YCC Magazine

Vol.3 #2

Issue link: http://digital.imedianorthside.com/i/1075290

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Page 23 of 33

T ackling one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Ontario 1 , the Brock Youth Centre has created a program that offers North Durham youth aged 15 – 29 an EDGE: Entrepreneurship Development Generating Employment. Great business ideas may abound, but the thought of starting one's own business can be daunting, regardless of age. The question on many minds: where does one begin? 2018 marks the fifth year the Brock Youth Centre (BYC) has been running Business Idea Competitions for students in the townships of Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge, with pitch competition winners taking home cash prizes. Recognizing that many youth may never have considered becoming an entrepreneur, the first step is to introduce the concept through classroom presentations. A collaborative partnership with the local School Board and high school administration opens the door for these presentations to take place. With curiosity aroused, students then sign up for lunch-hour workshops, led by BYC staff, on developing a business plan, marketing plan, financial plan, and pitching a business to a panel of five judges. Each high school in the three townships holds a semi-final business pitch competition run in Dragon's Den format, and this year, between the three schools, 20 business ideas were pitched. Judges selected a winner and runner-up from each school, and these students then moved on to the final pitch competition. The creativity and capability of the students is astounding, and every year the judges have a challenging task in selecting the final runner-up and winner. This year's winning business offers pet owners tailored and personalized bandanas that are guaranteed to stay on the animal. Business owner, Grace B., has product available in several stores, as well as with the Humane Society of Durham Region. Runner-up Tyler W. runs a custom 3D printing service utilizing 3D printing technology. These students are establishing local enterprises and are making sales on a continuous basis. The track record of youth businesses established over the years (6 are growing and developing roots), inspired the BYC to add a series of Entrepreneurship Development Workshops for youth 18 – 29 years of age who have completed their post-secondary education (or are working on completion), and are unemployed or underemployed. The runner-up and winner in this age category are establishing viable businesses in the area, and will contribute to the economic development of North Durham. The Brock Youth Centre is a virtual youth centre, and in an effort to reduce travel time for youth in rural communities, BYC staff travel to work with them in their home community. These programs are available with funding from South Lake Community Futures Development Corporation and a Rural Economic Development (RED) grant from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. 23 1 McMillan H. Youth employment trends in Durham Region. Aug 31, 2017. https://www.durhamregion.com/opinion-story/7521199-youth-employment-trends-in-durham-region/ Brock Youth Centre - Building Youth Capacity CRUSHING YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT WITH YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP Written by Lois Shaw - Director of Development & Fundraising

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