Program helps young Canadians embrace entrepreneurialism

A Canadian program that targets the next generation of great entrepreneurs is seeking participants and mentors for its next session.

The Next 36 recruits three dozen undergraduate students from Canadian universities each year to help them create their business. As part of the year-long experience, these aspiring entrepreneurs take classes on entrepreneurship, work with mentors and advisors, and develop and launch their business idea.

"They need the role models and the skill sets and the practice in building organizations for Canada to develop high-impact entrepreneurs," Claudia Hepburn, executive director and co-founder of The Next 36 recently told Career Options magazine. "The goal of The Next 36 is to increase Canadian prosperity by developing the next generation of high-impact entrepreneurs."

In addition, the 36 students that are chosen to participate in the program are eligible for up to $80,000 in seed capital, as well as legal support, business services and market research. And, the $30,000 tuition fee for the program is covered by the individuals and foundations that support the program. It is supported by over 50 of Canada's top business leaders.

"The Next 36 gives young Canadian entrepreneurs all the tools they need to have an impact on the global stage," said Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile. "You won't find this mix of executive-level mentorship, top instruction and resources anywhere else in the world."

According to the Kauffman Foundation, the world's leading source of entrepreneurship research, individuals between the ages of 20- and 34-years-old has the lowest rate of entrepreneurial activity.

However, many in this age group want to become small business owners. In fact, the Kauffman Foundation reports that 54 percent of the members of the Millennial Generation say they either want to start a business or already have.

The aspiring entrepreneurs who make up The Next 36 are chosen from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants each year. Surprisingly, they are not just business majors. Students from all fields of study and personal backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Even though they will work on building a mobile venture or tablet apps as part of the program, it is designed to give those who complete the course the skills, experience and role models to become an entrepreneurial leader in any field.

Those interested in becoming one of The Next 36 and gaining access to the small business tools and support the program offers participants must apply before October 22.


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