Big boost: Emera invests $7 million for entrepreneurship programming at Memorial

Sep 7th, 2018

By Dave Penney

From left are Michelle Simms, Genesis; Florian Villaume, Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship; and Nicole Helwig, Centre for Social Enterprise. Photo: Dave Howells
Big boost: Emera invests $7 million for entrepreneurship programming at Memorial

If you ask Florian Villaumé how to best support young innovators at Memorial, his answer is straightforward.

“We need to get students on the path to entrepreneurship to ensure that aspiring entrepreneurs stay in our province and join the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through inspiration, guidance, resources and a community, we create an exciting environment where those students work on entrepreneurial projects and shine.”

Innovation and entrepreneurship

As the director of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship (MCE), Mr. Villaumé is thrilled with the announcement that Emera Inc. is contributing $7 million to student innovation and entrepreneurship programming at Memorial.

The MCE stands to receive a portion of that investment and he’s enthusiastic about how this will help create a dynamic environment for student entrepreneurship.

“These funds will go a long way in helping us ramp up our programming, reach more students and generate excitement about entrepreneurship on campus,” said Mr. Villaumé.

“The MCE has been on campus since 2016, and we have already seen a large number of new startups created and many entrepreneurial students making the choice to stay in the province after graduation. Emera’s support will help build on our past successes and increase the number of student entrepreneurs we can support.”

Initiated as a partnership of the faculties of business and engineering and applied science, the MCE serves undergraduate and graduate students across Memorial’s St. John’s campus.

The contribution from Emera will create a funding model to sustain and enhance student innovation and entrepreneurial programming. The funds will be directed primarily to the MCE, the Centre for Social Enterprise (CSE), Genesis and other innovation initiatives.

Engaging the community

The CSE is another emerging student innovation entity at Memorial.

Created through a unique partnership between the Faculty of Business Administration, the School of Social Work and the School of Music, but engaging the entire Memorial community, the CSE seeks to enhance the quality of the human experience via social enterprise and social innovation.

“Supporting organizations with strong social mandates is key to pursuing a truly comprehensive model for innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Nicole Helwig, manager, CSE. “Student enthusiasm for social justice and their ingenuity to drive positive social change reflects this, and the social enterprise model embraces that ideal.”

While the three centres operate as distinct entities, their student programs will be enhanced to better support and complement each other.


Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000