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CORPORATE SPOTLIGHT

The Importance Of Entrepreneurship In Economic Development And Job Creation Story And Photos By Arthur Barbut

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n November 19, 2015 the Accelerator hosted its “Second Annual High School Entrepreneurship Summit.” This event is the kickoff to the Accentchin program developed by the Accelerator with the purpose of introducing entrepreneurship to high school students in Windsor Essex. This program has been made possible by a high school entrepreneurship outreach grant provided by the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. The summit took place at St. Clair College Centre for the Arts and brought together students, teachers, service providers and local start-ups. The event was sponsored in part by St. Clair College, Royal Bank of Canada, Motor City Community Credit Union, Greater Essex County District School Board and the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.

-“What do you want Windsor to be?” Students could write or draw their answers on a canvas displayed at the event. Everything from “fun,” to “beautiful,” “exciting” and “safe” to “more jobs” and “Jimmy Johns” is found here!

The event hosted over 400 high school students from the public, Catholic and French school boards. Each student had the opportunity to visit as many as 16 booths that were facilitated by rising local entrepreneurs and organizations that foster and support entrepreneurship. Start-ups such as Dry Parlour, Windsor’s first blow dry boutique and the first “no cut, no colour, just blow dry” salon; Windsor Express, a National Basketball League of Canada team and back-to-back national champions; and many more were present at the event. The summit also hosted service providers such as WEtech Alliance and the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation. These organizations provided the students with an idea about the unique and diverse businesses within Windsor Essex and the service providers showed the resources and guidance available to new ventures.

Held at St. Clair College Centre for the Arts in mid November 2015, the “Second Annual High School Entrepreneurship Summit” hosted over 400 high school students from the public, Catholic and French school boards.

Students were also invited to contribute to the canvas wall that asked the question: “What do you want Windsor to be?” The students could write or draw their answers on the 9 ft x 5 ft canvas, which will be framed and displayed at the Accelerator. In addition, the summit also featured three presentations from local entrepreneurs — Nick Mastromattei, Owner of Mastro Marketing, and founder of Learn In Windsor; Burhan Siddiqui and Zaheem Riberdy, students at Assumption College Catholic High School who spoke about their experience in Summer Company, a program provided by The Small Business Centre and Steve Nicodemo, President and Co-Founder of Liquid Wild Inc. who was the keynote presenter. The speakers talked about their personal story and the lessons they learned about entrepreneurship. “Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, but an entrepreneurial mindset can help everyone,” Nick Mastromattei said at the end of his presentation. And Steve Nicodemo added, “Entrepreneurship is the only way to build your own path based on personal passions and interests . . . that motivation can help them [students] create their own future.” The Accelerator’s high school entrepreneurship program, Accentchin was also highlighted which consists of young entrepreneurs (mentors) going into high schools for five consecutive days to teach entrepreneurship. The mentors use new and innovative ideas, tools, and processes to communicate the concept of entrepreneurship to the students. This program will be presented through proposing a challenge/problem for the students to solve through a business venture. Mentors will guide the students and their business idea will be

refined each day through exercises and mentor feedback. This will cumulate on a “pitch day,” which will see each group of students present their ideas to the mentors who will choose a winner. Siddique Sheikh, Program Manager of the Accentchin program, developed the program and is excited to deliver it in the high schools alongside the entrepreneurs. The goal of the “Entrepreneurial Summit” and the Accentchin program is to build on the success of the Accelerator and work with local high schools to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our region. Entrepreneurship is crucial in driving economic development and job creation in Windsor Essex. Entrepreneurship is growing not only in importance in Windsor but also in popularity: research has shown the current Z Generation (born after 1995) have a large entrepreneurial spirit evident by the fact that 72% of them want to start some kind of business within their lifetime. However, entrepreneurship is a concept seldom taught in high schools and not presented as an option as a career path to the students. When entrepreneurship is taught, outdated tools and methods are utilized which do not show the real face of entrepreneurship in the 21st century. In Windsor, this is especially detrimental because of the high unemployment rate, the highest in Canada, caused by little job opportunity present within the city. The “Entrepreneurial Summit” and Accentchin program aim to change this by providing tools, resources, and information to the students directly to enable them to realize their entrepreneurial potential.

For more information regarding the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator, 720 Ouellette Avenue and how you can become a positive contributor to the region’s entrepreneurs, please contact Managing Director, Arthur Barbut by emailing: Arthur@downtownaccelerator.com. B IZ X M A G A Z IN E • J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 6

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Profile for Biz X magazine

Biz X magazine January 2016. Vol 19 - Issue 1  

ON THE COVER — “100% Local Content Always!” As a locally owned and operated family business, Biz X magazine enters its 19th year of publishi...

Biz X magazine January 2016. Vol 19 - Issue 1  

ON THE COVER — “100% Local Content Always!” As a locally owned and operated family business, Biz X magazine enters its 19th year of publishi...