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REF NO.: 82
SUBJECT: Business program helps Canadian veterans become entrepreneurs
DATE: July 16
Prince’s Trust Canada, a national charity established by HRH The Prince of Wales, has started its seven-day business training program for veterans and transitioning Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members at Memorial University.
The week-long business boot camp, which began on Sunday, July 14, is part of the trust’s Operation Entrepreneur program. The program provides business education to transitioning CAF members and veterans, helping military members embark on their second careers to start their own businesses and create economic and social impacts in their communities.
Participants arrive to boot camp with a developed business idea and learn best practices in marketing, finance, business planning and accounting from faculty members at Memorial’s Faculty of Business Administration. They participate in networking events and mentoring forums with local entrepreneurs who share their experience and get one-on-one coaching from Enactus Memorial undergraduate student volunteers.
Enactus Memorial pilot
The program was first piloted in 2008 by Enactus Memorial, a group of undergraduate students who enable community progress through entrepreneurial action. After its initial success, Prince’s Trust Canada expanded the boot camp to three other universities and has been leading the program since 2011, helping launch more than 370 businesses across Canada.
Christine McNeil, from Lower Island Cove, N.L., is one of the 19 participants in this year’s boot camp. After serving 12 years in the Canadian military, she now plans to open a “meals on wheels” type of business, providing hot, cold and freezable ready-made meals for the elderly, people with mobility or medical issues and people with specific nutritional requirements.
“Now that I’m retired, I’d like to put my military education, skills and leadership abilities to use and continue helping others and contributing to my community through my business,” she said.
Ms. McNeil is looking forward to gaining new skills and tools to help launch her business and says she is excited to meet and network with other entrepreneurial veterans like her who have also chosen business ownership as the next phase of their transition to civilian life.
“At the end of the week, these military members will be ready to start their second careers,” said Prof. Lynn Morrissey, an assistant professor at the business faculty and faculty advisor for Enactus Memorial.
“At Memorial, we are proud to support military members’ transition to civilian life. We are thrilled with the success of the program over the past 11 years, having provided participants with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in business.”
In addition to the seven-day boot camp, Prince’s Trust Canada provides programming and supports all along the entrepreneurial spectrum.
“We provide a range of services from one-day introductory workshops to these intensive business boot camps to networking events and mentoring,” said Sharon Broughton, chief executive officer, Prince’s Trust Canada.
“Providing these services helps ensure our veterans and military members, many of whom are medically released, have everything they need for a successful transition. The program increases hope and confidence for a future that may have felt very uncertain.”
About Prince’s Trust Canada
Prince’s Trust Canada is a registered national charity established in 2011 by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Prince’s Trust Canada works to unlock potential in three key areas: providing entrepreneurship training for veterans and transitioning Canadian Armed Forces members; helping young people build confidence through employability programs; and supporting Indigenous communities as they revitalize and protect their languages. www.princestrust.ca
About Operation Entrepreneur
A program of Prince’s Trust Canada, Operation Entrepreneur helps transitioning military and veterans become entrepreneurs by offering one-day workshops; seven-day boot camps; ongoing support and mentoring to build confidence; develop networks; and launch successful businesses. Supporters of the program include the Government of Canada, BDC, TD Bank, True Patriot Love Foundation, Sage Foundation, VIA Rail, Accenture and Lockheed Martin. www.princesoperationentrepreneur.ca
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