We do not all have rich uncles to hand out the seed money to coax a business through those early stages of growth. Yet, that loan or grant at the critical early stages of business can mean all the difference in survival, along with some mentorhip. So what is a young entrepreneur to do? We are very lucky in Canada to have the Canadian Youth Business Forum (CYBF) which delivers all the help of a rich uncle.
I have been involved with many business incubator type organizations and this is one of the best in the world. CYBF gives loans and grants to young entrepreneurs but they also assign a mentor, usually a seasoned executive, who can prod on the owners to do the right things and meet the right people. So much of business is about who you know and having that right mentor. CYBF has worked hard to get all the pieces in place to give fragile start ups that extra boost, and to get the wing beneath their wings. Their impressive list of companies who have gone onto Dragons' Den and won deals keeps growing and there are loads of quiter successes, as well as rapidly scaling companies.
It is thrilling to let you know that CYBF, representing Canada, received the top prize of 'Country of the Year Award' at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Dubai. As the official host of Global Entrepreneurship Week Canada (GEW) for 2009, CYBF was honoured to accept this award on behalf of all our partners. Thanks to all the volunteers and Board commitment, CYBF came first among 100 competing countries. To learn how CYBF promotes a culture of youth entrepreneurship within Canada and globally, please read their press release Please click on the following link to access it: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2738308/Dubai_award_release.doc
A special hats off to Vivian Prokop, CEO of CYBF. Vivian knows the entrepreneurs well and is a role model for all of them. She has inspired and driven the growth of CYBF with her sparkle and energy.The federal government also recognized the credibility and success of CYBF by awrding a $20 million grant which CYBF then distributes to young entrepreneurs as the seed money to get them started.
To become a mentor, go here.Jacoline Loewen, author of Money Magnet and supporter of CYBF.