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Ontario Funds Youth Entrepreneurial Experience Project

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Ontario Funds Youth Entrepreneurial Experience Project

Program Will Require Students To Develop And Launch A Business Idea

SUDBURY - Aboriginal students can now participate in a pilot educational program focused on providing entrepreneurial experience, Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced today.

"With its emphasis on practical experience with mentors who are successful business professionals, this program holds much promise for young, aspiring entrepreneurs from remote First Nations," said Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro. "Moreover, the program will be delivered in an environment in which students are encouraged to develop a strong sense of identity in the distinct language, culture and traditions of Aboriginal people."

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) will invest $75,000 to assist with the development of Entrepreneurship: The Venture program at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School in Thunder Bay. The program, designed specifically for youth living in remote First Nations, will provide innovative hands-on activities, motivational speakers, business mentors and role models as well as insights into business theory and practice. The key element of this program will be the requirement for each student to develop and launch his or her own enterprise.

This project is in keeping with recently released recommendations of a Northern Development Council consultation that identified new training opportunities for Aboriginal youth as an important element of keeping young people in the North.
"The future of Northern Ontario lies in the talents, skills and creativity of its youth," said Bartolucci, who also chairs the NOHFC "Our government is empowering young Aboriginal students by supporting a program that will develop their entrepreneurial skills."

This is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians have achieved results for northern youth.  Other examples include:

  • Providing more than  $2.3 million to date, through the Northern Ontario Young Entrepreneur Program, to help some 105 young people start their own business
  • Holding consultations on approaches to stem out-migration of youth from the North, hosted by the Northern Development Councils
  • Providing valuable on-the-job training and experience through the NOHFC's Northern Ontario Youth Internship and Co-op Program.

These initiatives are part of the government's Northern Prosperity Plan for building stronger northern communities. It has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.

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