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REF NO.: 82

SUBJECT: Military transition business boot camp celebrating its 10th anniversary at Memorial University

DATE: July 16

Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE) started its seven-day business boot camp for transitioning Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members at Memorial University July 15.

POE, a program of Prince’s Charities Canada, provides business education to transitioning CAF members and veterans. The program helps military members embarking on their second careers to start their own businesses and create economic and social impacts in their communities. Initially developed in 2008 as Based in Business by Enactus Memorial (a group of undergraduate students from Memorial who enable progress through entrepreneurial action), the seven-day boot camp is now in its 10th year.

Volunteer basis

Community and student collaboration are key components of the boot camp experience. Throughout the week, professors at Memorial, on a volunteer basis, share their expertise and industry knowledge in the classroom. Undergraduate students from Enactus Memorial are paired with participants to help develop and craft their business plans. Strong community support comes from local entrepreneurs who share their experience at networking events and workshops.

“At the end of the week, these military members will be ready to start their second careers,” said Prof. Lynn Morrissey, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Business Administration responsible for the genesis of the program as well as managing training for the week.

“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 10 years having provided participants with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in business.”

Participant experience

Leendert Bolle, a sergeant in the Special Forces who was released from the military after 16 years of service, attended the boot camp at Memorial in 2014. He is now the owner of Hero Dog Treats, a successful dog food company in St. Catherines, Ont., that he started following his release.

“Hands down, the POE boot camp is absolutely the best training, experience and networking opportunity for military veterans seeking to become entrepreneurs,” he said.

Donald Hookey from Conception Bay South, N.L., is one of 20 participants in this year’s boot camp. After serving 16 years in the Canadian army, he plans to open a home-based bookkeeping and income tax business.

“Being a veteran entrepreneur allows me to put some of my military skills to work in a civilian atmosphere,” said Mr. Hookey.

"I’m super excited to participate in the boot camp program. I'm hoping to gain some insight into the way the business world works in real life and maybe get a few of my unanswered questions answered.”

The program is the only one of its kind in Canada.

“The program reaches more veterans each year and its impact is priceless,” said Sharon Broughton, CEO, Prince’s Charities Canada. “It increases hope and confidence for a future that may have felt very uncertain. Graduates have gone on to start over 250 businesses in every sector, in communities all across the country.”
                                                                          
About Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur
program of Prince’s Charities Canada, POE helps transitioning military and veterans become entrepreneurs by offering one-day workshops, seven-day boot camps and ongoing support to build confidence, develop networks and launch successful businesses. Supporters of the program include the Government of Canada, True Patriot Love Foundation, Wounded Warriors Canada, J.D. Irving Limited, TD Bank, TruShield Insurance, Accenture, Boeing, BDC, Irving Shipbuilding Limited, Lockheed Martin, UPS and Via Rail Canada. 

About Prince’s Charities Canada
Prince’s Charities Canada (PCC) is a registered Canadian charity established in 2011 by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. PCC’s three core programs ensure life-changing support and hope for young people seeking employment, for veterans transitioning to a second career as entrepreneurs, and for Indigenous communities as they revitalize their languages.

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For further information, please contact Susan White, Faculty of Business Administration, Memorial University, (709) 864-2616, (709) 689-7988 or SusanWhite@mun.ca; or André GarneauPrince’s Operation Entrepreneur, (437) 317-4612, (647) 355-3106 or Andre.Garneau@princescharities.ca.

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