By the time you reach university, you have a general idea of the direction that you would like your career to follow.
But what really helps you determine if your desired field is for you? Short answer: Work experience. The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade‘s Small Business Council runs an initiative that helps connect local entrepreneurs with talented post-secondary students – the Practical Education Program (PEP).
The PEP gives students the chance to learn by working on hands-on projects and applying concepts learned in the classroom to solve real-world challenges for growing companies. It’s a win-win because small businesses get to work with young talent while growing a high-calibre talent pool.
In BC alone, 98% of companies are considered small businesses (less than 50 employees). Many have limited resources to focus on growth initiatives or resolve operational challenges while running the day-to-day operations in order to sustain the business.
To-date, PEP students have worked with organizations like Electronic Arts, Vancity, AJ Tailor, Zimt Chocolates, Mindful Tea, and Foot Solutions.
Now the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Small Business Council is looking for 15 businesses for the Applied Business Project course at Langara College, starting in the fall of this year.
If you know a small business that would be eager to work with PEP students on a strategic business project, make sure to reach out to the Small Business Council. Likewise, if you’re a student interested in taking part in the PEP.
Langara’s Applied Business Project course ranges from the preparation of a detailed consulting plan to a business plan, or the development of specific deliverables for the client organization. Students will work closely with the client and a faculty advisor and will present their report to the client and faculty.
Clients requirements will be assessed on a case-by-case basis but include four key factors to be met in order to participate. They must be headquartered in the Lower Mainland of BC, have at least 10 full-time employees and a revenue of approximately $1 million annually. Not for profit organizations may also qualify depending on circumstances.
The Small Business Council recently had several successful pilots working with some of the major schools in the Lower Mainland; SFU, UBC, and Langara. They have also been in contact with Douglas College, RED Academy and BrainStation.
Visit the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Small Business Council now to find out more.
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