New OC business program creates more real-world learning for budding entrepreneurs

By Public Affairs | September 24, 2020
           

Experiential Entrepreneurship program supporters
Experiential Entrepreneurship program supporters

Okanagan College’s School of Business is launching a new program that will teach entrepreneurship and business in a way most business owners would say is key to learning – by doing.

The Experiential Entrepreneurship program will offer an entrepreneurship specialty to the College’s Bachelor of Business Administration degree.

Modelled after a long-running and highly successful program at the College’s partner school in Finland, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, the Experiential Entrepreneurship program will see business students design, plan, launch and run their own businesses. Students will also take on projects for local businesses and non-profits designed to introduce them to business and entrepreneurial practices.

“We are excited to provide a truly experiential program that is really a different way to learn and obtain a degree in business,” says Bill Gillett, Dean of the College’s School of Business.

“We know many students learn best by doing so this program will create that opportunity along with essential supports like coaching and guidance from our faculty and community mentors, accelerating students’ learning while they earn their bachelor’s degree.”

Gillett adds that the program will create a number of community benefits, including new business creation, and support for existing businesses and non-profits to explore new revenue opportunities. The program will also create closer ties with students and the business community, with many students choosing to work for the company they helped during their degree once they graduate.

“We’re looking for companies who may have projects for students,” adds Gillett, recommending interested organizations contact the Okanagan College School of Business.

The development of the new program is being supported by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Accelerate Okanagan (AO). RBC is donating $50,000 from its Future Launch initiative, which is focused on empowering Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow.

“We know experience is so important to getting a job, but so hard to come by,” said Nicole Dalton, RBC Community Manager.

“We hope that through our partnership with Okanagan College and our Future Launch initiative we can introduce young people to the adaptable skills of entrepreneurship, empowering them to create their all-important first jobs, gaining experience while solving community problems and innovating along the way.”

Accelerate Okanagan is also supporting the project through the Okanagan Innovation Fund by contributing a $15,000 investment this year, as well as connections to their community of entrepreneurs. The Okanagan Innovation Fund was created in partnership with Okanagan College to support innovative and collaborative projects that will have a lasting impact in the community for years to come.

“Entrepreneurs drive change and keep our community moving forward. This program is an innovative approach to increasing the number of entrepreneurs and home-grown businesses in the Okanagan,” says Brea Lake, Accelerate Okanagan CEO.

The JAMK entrepreneurship program is highly lauded for its benefits in helping students find employment or launch their own business. Over a 10-year period, the JAMK program has resulted in the below outcomes:

- Total revenue from companies has surpassed $2.3 million
- 91 per cent of teams are employed within six months of graduation
- 37 per cent of students launch their own business within six months of graduation
- 47 per cent of team entrepreneurs are still entrepreneurs two years later
- 150 projects have been completed for various companies

Okanagan College’s Experiential Entrepreneurship program plans to launch its first full cohort in September 2022. To learn more about Okanagan College’s School of Business, click here.



Tags: Bachelor of Business Administration, Okanagan School of Business, Partnership

TOP STORIES

RELATED STORIES

Sign up for weekly stories




Trending

Sean McFetridge
Meet Sean McFetridge, OC alumnus

November 1, 2021

After an intense wildfire season, heatwaves and droughts, the need for Canadians to conserve water is more crucial than ever. That’s where OC alumnus Sean McFetridge comes in. He and his wife, Alisha McFetridge, co-founded RainStick Shower, a WiFi-enabled smart shower system that aims to solve water and energy waste by up to 80%. We caught up with Sean to hear more about what he’s been up to since graduating from OC in 2011. Where is your hometown and where are you located now?Kelo...

Read more...
Kelly Terbasket
kinSHIFT: a powerful—and local—way to learn about Truth and Reconciliation

September 27, 2021

Kelly Terbasket of IndigenEYEZ has created a new sister organization for allies—kinSHIFT. Launched this spring, kinSHIFT is a tailored set of workshops for non-Indigenous allies who want to take the next step. Designed in response to increasing requests from people who want to be genuine allies, kinSHIFT is a safer space to do the work.                                                                          ------------ As a person of mixed heritage, I've always felt the divide between cultures and wanted to be part of bridging awareness a...

Read more...
English Professor Hannah Calder reads while sitting in her home office by a window
Why We Write: Poets of Vernon

September 10, 2021

The writing community of Vernon is taking centre stage in a new film produced by OC English Professor and self-proclaimed budding filmmaker Hannah Calder. For the last four years, Calder has been collaborating with Curtis and Silmara Emde on Why We Write: Poets of Vernon, a film project originally sparked in 2017. Curtis, an OUC alumnus, has stayed in touch with his first-year English professor, Tom Wayman, since completing his studies. When Wayman released his collection of music-...

Read more...
Ty Sideroff story
Ty Sideroff

September 3, 2021

“I have always been interested in our anatomy and exercising so I enrolled in OC’s Kinesiology Diploma program. My first year was going really well, then COVID-19 hit. I was able to finish the first year in an online format. However, starting school in September completely online, I was struggling to stay engaged with my studies. Before COVID, many of our classes would be active and in the gym. I found it hard to stay present with everything online and not having the same convers...

Read more...