Memorial's Entrepreneurship Training Program (ETP) is an important part of the burgeoning entrepreneurial ecosystem within Memorial University, as well as the larger entrepreneurial community in Newfoundland and Labrador. By offering early stage support and general entrepreneurial education, specifically to graduate students, ETP offers niche support that sets entrepreneurs up for success as they move into the great entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“The tremendous support from the Entrepreneurship Training Program, its partners and mentors encouraged me to create a start-up against all odds.” – Sahand Seifi, co-founder of HeyOrca!

ETP participants smiling and laughing at the opening ceremony

The need for the ETP is clear when one considers the role of small business in the economy, the changing workplace, the university’s responsibility to support entrepreneurial students, the propensity for entrepreneurship in immigrant populations, and the federal and provincial government’s support of entrepreneurship and immigration. Small business employs over 70 percent of the total private labour force, and new Canadians are more likely than those born in Canada to own a business.

With the changing workplace, even the highly-educated may find it challenging to secure long-term, permanent employment and thus entrepreneurship is increasingly viewed as a more stable employment option. As such, universities must play an active role in supporting entrepreneurs and must provide effective entrepreneurship programming to their students. By supporting students in their entrepreneurial aspirations, universities are contributing to strategies outlined by our federal and provincial governments including The Government of Canada’s Atlantic Growth Strategy and The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Business Innovation Agenda.