Students are planting the seeds for future entrepreneurs

Lakehead club passes on entrepreneurial skills to high school students

Roman Jakubowski

Staff Writer

Lakehead Business students are out to change the world: or at least share a bit of their entrepreneurial spirit. The Argus sat down with Vice President of Enactus, Mickey Marshall. Enactus is a LUSU club on campus open to any business-minded student.

As a young entrepreneur herself, Marshall knows the importance of supporting young entrepreneurs. Marshall is launching an app this summer called Hardcover Hookups for students looking to exchange textbooks on a local level: “We call it Tinder for textbooks; it will tell you how far away a book is from you,” said Marshall.

Tell me about Enactus?

Marshall: Enactus is a youth organization recognized worldwide. It’s an amazing organization that promotes entrepreneurship among youth. What Enactus is doing at Lakehead is going around the community building connections and networks. This year we’re going to Dennis Franklin Cromarty and we’re doing an Aboriginal youth entrepreneurship initiative. It’s been dormant for 4 years.

I went on exchange this summer to Singapore and learned about entrepreneurship there because there isn’t an entrepreneurship major at Lakehead. I had an enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and I wanted to get this started this back up.

What does this initiative involve?

Marshall: It’s through three high schools: St. Patrick’s, Churchill, and Denis Franklin Cromarty. We call it Enactus Start Up Day. There’s 34 students participating, we’re really excited about it. These students have been working on business projects all year through an initiative for aboriginal youth started by Paul Martin. They’ve gone through the steps of marketing and accounting and they’ve essentially created a business.

Enactus is trying to go into the school and create a platform where they can present their ideas. We’re creating a pitch competition where we’re hosting workshops on how to give a proper pitch, cost benefit analysis, etc. They’re going to go through these workshops and then pitch their ideas at the end of the day. We have prizes to incentivize them to try a little bit harder.

What are the prizes?

It’s just Cineplex passes, no seed money. We’re not Dragon’s Den. We are partners with the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre, they’ve donated to help with this event.

How did Start Up day go?

Enactus Start Up day was a success. The winning pitch was a company called Cube Development. An app and website development company. Other pitches included a food truck serving traditional Aboriginal food and a brick and mortar store selling traditional Aboriginal art and jewelry. The winning students, who happen to be in 10th grade, are from St. Patrick’s High School. They intend to move forward and pursue this venture.

What does the future of Enactus look like?

We’re running financial literacy workshops next year. How to create a budget, how to stick to your budget. How to manage and build credit. Information about taxes. National competitions are in May in Toronto, [where] we’re going to be presenting the Start Up Day initiative.

Marshall, along with the rest of the Enactus executive can be found on Facebook at Enactus Lakehead for any students interested in joining the club.