Over the past six months, CEED Concordia, joined by five mentors and seven partner organizations, has offered training to ten student entrepreneurs and helped them bring five business ideas to life.
Younger generations have more interest and concerns for environmental sustainability and are leaders in the digital revolution, values reflected in the businesses young people start. Although small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy, youth entrepreneurs represent only a fraction of its owners. For this reason, CEED Concordia invited teams of student entrepreneurs to compete in a case competition in which the winners would benefit from a program that would kick off their businesses. The selected businesses were evaluated based on their social and environmental impact and had to be at the conceptual or early stage of their development.
Scroll down to meet the student entrepreneurs selected for the Youth Social Entrepreneurship Project (YEP) and the innovative businesses they’ve developed these past six months!
Fungi & Friends want to create a small-scale farming model and to spread accessibility on the techniques and equipment used for mushroom cultivation by delivering free workshops. Eventually they would like to produce a variety of mushroom products to sell online through e-commerce and specialized retailers to fund their educational workshops.
Laurie Bourgeois wants to provide a community space for like-minded individuals to meet, network and build community. The barn on unceded Atikamekw territory (300 km North of Montreal) will host artistic and therapeutic events and be a place for activist reunions. All events with sustainable values on the agenda.
Samantha Becerra, a Concordia Economics student, wants to create a business that upcycles food after witnessing Canada’s food waste. Originally from Mexico, Sam wishes to bring some of her favourite Mexican dishes with a vegan twist to Canada! The business will focus on snacks and granola for now.
Educator Amanda Tanner wanted to tackle mental health issues within her field. After attending the National Summit for Youth Mental Health Advocacy in March 2021, she decided to build an app that connects teachers facing similar challenges and directs them towards appropriate resources. Her team has been expanding and has about 20 interns Canada-wide, and 8 core team members now.
Rak-Shea Solutions is a start-up with the team split into two countries, one in Montreal and one in South Sudan. Its mission is to empower women in South Sudan by setting up a crushing facility for shea oil and cold pressing of oil treatment centres there, creating work opportunities. The Montreal team, consisting of two young Concordia entrepreneur students, plan to set up the supply chain between the south sudanese women’s chia oil and retailers.
The Youth Social Entrepreneurship Project could not have been possible without our partners offering excellent business training to our young entrepreneurs. Thank you to YES Montreal, SEIZE, Front Row Ventures and CPA Canada.