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VIU takes entrepreneurship program province-wide

The course, which is free, helps students learn how to turn their ideas into a business.
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Vancouver Island University student Kendyl Perry of Kamloops creates merchandise based on her own photographs. VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY

A 30-week entrepreneurship program offered by Vancouver Island University is now available online to students around the province.

In the course, students learn how to turn their ideas into a business. Topics covered include business strategy, financial literacy, marketing and mentoring.

Because of the pandemic, the full-time course went online this year, and VIU has opted to continue the online format to expand its reach within B.C.

The co-operative entrepreneur training program was started in 2018 and is geared toward students who have faced employment barriers or who may have disabilities.

It’s funded by the province’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, so students who are accepted do not pay program costs.

For the first time, students in this year’s program were matched with a mentor for the entire length of the course, and also received $1,500 in start-up funding from Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada.

Student Kendyl Perry of Kamloops is starting a business that uses her photography to produce a range of merchandise featuring photographic images, including pillows, bags, leggings and headbands.

“The program is definitely an eye-opener on what being an entrepreneur is actually like and what owning a small business is all about,” she said.

The students’ work will be on display at a virtual showcase set for April 7 at 6 p.m. Details and tickets are available through eventbrite.com.

Anyone interested in applying for the next course can email the instructor at amy.woermke@viu.ca.