When First Nations Youth Are Especially Coveted by Collective Entrepreneurship
The second edition of StartUP Nations took place on May 23rd to the 25th at Concordia University, in Montreal. Forty or so young people, aged 15 to 35, representing seven First Nations and eight communities, gathered to acquire tools that will enable them to develop their projects of collective entrepreneurship.
Initiated in 2017, StartUP Nations is an event centred on youth collective entrepreneurship. It seeks to promote social economy among Quebec’s First Nations youth and to provide them with tools to develop a project of collective entrepreneurship, while offering them the opportunity to become driving forces for the socioeconomic development of their communities. “The StartUP Nations was undertaken in the context of an initiative to promote youth collective entrepreneurship across the province. My vision of the StartUP Nations for the First Nations, was to allow for a collective movement to “do things together” and to meet the needs of the communities. This is the basis of social economy, respond to needs, but also, make money and create good jobs!”, underlined Karine Awashish, initiator of this project and Social Economy Advisor for the FNQLEDC.
Organizers and Context
Organized by the FNQLEDC and the First Nations Social Economy Regional Table (FNSERT), the event also relied on the support of several partners, including the Concordia University, the First Nations of Quebec-Labrador Youth Network (FNQLYN) and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Health and Social Services Commission (FNQLHSSC). StartUP Nations falls within the context of the deployment of the Social Economy Youth Incubator Initiative (SISMIC), developed and deployed by the Poles of the Social Economy, which are active in all areas throughout the province of Quebec.
On the first and second days of StartUP Nations, the young entrepreneurs had the opportunity to attend conferences and specially-themed workshops conducted by experts specialized in financing, project management and communications. The final day was devoted to the preparation of the pitch selling the idea of collective projects for presentation to a panel of experts (“Dragons”) invited for the occasion.
Generally speaking, this second edition was highly instructive and particularly rich in exchanges. In addition to the knowledge acquired throughout these three days of event, this experience allowed young people to develop a sense of responsibility and their ability to express themselves.
Want to discover the projects of the participants? We invite you to read the article Diversified and Promising Collective Entrepreneurial Projects.