particular the Faculty of Business, Faculty of Engineering and the Gardiner Centre, have offered time, resources and expertise in an effort to create an exceptional experience for the Canadian Forces members. The program is sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador, TD Bank and the Gardiner Centre.
The participants will graduate from the program during a ceremony at Memorial on Aug. 20, but they will continue to be supported by mentors from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador (ICANL) and SIFE Memorial as they work to build their businesses.
SIFE Memorial is a student group dedicated to creating local solutions to global economic challenges. In 2008, SIFE Memorial reinvested more than $1.4 million dollars in Newfoundland and Labrador. Their exceptional programs have earned them four consecutive national entrepreneurship championships and they are the current SIFE World Cup champions.