The Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies at Cape Breton University will meet its goal to run the youth business mentorship program, In.Business, nationally and have student representation from each province and territory in Canada.
In 2012, the Federal Government of Canada committed $5 million in matching funds to the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies to take their Nova Scotia pilot program A Business Network for Aboriginal Youth and turn it into a national program, the now In.Business: A National Business Mentorship Program for Indigenous Youth. Since then, the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies has been working hard to raise $1 million a year to release $1million from the Federal government to run the In.Business program nationally. It’s been a lengthy process: the Chair has had to come up with the best way to divide the country into regions, they’ve had to find partners in each of those selected regions with similar educational values to Cape Breton University and Aboriginal business education, and they have had to hire national staff.
In 2014-2015, the Chair was able to find the four necessary post-secondary partner institutions, hire a regional manager in each, hire the necessary support staff, and have two of the five regions operate programs for the 2014-2015 school year¬- the Atlantic Region and the Central Region- with great success.
Now going into the 2015-2016 school year, the In.Business program will be fully operational. This year the goal is to have approximately 250 students and 40 mentors participating in the In.Business program nationally. The opening conferences have been scheduled and one has already taken place. The dates are as follows:
• October 29 and 30 – Eastern Region at partner institution, Nipissing University. The Eastern Region has students and mentors from Ontario, Quebec, and Nunavut.
• November 6 and 7 – Central Region at partner institution, University of Winnipeg. The Central Region has students and mentors from Winnipeg and Saskatchewan.
• November 9 and 10 – Atlantic Region at Cape Breton University. The Atlantic Region has students and mentors from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
• November 20 and 21 – Northern Region at partner institution, Yukon College. The Northern Region has students and mentors from the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
• November 27 and 28 – Pacific Region at partner institution, Vancouver Island University. The Pacific Region has students and mentors from British Columbia and Alberta.
Each opening conference will run in a similar format, with guest speakers, a campus tour, group activities and award presentations, among other things. Once the conferences are over, the students go back to their homes and complete a series of bi-weekly “challenges” on social media with tablets they are given through the program. In May and June of 2016, each region will bring their students back together for a closing conference where they will see more guest speakers, group activities, and award presentations.
To learn more about In.Business and the work of the Purdy Crawford Chair, visit the website or follow them on Twitter and Instagram by searching @CBU_InBusiness.