TIMMINS, ON: Northern College faculty look to local entrepreneurs to help guide students along the path to success.
Alicia Pirie’s second year business entrepreneurship class teaches students the basics of starting their own business, outlining feasibility assessments, business models and determining their potential customer base.
In an effort to maintain student interest and attention, Pirie is looking beyond the text book and into the community for real life lessons.
“It’s important for students to appreciate the amount of work and risk that an entrepreneur puts into trying to create a community brand,” said Pirie. “I think it’s crucial for students to understand how important it is to support local businesses instead of going and shopping online or supporting services elsewhere.”
Pirie enlisted the expertise of local entrepreneurs like Jonathan St. Pierre, owner and operator of Full Beard Brewing Company to share the lessons they’ve learned along the road to success.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said St. Pierre. “It’s great for them to see that someone has already walked that path and they can get the insights of what they can do, I was one of those who learned from everyone around me, so it’s great to see that this is a college program that helps foster interest in owning your own business.”
Northern College is committed to providing students with experiential learning opportunities that draw on expertise based in its campus communities.
“I think it is important, as a business owner, to learn about entrepreneurship from a text book, but it is equally important to actually hear local entrepreneurs and business owners talk about what it is really like to be in business,” said Pirie. “The students are mainly tech and trade students, so I wanted to put a different spin on learning about the entrepreneurial mindset without necessarily wanting to be a business owner.”
Community involvement and commitment plays a large role in the long term success of local businesses like Full Beard Brewing Company.
“It’s an important factor to have big community involvement, whether it’s doing a fundraiser or recognizing that people are looking at doing something out there,” said St. Pierre. “Even if it has nothing to do with beer or having a drink, it’s very important to show that we’re there to support the community in any way possible.”
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