Workshop aims to increase Aboriginal business in Timmins

Create: 12/01/2015 - 19:35

A 12-week workshop initiative aimed at training aspiring youth entrepreneurs is set to begin Sept. 28 in Timmins.
Rise to Your Potential is a business education program offering hands-on training and mentorship to Aboriginal youth aged 18-30 who are considering starting their own business.
Each week, the program looks at several aspects of business ownership, including creating a business plan, exploring different types of businesses, bookkeeping and accounting, effective communication skills and marketing.
Participants will also receive ongoing support from an experienced business development mentor who will assist with writing a business plan, looking for funding sources, as well as providing any other support participants may require to ensure success in their business venture.
“It’s important because there’s high rates of unemployment, and there’s a trend of more Aboriginal people moving to urban centres,” said Kim Bird, who is organizing the applications with the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF). 
“It’ll provide them with the tools to use in the future if they actually do decide to run their own business,” she said.
Rise to Your Potential officially launched Sept. 21 with at least 55 people attending. Bird said there are 35 applicants with 70 per cent being from Timmins and the remainder from nearby First Nation communities such as Brunswick House, Taykwa Tagamou, Wahgoshig and Mattagami.
While they are looking for registrants for administrative purposes, Bird said anyone is welcome to attend.
“We won’t turn away anyone who wants to learn,” Bird said. “And you don’t have to attend all the workshops.”
The initiative began when NADF performed a study comparing Aboriginal-owned businesses between Timmins and Sudbury.
“It showed that there are more Aboriginal businesses in Sudbury compared to Timmins,” said Bird. “So we thought about what we could do to improve those numbers.
“In the end, hopefully, we get business plans that everybody completed and that it gives them an idea what kind of financing organizations are looking for when people submit business plans.”
Workshops will take place every Wednesday starting Sept. 28 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Timmins Native Friendship Centre. Meals, transportation and child minding can be provided.

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12/01/2015 - 19:37
12/01/2015 - 19:37
12/01/2015 - 19:37
12/01/2015 - 19:37