Helping ex-military start civilian businesses
According to many ex-military personnel the only thing more difficult than the rigors and demands of service is returning to civilian life. Each year thousands of Canadian Forces members leave the military only to find few programs available to help in their transition. They report particular gaps in training and resources to succeed in civilian careers.
Wanting to honor these servicemen and women and satisfy a clear community need, the Memorial University Enactus team partnered with the Department of National Defence to create a program for transitioning Canadian Forces members interested in becoming entrepreneurs. The program, which starts with a week-long boot camp followed by a year of mentorship and training, focuses on entrepreneurial education, access to start-up and growth financing and specialized business mentoring. Local entrepreneurs and businesses leaders are also engaged, sharing their experiences and advice to help prepare these individuals for their new ventures.
The “Based in Business” project has empowered 13 medically discharged and retired military personnel, created 22 jobs and generated $119,350 in revenue. Due to this success, the team has built a partnership with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and the Prince’s Charities Canada, which will help with additional funding and resources to give these veterans the opportunity to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality.