An award-winning Memorial University program that helps Canadian Forces personnel get started in business has received a $2-million boost and a major endorsement from the Prince of Wales, whose Canadian charity will make the entrepreneurship program available nationwide.
Princes Charities Canada is adopting Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Memorials Based in Business program to help military personnel throughout Canada set up entrepreneurial operations as they transition to civilian life.
Prince Charles is due to announce the three-year pilot project branded The Princes Operation Entrepreneur during a visit to Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in Oromocto, N.B., as part of a three-day Canadian tour later this month.
Program participants, SIFE Memorial students, SIFE faculty adviser and assistant professor of business Prof. Lynn Morrissey and Faculty of Business Administration dean Dr. Wilfred Zerbe will be on hand for the announcement on Monday, May 21.
Memorials Based in Business program was endorsed by the Prince of Wales based on the recommendations of Princes Charities Canada, which deemed it the best program for helping Canadian military personnel interested in starting their own businesses.
This is an accolade of the highest order for Memorials SIFE students and Prof. Lynn Morrissey, Dr. Zerbe said. Military veterans, their families and their communities across Canada will benefit greatly thanks to the business acumen and dedication of these students and Lynns leadership and guidance. We are very, very proud.
Prof. Morrissey, who has led teams to numerous regional, national and international victories and has been SIFE Memorials faculty adviser since 2004, said the community engagement and student involvement, as well as Based in Businesss record of success in helping military personnel, are the key reasons the Prince of Wales is endorsing the Memorial University program.
Based in Business was launched in 2009 and is a proven transition strategy, offering upfront assistance, mentoring and ongoing support, Prof. Morrissey explained. We are so excited to be able to help bring this program to other parts of the country and it may become a model for similar programs the Prince of Wales wishes to establish and support in other Commonwealth countries.
Princes Charities Canada affiliate Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) will run The Princes Operation Entrepreneur through its network of offices across Canada. Prof. Morrissey and the SIFE Memorial team will act as training mentors, lead the week-long introductory entrepreneur boot camps across the country and provide ongoing support and development. Following the boot camp, participants will be matched with a local CYBF mentor whose expert advice will help to guide them through the challenges of starting and running their own business.
SIFE Memorials Based in Business program has already helped 27 Canadian Forces members 18 of whom have started businesses. For the 2012 program in July, 20 participants are already enrolled. SIFE Memorial plans to run two programs with 40 participants in 2013 and three programs (one in French; two in English) in 2014, with 60 participants in eastern, central and western Canada.
About Based in Business
Based in Business is a program for recently retired and transitioning Canadian Forces members interested in entrepreneurship. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to attend Based in Business (www.basedinbusiness.ca), a free of charge, week-long entrepreneurial boot camp held at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. Johns. During the day, participants attend a series of lectures and workshops on a variety of business topics including marketing, accounting and human resources. In the evening, participants work one-on-one with SIFE Memorial student volunteers to develop a viable business plan that will help turn entrepreneurial dreams into reality.
About Students in Free Enterprise
Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) is an international non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders. Participating students form teams on their university campuses and apply business concepts to develop outreach projects that improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. An annual series of regional and national competitions provides a forum for teams to present the results of their projects, and to be evaluated by business leaders serving as judges. National champion teams advance to the prestigious SIFE World Cup, of which SIFE Memorial is the 2008 champion.