Anyone can be an entrepreneur

On-campus business mentors, startGBC, host entrepreneurship summer camp

Challenging the misconception that entrepreneurship is only meant for those with a business background, startGBC has embarked on a new initiative to support members of the George Brown College community who are looking to venture into their own businesses and do so successfully.

The on-campus entrepreneurship mentors launched a two-week training program called Entrepreneur Discovery Summer Camp that took place in August at GBC’s Waterfront campus.

This initiative featured workshops led by industry professionals, aimed at equipping students and alumni with the necessary tools to kick-start and sustain their business ventures.

It addressed a series of concerns for new and first-time entrepreneurs, ranging from pitching to common business mistakes, all at no cost.

 “We are trying to show that entrepreneurship is for everybody,” said Safia Amin, marketing and community outreach coordinator of startGBC.

Participants in the program have diverse backgrounds and interests, with students from the culinary and construction programs as well.

“Anybody can start a business, and our applicants reflect that,” said Amin.

 Among the participants is Madhur Dyagi, who has a marketing business in India, but wants to start a business in Canada as well. He is working on an app for “student-to-student peer connection” at the moment which is what sparked his interest in this camp.

“I think by the end of the summer camp, I’m going to hopefully start my business right away,” he said.

Similarly, Jasmine Jamas, a baking and pastry arts alumni and owner of Brown Sugar Pastries, is interested in learning, “different aspects of growing your business, starting a new business, and just all around entrepreneurship.”

However for Jack Mohammed Jakamy, a former UK-based businessman, this training program has a whole new meaning.

“It’s like a dream come true, because when you come to a new country, you don’t know how business works here”, Jakamy says. Being an international student, he said he felt very fortunate to attend this training.

However, the summer camp is not only focused on business management but the overall health and wellness of entrepreneurs as well.

Entrepreneurs are known to work tirelessly while often putting their health second to their businesses.

“It doesn’t have to be that way”, said Amin.

StartGBC is encouraging a healthy lifestyle in entrepreneurship as part of this summer camp, saying people should also be “wellpreneurs.”

StartGBC was established in 2014 and operates virtually and through their office at Waterfront campus.

It began with the understanding “that entrepreneurship was going to change dramatically in the future, and more people would enter entrepreneurship as a career pathway,” said Neal Lilliott who manages startGBC.

“It doesn’t hurt to have an extra stream of income, and even learning about how to start a business, and having that entrepreneurial mindset,” Amin added. “That’s a very valuable thing to have.”

Students and alumni are encouraged to cash in on startGBC’s upcoming events, particularly their plans to commemorate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day  on Oct. 17 and Global Entrepreneurship Week in November.

More information on startGBC and the services they offer can be found on their website at: startgbc.com

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Anyone can be an entrepreneur