Guelph’s Growing Commitment to Entrepreneurship!
The University and City of Guelph have displayed a great deal of commitment to growing and fostering the entrepreneurial community both on campus and city wide. There are now more opportunities than ever for funding, mentorship, networking and partnerships! The commitment of the community to fostering entrepreneurship is evident as we take a look in the numerous organizations that offer assistance to prospective entrepreneurs.
The Centre for Business and Student Enterprise (CBaSE)
The Centre for Business and Student Enterprise is an organization established through the College of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph. CBaSE offers transformational learning experiences for students who wish to build their knowledge of business development and entrepreneurship as well as hosts various events that connect entrepreneurs to mentors and funding opportunities. Students at the University of Guelph are able to enroll in one of two classes developed by CBaSE, Business Consulting (MGMT*4050/4060) and Food Product Development. The business consulting class matches a group of students to a local business and allows students to apply what they’ve learned in traditional, text-book based courses to solving real business problems. Both classes provide students with an opportunity of a lifetime to gain real-world knowledge of business development and management consulting. As a current business consulting enrolled in the MGMT*4060 class, I can personally vouch for the excitement and unique learning experience that students will get, should they choose to take on this challenge!
In addition to offering courses, CBaSE also sponsors and organizes various events around the community. CBaSE has supported over 400 students in attending and hosting industry-related competitions and conferences, granted funding to students for new entrepreneurial ventures and has been involved in the organization and marketing of various events such as Enactus Guelph, Guelph Finance Conference and TedXGuelph.
If students are looking for some real-world business experience, they should look no further than 50 College St. West! (This, of course, is the location of CBaSE)
Check us out!
Innovation Guelph is an organization that encourages innovation and community well being across Guelph. Innovation Guelph helps companies and entrepreneurs solve business challenges through business coaching, networking and raising funding. The organization has worked with the City of Guelph, local organizations and community groups to strengthen community-wide projects aimed at improving the quality life in Guelph. Innovation Guelph is a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) and has helped coach over 600 companies, raised over $20 million in funding and has hosted over 8000 workshop participants. If you, or someone you know is looking to begin the journey of becoming an entrepreneur, I highly recommend you take a look!
Available to the students at the University of Guelph is the entrepreneurship society. The entrepreneurship society aims to motivate students and faculty to pursue creative and innovative entrepreneurial ventures. The society hosts events that aim to bring student together to discuss and explore how the global business environment is changing and how students and individuals can become a part of social change!
The society hosts such events as a speaker series. Last term, they brought in Damien Steele, managing director of OMERS Ventures, to come and talk to students about the current state of the entrepreneurship environment and the qualities an individual must have if he/she wants to succeed as a business owner. (I wrote a blog about this).
Entrepreneurship 101 @ UofG
Another opportunity for students to gain inside knowledge into the world of business and entrepreneurship is the weekly hosting of live-streamed Entrepreneurship 101 (E101) lectures! E101 lectures are live streamed lectures carried out by the MaRS Institute in Toronto, an international hub fostering the growth of the entrepreneurial community in the Greater Toronto Area.
E101 lectures are put on by an extremely talented, intelligent and might I add, good looking group of volunteers, - which I am part of. Tori Bellwood, an extremely personable Leadership and Organizational Development major, Gena, a hilarious Political Science and Philosophy major and myself, an overall awesome Economics and Finance Major help put on these lectures every Wednesday from 5:45-7:15 in Mackinnon 303.
If students are interested in increasing their knowledge of business and entrepreneurship and hearing from successful entrepreneurs, they should definitely take advantage of this opportunity! If nothing else, come for the free food!
The HUB Incubator Program is a program in Guelph that connects prospective entrepreneurs with funding opportunities, mentors, partnerships, business services, offices spaces and much more! The program is available to all University of Guelph students and alumni who are working on innovative and creative projects. Eligible teams must have at least one co-founder who is a current University of Guelph student or alumnus between the ages of 18 to 29. The Hub focuses on businesses in the beverage and food, life sciences, agriculture or social enterprise sectors but all ideas are welcome. Students who need some guidance or would just like to be part of a community that can share ideas would be crazy not to check out the HUB!
Given the vast amount of resources available to student of the University and citizens of the Guelph Community, there should be no excuse why anyone with a great idea shouldn’t pursue it! So get out there, innovate, plan, become an entrepreneur and above all else, have fun!
Jamie Westover is a member of the inaugural CBaSE Peer Helper Team. A 4th year business student here at the University of Guelph majoring in economics and finance, Jamie’s interests primarily surround the financial side of economics including wealth management and investment analysis. He hopes to one day be a business leader in the banking sector. Jamie has worked for Sun Life Financial as a Business Continuity Analyst and at the Ontario Power Authority as a Business Intern. When he is not studying or reading articles on the Financial Post and the Wall Street Journal, Jamie enjoys fitness, snowboarding, and cooking.