As BC Youth Week comes to an end, Surrey has seen an inspiring range of talent, dedication, leadership amongst our youth. The future of our economy and workforce are bright.
The Surrey Board of Trade’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership Portfolio exists because Surrey is a young, rapidly growing city with one-third of its population under the age of 19. Given persistently high rates of youth unemployment in British Columbia—at 13.6 percent, more than double the national average—ensuring that youth follow an entrepreneurial or career pathway is not only an acceptable choice, but also a strategic economic decision. That is why our service portfolio introduces youth to career pathways and develops practical entrepreneurial skills. Youth have within them the power to accomplish everything they want – we help them find the will. Some of these services include:
1. Optimizing the regulatory environment
2. Enhancing entrepreneurship education and skills development
3. Facilitating technology exchange and innovation
4. Improving access to finance
5. Promoting awareness and networking opportunities
6. Student membership
7. Government advocacy
8. Surrey Music City Centre
9. Collaborations, including:
a. The Surrey Board of Trade and the Surrey School District implemented an action plan agreement eight years ago to work together to develop programs and strategies designed to prepare students for their future careers.
b. PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs is a curriculum-based program for grades 4-7 and grades 9-12 classrooms. Each individual student creates a real business by developing a business plan, product and marketing materials. They obtain loans, make sales, and donate a portion of their profits to charity.
c. Reboot Plus is an innovative program designed for youth 17 to 24 who have not finished or are not on track to graduate high school. This first-of-its-kind program in Canada, made possible through the Federal Government’s Future Skills Centre, helps youth re-engage in both education and career development connecting student participants with business professionals to have an informational interview where they can ask questions and explore what different businesses and careers are really like.
d. KidsPlay Foundation ensures that through sports our youth are developing team and leadership skills and teaching them that joining a gang lifestyle is simply not worth it.
e. Working with both public and private educational institutions on trifecta economic partnerships.
For more information or to join our Youth Team, please contact Kapil Sharma, firstname.lastname@example.org.
President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade