Helping unemployed young people create new businesses and new jobs. That's the focus of an innovative, new government program being administered in the Prince George area by Community Futures Fraser Fort George.
Under the program, Community Futures has been awarded $207,458 to help local youth develop their business ideas and entrepreneurial skills. The project is part of a new $1.65-million pilot program introduced by the B.C. government and funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement.
The Youth Skills BC - Entrepreneurship Pilot Program is designed to assist unemployed youth ages 15 to 29, who are non-Employment Insurance clients. In Prince George, it will support 25 young people by enhancing their entrepreneurial, employability and occupational skills through the development of a formal business plan, mentorship and training.
This innovative new program provides the opportunity for youth to participate in business training, work with local business owners and access one-on-one business coaching and development programs. Through the program, youth with a sound business concept can apply directly to Community Futures Fraser Fort George for assistance in developing the concept into a formal business plan.
Up to $5,000 per participant will be available to support pilot program activities and may include personal supports during the development of the business plan, business-seed funding, an education grant, or the purchase of training. Pilot project funding is also going to groups in Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna.
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada -
Understanding that each province and territory is well positioned to address its own unique labour market needs, our government is proud to support this innovative project. Helping young people develop the entrepreneurial spirit and skills they need to succeed in, and potentially create, the jobs of tomorrow will strengthen B.C.'s long-term competitiveness; building a stronger province and a stronger Canada."
Susan Stearns, general manager of Community Futures Fraser Fort George -
"Youth are our entrepreneurs of tomorrow. We need to do everything we can to support their education, training and development in this field of expertise. Without focusing on this type of development we will begin to see a decline in locally owned businesses within the next five to 10 years, as an increasing number of business owners are looking to retire."
Community Futures Fraser Fort George: www.cfdc.bc.ca/
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
Community Futures Fraser Fort George