Saturday, December 22, 2012

Surrey Youth Entrepreneurial Community



Work on your goals and your goals will work on you
Did you know that 98% of the BC economy is composed of small businesses? Entrepreneurship is the heart of our economy. But why does entrepreneurship matter to me?


Entrepreneurship helped bring out the best in me and it continues to do so. That’s why the quote by Jim Rohn resounds with me. Entrepreneurship has helped me develop leadership skills, critical thinking skills and most importantly confidence in myself. Even if I don't continue to start more businesses, the skills I have developed will never leave me. I wouldn't be as innovative, creative or hardworking if I never set myself on the entrepreneurial path.


What about Surrey’s Youth?
Over 1/3 of Surrey’s population is under 30 years old. That’s a huge number. But we don’t focus on supporting, encouraging or developing our youth. Throughout my high school experience and all the people I knew at the time, I never heard about any other students starting their own businesses or really taking on any initiative to challenge themselves. To be their best.

They say the people you spend the most time with determine who you become. Over the last few years I've focused on developing my entrepreneurial skills on my own and it was challenging. I started looking around in Surrey recently to see where I can find more youth with a similar mindset to mine and realized that Surrey isn't known for having a youth entrepreneurial community. This is a missed opportunity in our community. I want to change that.

My goal is to provide youth with entrepreneurial opportunities earlier on. To give them the opportunity to take on their own challenges which will help them be more innovative, independent, and hardworking. How am I going to do this? I'm currently working with SEEDS, the Self-Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Society, to accomplish this initiative at the high school level. The members of the SEEDS Youth Entrepreneurial Committee want to make a lasting change in the City of Surrey and see a whole new generation of entrepreneurs emerge. But it starts with the OPPORTUNITY. That’s what we will work to provide our youth. Opportunity.



 



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Community Mobilization

Community Mobilization

Expectation setting.Its more than just expectation setting,  its a tool to unite a group and community together. A simple exercise that we all do all the time. Personally, this workshop reminded me of how important it is. 
You can't mobilize a community without a common goal, sounds simple enough but its something that is almost expected and assumed. If the workshop is called Community Mobilization, that must be exactly what the workshop is about right ?I recently attended a workshop hosted by PeerNetBC focused on this very topic.

During the expectation setting portion of the workshop the facilitator passed around two different colored sticky notes to everyone. We would fill out what we were looking to learn on two sticky notes of one color and what we needed to from others to learn on the other color.Afterwards we each would stick it onto the board. I quickly realized that out of the two things I was looking for, only one of them was common to everyone else. All of us were attracted by the title of the workshop, community mobilization, but we were not all looking to learn the exact same things. 

Everyone around the room had experience starting their own initiatives and shared what helped and hindered them when it came to succeeding.  As we talked about expectation setting a girl shared her story about how the organization she was a part of never did expectation setting. Everyone was looking to achieve their own personal agenda and joined thinking that it was the exact same as the organizations goals. Since no one was getting what they wanted, all it did was breed discontent within the organization.  Without expectation setting that night I would have been the same as I would be wondering why we weren't covering everything I was looking for.

When I was recruiting for my student organization at Kwantlen, AIESEC, I thought all of them would be coming to join us because we provide personal development. However, when I really asked them why they joined it would change from "looking for an opportunity to meet new people" to "gaining relevant work experience". 

Not everyone is the same, and not everyone is looking for the same things. 

When trying to unite a community and mobilize it to accomplish a specific goal don't forget to do expectation setting.You will be surprised by all the different reasons people decide to join and support you.