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Supporting Entrepreneurship at Post-Secondary Institutions in the Southern Interior

The Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) has supported public post-secondary institutions (PSIs) in the Southern Interior of BC since 2008 with funding of over $7 million. With the launch of its new Strategic Plan in April 2021, funding is now being provided to encourage entrepreneurship and to support post-secondary institutions as they help businesses in the region hire local students and graduates.

ETSI-BC has recently supported 6 new projects worth $105,000 in this new area of focus, Developing Human Capital. “ETSI-BC understands the importance of entrepreneurship for students and graduates. Not only is it an increasingly viable career option that helps create jobs and economic activity, but entrepreneurship skills are also highly transferable,” said Laurel Douglas, CEO of ETSI-BC.

ETSI-BC is continuing to serve as a catalyst for new economic development initiatives with this funding. Here are details of the recent projects:

Post-Secondary Projects

Organization NameProject NameFundingProject Summary
College of the RockiesEntrepreneurship and Innovation Office & Coordinator$12,500Provide business development resources for students, staff and local entrepreneurs.
Nicola Valley Institute of TechnologyCo-op Employment Preparation$5,000Students will develop pre-employability skills and participate in a 4-month work placement with employers who will receive a wage subsidy through the co-op program.
Okanagan CollegeEnactus OC – Experiential Entrepreneurship Learning Project$25,000Fostering student entrepreneurship and the development of the next generation of business leaders and change makers through Enactus.
Selkirk CollegeEntrepreneurship skills & Building the Outdoor Rec Sector$12,500Students will connect classroom skills to entrepreneurship and support companies to commercialize new products and services.
Thompson Rivers UniversityTourism Innovation Lab$25,000Students will develop an innovative tourism product through research and industry mentorship.
UBC Okanagane@UBC Support$25,000Students, staff and recent graduates benefit from training and mentorship support as they explore start-up ideas and build connections within the Okanagan innovation ecosystem.

“Our mission at ETSI-BC is to support economic development projects that will have long-lasting and measurable impacts,” says ETSI-BC CEO Laurel Douglas. “The outcomes of these Post-Secondary projects will assist the business community in our region by generating more skilled prospective employees and new ventures.”

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