By Kayla Perry, Editor-in-Chief
Matt Dasys, Entrepreneurship Coordinator at Sudbury Youth Entrepreneurship Hub (SYEH), believes there is a growing problem with youth unemployment – something he hopes the Future Entrepreneurs Education Dinners (FEED), can combat.
The first FEED Seminar will take place Thursday, Jan. 29 at 5:00 p.m. in the Laurentian Alumni Hall.
“I’m an ex-entrepreneur. When I graduated and couldn’t find a job, and I think it’s something that’s rampant these days. There was this expectation that you went to school, got a diploma and got a job… There is the entrepreneur spark in a lot of students, I think providing them with a support network is really going to help them with those opportunities.”
Dasys cited multiple factors, one of which included the fact that baby boomers are still “on the market and not retiring,” which are contributing to growing unemployment rates.
“One of the biggest barriers we’ve identified (for entrepreneurs) is for students to get funding upfront. Usually they’re in debt, and they’ve just graduated from school and haven’t had time to save up money. So what we’re doing is trying to set up an inter-institutional entrepreneurship club,” said Dasys.
The club will be funded through the support of students and the community, with sponsors including The Regional Business Center and the Investors Group, which have promised to match student’s investments (or donations) that are given at these events. This money will then be given to students who are attempting to finance their new businesses.
Although Dasys works directly out of Laurentian, his position comes as the result of a collaboration between Cambrian College, College Boreal and Laurentian.
Entrepreneur Patrick Lehoux will speak at the dinner, on his experience while funding his Kinkajou Bottle Cutter project. Using the popular crowd-funding website Kickstarter, Lehoux was able to raise $80,946 of his $75,000 goal, widely exceeding his goal with the support of 1,087 backers.
“Patrick successfully got his company funded, so he’ll be talking to students about how it takes just a little capital to go from an idea to an actual product,” said Dasys. “He’ll be speaking about the entire networking process of funding a startup.”
The seminar will target students and graduates from Cambrian College, College Boreal and Laurentian University, between the ages of 18-29.
In exchange for the free dinner, Dasys is asking that students donate five dollars, which will go towards the multi-institutional entrepreneurs club.
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