Photo: Rob Foreman

Entrepreneurship: A summer job

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By David Lao    

A summer program is set to launch for Ryerson students who want to start their own business and earn money at the same time.

Basecamp is a program that welcomes students with an idea to start working on their business with a team.

Jaigris Hodson, Ryerson Launch Zone director, said that the program was created because a lot of students wanted to start their own business, but were unable to because they still had to earn money in the summer.

“What we were hearing from students was, ‘we would really like to do this program, but we really can’t because we have to work and make money over the summer’, so we got the funding as a way for students to pay themselves a little in the summer while they’re in this program,” Hodson said.

The program will be held at the Launch Zone, located in the Student Learning Centre (SLC). Applications are open until April 15 to all Ryerson students. Those accepted will attend the program from May to August.

The first two weeks of the program will begin with a boot camp that will have students taking courses in areas such as finance and programming.

After that, students will have to fulfill a minimum number of hours spent in the Launch Zone, as well as attend a certain number of meetings and workshops to stay in the program. Students will be fulfilling the requirements alongside their designated mentor.

“We are going to tailor specific mentorship to each of the specific teams that come,” Hodson said. “For example, say your business is related to marketing and communication, we’ll find you a marketing and communications mentor.”

After the program finishes, students will still be able to use the Launch Zone and other programs or incubators around campus to progress their startup.

The program has space for up to 30 students, but that can be any number of startups as it depends on how many people are going to be on each team, according to Hodson.

A minimum of $2,000 is given to each accepted student, which will come from both Ryerson and the Brookfield Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Students who show financial need can be eligible for more money.

“We have some funds available for that, because we really want students to be able to do this program,” Hodson said. “We didn’t want needing to pay your bills to be a barrier for starting your own business.”

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