The Head Start In Business program has received the prestigious Innovation Award out of many nominations from across the province at Community Futures Ontario’s 23rd Annual Conference.
The Head Start In Business (HSIB) program was the brainchild of the North Claybelt Community Futures Development Corporation. What began as a pilot project in 2001 to help youth at risk evolved into a series of nine programs designed to encourage young people between the ages of 5 and 34 to explore and develop entrepreneurial skills. The programming covers a continuum of age-appropriate material that helps participants envision entrepreneurship as a viable career option in Northern Ontario. So far HSIB has exposed over 20,000 Anglophone, Francophone and First Nations youth to entrepreneurship in their respective communities or schools throughout Northern Ontario. This project has collaborated with all 24 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) in Northern Ontario.
The Head Start In Business team was honoured at the annual Awards Gala dinner that was recently held at the Clarion Lakeside Inn in Kenora. Over 200 delegates and guests from Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) came together to help celebrate their win. They were nominated for the award by the North Claybelt CFDC.
“The paradigm shift is happening. We’re seeing results and kids are more likely to have entrepreneurship on their radar” said Cindy Reasbeck, Head Start In Business Program Manager. “Northern Ontario will benefit from the lasting legacy of entrepreneurial culture. Other regions now look to Head Start In Business for assistance and mentorship in youth entrepreneurship programming.”
One of the cornerstone programs offered by HSIB is the Enterprise Olympics. This two day event provides students the opportunity to develop a business idea, prepare a basic business plan and pitch it to a panel of judges for a chance to win a$1000 scholarship to a Northern Ontario University or College. This year alone, May 4th and 5th in Timmins and May 11th and 12th in Thunder Bay over 250 students participated in the Enterprise Olympics. During the recruitment process for the event, over 2300 youth took part in an introduction to entrepreneurship workshop.
Photo (by Kimberley Pirie-Milko) : Head Start in Business received the “Award of Excellence for Innovation” at the recent Community Futures Ontario Conference. On hand for the awards ceremonies were Bonnie Martineau, Cierra Parkhill, Adele Delorme of Head Start in Business; Linda Semczyszyn of the North Claybelt CFDC; Cindy Reasbeck, Erinn Nesbitt and Ashlee Gerard of Head Start in Business.
Community Futures Ontario represents 60 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) – 36 in southern Ontario and 24 in the north – that offer free business counselling, loans for start-up and expansion of small business, strategic planning on local projects and community economic development in rural areas. CFDCs provide flexible, repayable loans to small and medium sized businesses and are locally managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and funded with federal government support.
For more information about the North Claybelt CFDC, contact:
Linda Semczyszyn, Executive Director
North Claybelt Community Futures Development Corporation
6 Ash Street, Kapuskasing, ON P5N 2C8
For more information about Head Start In Business program, contact:
Head Start In Business
6 Ash Street, Kapuskasing, ON P5N 2C8
Phone: (705) 337-1407
For more information about the Community Futures program or Community Futures Ontario contact:
Brenda LaGrandeur, Communications and Professional Development Officer
Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations
300 South Edgeware Road, St. Thomas, ON N5P 4L1
Phone: 888-633-2326 ext.125