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Veterans learn key business skills at entrepreneurship boot camp

Posted by Joanna Afghani on June 25, 2021 in Students, News

Yesterday, Prince’s Trust Canada, along with Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Management and the Rowe School of Business, hosted the graduation ceremony for their annual business boot camp. The boot camp, part of the Prince’s Trust Canada’s Operation Entrepreneur program, provides Veterans and transitioning members of the Canadian Armed Forces with a course in business essentials including marketing, finance, accounting and other need-to-know business practices. Its goal is to help military members launch their second careers as entrepreneurs while creating positive economic and social impact in their communities.

The boot camp program began on June 10 when participants received live virtual classroom instruction, participated in online networking events and open forums, and benefited from coaching and guidance from Rowe School of Business faculty members. Professors from the Rowe School volunteer their time and expertise to not only teach, but also work directly with participants to help craft their business development plans. Student volunteers from the business school helped the participants transform some of the more conceptual topics into practical solutions directly related to their businesses.

Participants started the program with a developed business idea and signed in remotely from their homes across Eastern Canada. One of the participants, Louise Leslie, retired from the Regular Force in 2019 after serving 42 years in the Health Services, with her first 27 years as a Reservist. Based on her experience running her own consulting company for several years when she was a geologist living in Alberta and still serving in the Reserves, she felt confident that this next business venture would be more successful.

After several iterations of figuring out what she wanted to do, she registered her company, GeoLearns, in October 2020. Her business will offer workshops to help teachers teach geology using hands-on learning in the outdoor classroom. “The boot camp has allowed me to more fully understand my target audience and develop a business model to kickstart my business. The boot camp was an invaluable opportunity to build my network amongst my cohort, alumni and businesses affiliated with Prince’s Trust Canada. I look forward to being part of this community of like-minded entrepreneurs and helping others to succeed in their endeavours. I live in Two Islands, Nova Scotia, which is situated in the middle of the Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark. I couldn't think of a better classroom!”