Community Collaboration

City of Vaughan and Niagara University of Ontario Community Collaboration for Summer Company

Submitted ByEconomic Development Department - City of Vaughan

The Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre (VBEC) and the Niagara University of Ontario (NUO) collaboration aim to provide training and education to 11 approved Summer Company program participants. It aims to equip the participants with entrepreneurial skills by providing a 5-week certification curriculum that tackles different topics that each entrepreneur needs to succeed. Subjects include but are not limited to: if you build it, will they come?, Customer Relationship Building and Emotional Intelligence, and What each entrepreneur Needs to know about Marketing. participants who complete the training receive a certificate at the end of the program.

The partnership was formed to fill a gap with the approved Summer Company Program participants. The participants are expected to start a business during the Summer Period and be able to generate income. Because of the wide age range of participants (15 to 29), VBEC has observed some gaps when it comes to their entrepreneurial knowledge and wished to bridge this. NUO was able to offer a comprehensive program that addresses vital skills for young entrepreneurs. The program is tailor-made for the Summer Company Program participants to help them with their day-to-day business activities.

The Metric Goal for this project is the turn-up rate, as well as the number of participants who complete the training. For 2022, all 11 applicants were able to complete the training with a 95% turn-up rate throughout all 5 week training sessions.

The main obstacle in planning the project was to determine which topics or courses would be most beneficial to the participants. The training program is a mixture of high-level information complemented by masterclass explanations and real-world examples in order to prepare and familiarize the participants with the topics. By teaming up with NUO, we were able to determine key activities that entrepreneurs engage in at the core level and were able to create the curriculum using pre-existing courses and seminars from NUO’s MBA program.

This project not only prepares the participants for the Summer Company Program but also provides skills and experiences that they can use for years to come. Students can leverage the certificate they get after the program to further their studies/careers.

The program can be considered Sustainable as the City of Vaughan and NUO considered the carbon impact and opted to deliver the program virtually. Students were also taught to assess and recognize their emotions and mental health to avoid being burnt out from their entrepreneurship activities.