VANCOUVER – Students from York House School in Vancouver have placed first in a nationwide competition designed to promote youth entrepreneurship among secondary school students, announced Alex Shipillo, President, B.C. Office, Impact Entrepreneurship Group.
The Microcredit Competition, developed by the Impact Entrepreneurship Group, provides small loans to potential entrepreneurs. During the competition, teams of up to five students from 35 Canadian high schools received $100 and were challenged to use the funds to generate a profit within one week.
“The Microcredit Competition is a creative endeavour aimed at cultivating youth entrepreneurship, fostering innovation and supporting leadership,” said Shipillo. “It’s an excellent example of how encouraging the next generation of business leaders to work together, with their teachers, classmates and local community, can produce extraordinary results.”
The original $100 loans were repaid, with all profits being donated to a variety of charitable organizations. York House School students’ winning idea, which generated a profit of over $3500, was selling personalized stainless steel water bottles to mitigate the environmental impact of plastic water bottles.
“This competition was intended to promote the entrepreneurial spirit to secondary school students,” said Arthur Chan, the Chair of the Microcredit Competition. “We’ve not only given students an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom about business and entrepreneurship – we’ve encouraged them to be bold, take risks and work together to develop innovative, productive ideas.”
Second place winners from John G. Diefenbaker High School in Calgary sold food and drinks and organized a music festival, while third place finalists from University of Toronto Schools in Toronto carried out a wide variety of morale building activities including a waffle breakfast, sports tournaments, and smoothie sales. The 35 participating schools generated a total profit of $14,500, which each team’s proceeds going to a charity of their choice.
Funding partners include the Province of British Columbia, RBC, and the Shad Valley enrichment program.
The Impact Entrepreneurship Group is Canada’s largest non-profit, student-run organization dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurship among the nation’s youth. Since 2004, Impact has developed programs both at the national and local level, reaching over 500,000 young people each year.