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four young students study on computers in a college campus (Dean Mitchell)
four young students study on computers in a college campus (Dean Mitchell)

Small Business Briefing

Summer camp for entrepreneurial teens set to launch Add to ...

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MaRS offers entrepreneurship boot camp for teens

For many students, the end of the school year signals the start of a summer job or camp. But for those business-minded teenagers with entrepreneurship pumping through their blood, there's another option: The MaRS Future Leaders program, which begins on July 23.

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For the first time, MaRS Discovery District is offering a one-week boot camp for students between the ages of 13 and 15, where they will invent and test original business ideas and learn skills to help them succeed in business. More specifically, the goal is to teach students how to see problems as opportunities, interview potential customers, identify target markets, create prototypes, draft business models and present compelling pitches.

It's a unique, hands-on program supported by one-on-one mentors, successful entrepreneurs and dynamic teachers. Like The Next 36 program, it's also very competitive. With just 20 openings, the MaRS Future Leaders who have been selected are active in the community, keen to succeed as entrepreneurs, have a wide variety of interests, work well in collaborative environments and listen to constructive criticism.

Outlook gloomy for small business owners

Small business confidence continued its downward trend in June, wiping out any gains made since last summer, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The Business Barometer index dipped from 64.8 in May to 62.1 on insufficient customer demand and more conservative hiring practices.

"The weight of concern over the prospects for world economies continues to push business confidence down in Canada," said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president. "If there is any good news, it is that our numbers suggest the economy is still growing, albeit at a slow pace."

For 11 consecutive months, Alberta (73.3) and Saskatchewan (72.5) are the more optimistic provinces, while Ontario (60.7) and Quebec (59.7) continue to sit well below the national average.

The June 2012 findings are based on 748 responses, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.6 per cent 19 times in 20.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Social Mix

On July 26 in Toronto, join Gary Vaynerchuk and Amber Mac for this day-long event to help businesses better understand how to use social media to drive sresult. The Social Mix conference aims to teach you what it means to engage, share, and build relationships; the importance of strategic online personal branding; and why ‘one-on-one’ relationship building with consumers is crucial to business success. For more click here.

eLuminate Pitch CrowdFunding Conference

Starting July 30 in New York, the two-day eLuminate Pitch CrowdFunding Conference will focus on how entrepreneurs can scale their businesses and leverage crowdfunding resources to expand and launch new products and services. Through crowdfunding, entrepreneurs can raise small amounts of capital from supporters in exchange for product or service rewards.

Gain access to actionable content, resources, financing, exposure, networking. 

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Victoria paddleboard-maker stands and delivers

Jason Heinz has been shaping surfboards since he was 15. In March, 2011, he opened his own shop, Epic Surf Co., in his native Victoria.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Would you get a tattoo for a discounted sandwich?

Small business are learning that rewarding their customers can help them gather data on who buys what.

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