Entrepreneurship Growing on Canadian Campuses

Entrepreneurship Growing on Canadian Campuses

Entrepreneurship Growing on Canadian Campuses

In Canada, young adults have demonstrated a growing interest in entrepreneurship; this trend can also be observed across North America and beyond.  Long associated with business administration, entrepreneurship is now taught in every field. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to prepare students for the rapidly changing entrepreneurial environment and for the challenges of the future. 

Entrepreneurship Across Academic Fields  

A study led by the University of Ottawa found that at the 27 largest universities in Canada, there were around 22 entrepreneurship-focused courses per institution, across various fields and academic levels. This has grown exponentially since 2010. Many faculties are recognizing the importance of entrepreneurial skills for students in all fields of study; for example, offering courses in entrepreneurial marketing, law, problem-solving, and financing. Institutions are also focusing on experiential programming and learning, by offering workshops, conferences, and work placements. This gives students the opportunity to apply their skills and network in their field. On top of that, Ontario is one of the top provinces to start a business, with Toronto and Ottawa being two major hubs for startups and entrepreneurial success.  

Generation Z Passionate about Entrepreneurship  

Today’s youth, also referred to as Generation Z, see entrepreneurship favourably. A survey by EY Ripples and JA Worldwide, found that this generation wants to follow careers that enable original thought and creative control. Being more digitally connected, they feel a high degree of self-sufficiency, and with the quick, independent, and low cost it takes to start a business online, they are encouraged to further  pursue entrepreneurship. Moreover, the rise of the “side-hustle” has enabled students to start businesses while also continuing their studies. 

Graduating with Experience  

The fact that today’s students come with an entrepreneurial mindset, combined with increased access to entrepreneurship-focused classes, along with the development of support ecosystems for entrepreneurs on campuses, has propelled countless student startups. In Ontario, students are encouraged to venture into start-ups while completing their academic studies. Colleges and universities offer programs and services to help students have access to mentorship, funding, and training. Thanks to these initiatives and additional off-campus resources, students are graduating with experience and even existing companies. Programs and organizations like Startup Garage help students and graduates navigate their growing business aspirations through resources, advising, and an even space to create them.  

University of Ottawa student Namrata Bagaria, for example, created Seniors Junction, a company that provides seniors with opportunities such as activities, exercise opportunities, and connections during the isolation of COVID-19. Another group of alumnae from uOttawa developed a platform to solve and flag errors on online shopping websites, improving customers experience.  

Enactus: The World’s Largest Experiential Learning Platform 

Enactus Canada is an organization that provides students opportunities and connections to develop projects and businesses. They do this by establishing themselves on campuses across Canada, offering students training opportunities, and implementing community outreach programs. With 30 participating campuses, Ontario stands out with the most Enactus campuses (the province in second place only having 6). This positions students in the province with great opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills and strategies for their business ventures. Enactus also holds regional, national, and international competitions; with the University of Ottawa placing second in the world in 2017.  

Ontario is an Excellent Place for Aspiring Entrepreneurs to Study 

Ontario is one of the best places for students interested in launching a business or developing entrepreneurial skills. Full of learning, mentoring and business opportunities, studying in Ontario opens the door to a future of entrepreneurship for young people, no matter the field of study or aspirations. The government of Ontario also has resources, funding, and opportunities like internships to start a business and for students to widen their entrepreneurial skillset.