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"Starting a business as an experience and an experiment. If something isn't working, take a look to assess how to change it or make it better. Always be open to advice & feedback. There are so many people are out there to help you build something cool - So be open to sharing your awesome ideas and learning to build on them." Surf City Blooms, Joanna (19)

Joanna Killen, Momentum, CEO & Co-Founder , Saint John, NB --Long gone were the days of lemonade stands...When I was about 19 years old I started an ‘official’ business. It was my first real shot at having my own little operation: Surf City Blooms. I made hair elastics with faux flowers. To my surprise they sold like crazy! This success gave me the encouragement to expand my product line to include clothes and pashmina scarves from Enterprise Saint John's newcomer connection. Enterprise Saint John back in 2002, whom at the time, were the only option for youth entrepreneurs to get the funding and support they needed. Thankfully, I had also grown up with a mother who was in business so I had first hand experience seeing that in action. What I learned later on in life is that, this is absolutely not the case for most kids. I have always felt my exposure to entrepreneurship was exactly what a person like me needed. GIven my work with Enterprise Saint John more recently, I discovered their awesome programming for the middle/high school aged kids and signed up both myself and my partner Corey Dugas to do more. This year we joined the Entrepreneurial Adventure Program through The Learning Partnership via the New Brunswick’s program director Eric Estabrooks. Corey was assigned Saint John the Baptist-King Edward School (SJBKE) and I was partnered with Saint John High School, one of the first high schools to be involved in this National program in New Brunswick! The Learning Partnership’s Entrepreneurial Adventure program and

-- Joanna Killen, Momentum CEO & Co-Founder

volunteer Ross Sherwood work together with me at Saint John High, while Corey Dugas, Momentum, COO & Co-Founder, works with Teacher Leslie Hamiton-Brown and volunteer Heather Muir at SJBKE. We were so thrilled to meet the team and the kids this year and begin to understand their goals and objectives for the term. As we began to hear their ideas, we wanted to try and add a community element to their experience this term. Our business Momentum Canada works with many entrepreneurs who seriously love being involved in helping young entrepreneurs, so we decided to reach out to a few of them to pitch an idea of a mini ‘Pitch Competition’, the style of Dragon’s Den with ‘investors’ willing to invest some capital to fund these student projects. Students at Saint John the Baptist-King Edward will be pitching for 2 minutes to the members of our panel: Andrew Miller, serial entrepreneur, Kelly Lawson of Ella the Shop and Jeff Scammell of JDS financial for their company funding, giving them the chance for the experiential learning of presenting yourself and your business idea. My class at Saint John High School had heard about what SJBKE was up to and also wanted to join in the pilot of this idea so once again, we reached out to the community and managed to find even more volunteers to donate capital & time to our efforts. In April, Shauna Cole of S. Cole Consulting, Andrew Holmes of ICS Creative and Allie Beckwith of akaDecor joined us to -62-

hear the pitches and offer feedback and guidance to the teams. They did an amazing job and the experience was a tremendous learning for all of us. Each school presented their ideas at the local market and then at the final gala. Each school was tasked to choose a cause to donate the proceeds of their markets to and in a very generous act of kindness, the students at Saint John High School agreed to donate their portion to the Saint John the BaptistKing Edward Entrepre-neurship Class to allow their students to continue with their program in a more sustainable way. SJBKE is generously donating their proceeds to Hestia House whom they agreed collectively support given the local connection. The story of innovation & entrepreneurship are quite intertwined. When you say something is ‘entrepreneurial’, you really mean it sounds ‘creative’. Creativity in designing how people engage with a product or object, creativity in solving a problem and creativity in designing a special process or new service could all be considered entrepreneurial. By bringing our experiences and sharing them with our classes, we can help illuminate what it means to be an entrepreneur. When we realized that our own network wanted to be more involved and that the students could use some capital and support, we thought why not put 2 + 2 together. We actually had more than enough interest from our network and believe this could easily be an addition to the programming. We are so thrilled these Saint John schools and students working together to ensure that entrepreneurship is still a lesson that can be experiential, fun & impactful to everyone.

Profile for BrilliantLabs

Brilliant Labs Magazine: The Entrepreneurial Spirit  

In this issue we will explore what it means to be an entrepreneur through the stories of youth, educators and established entrepreneurs alik...

Brilliant Labs Magazine: The Entrepreneurial Spirit  

In this issue we will explore what it means to be an entrepreneur through the stories of youth, educators and established entrepreneurs alik...