The Elkford Chamber of Commerce is launching a Youth Chamber Program (YCP) which is designed to help youth develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
The YCP is offered to all interested grade 12 students from Elkford Secondary School (ESS). Through the YCP, participating students will be supported in making local business connections, acquiring the tools needed to become entrepreneurs and work for local companies.
“The ultimate goal that the Elkford Chamber has for students in this program is to give them an open mind set for their future and what potential opportunities are available after graduation from high school or post secondary education,” said Shawna Bryant, executive director for the Elkford Chamber of Commerce. “There is great value in setting students up for success in their last year of school. We at the chamber look forward to encouraging a young entrepreneurial mindset for students, as they are our future.”
Facilitating student-mentor connections through hands on learning experiences, the program supports School District 5 and the British Columbia Ministry of Education’s mandates, encouraging seniors to foster entrepreneurial creativity as they move towards post secondary goals.
Students participating in the program may select one of three streams: becoming an entrepreneur, gaining employment experience, or learning about board of directors and nonprofits.
Via learning sessions and chamber events, students looking for entrepreneurial assistance will learn how to write business plans, start businesses, market businesses, and connect with community organizations. Seniors looking for employment experience will be assisted with cover letter and resume writing, interviewing, finding a job, and building references. Participants may incorporate their Celtics Capstone Projects with any of the streams.
Furthermore, the chamber is offering a position as junior chamber board of director. The selected candidate will learn how to pass policies, work with a team of board directors, implement programs, and partake in chamber events.
All YCP participants will receive a free Elkford Chamber of Commerce membership for the duration of the school year, including member services, discounts to events, and access to various workshops.
The chamber is currently calling on local professionals and businesses to support the program by becoming a mentor, offering employment opportunities, or sponsoring the YCP.
Mentors offer professional expertise in their fields of work, including 10 to 15 hours of mentorship and guidance. Areas of interest include but are not limited to education, culinary arts, marketing, accounting, and more.
Businesses can also support the YCP by becoming employers, hiring, training, and mentoring students as they complete 100 hours of paid or unpaid work.
Sponsorship runs at an annual cost of $300, with donations distributed to program administration, bursaries, and business start up costs including purchasing a business license, supplies for products or services, and marketing. The sponsorships also offer participating businesses marketing accolades, free entry to workshops, and logo and business promotions.
For more information on how to join as a student or partner with the program as a business, visit the chamber’s website.