Nurturing the next generation of business leaders in northwestern B.C.

Prince Rupert entrepreneur encourages business owners to join mentorship program

Kristi Farrell owns two restaurants in Prince Rupert.

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Kristi Farrell is no stranger to northwestern British Columbia’s business community.

She owns and manages two restaurants in Prince Rupert: the popular Opa Sushi and Cowbay Café.

With more than 15 years of experience in the local restaurant industry, Farrell now wants to give back to the community that has helped her businesses succeed.

Like other established entrepreneurs in the area, she decided to become a mentor with ThriveNorth – a joint initiative between Futurpreneur Canada and Prince Rupert LNG that works to enhance entrepreneurial opportunities for youth in B.C.’s northwest.

“I’m at a time in my life when I feel confident with sharing my experience with others,” Farrell says. “I’m also excited to learn from young people who are starting out.”

For Farrell, compatibility is key to a successful mentor/mentee relationship.

“There should be a level of comfort on both sides, so each person feels open to reveal their challenges and experiences,” she says. “Both people should also feel like they have something to give and receive.”

ThriveNorth matched Farrell with April Link, the co-owner and founder of Outer Coast Outfitters, an outdoor education, private guiding, and gear rental company based in Prince Rupert.

The match was a success. Farrell is inspired by Link’s passion for her business and family. She’s even learned some valuable lessons from her.

“I’m often amazed at the talent and drive exhibited by my mentee,” says Farrell. “April has taken a balanced approach to starting up her business. She’s teaching me to stop and smell the roses.”

Farrell is a huge supporter of ThriveNorth’s mentorship program and encourages seasoned entrepreneurs to get involved.

“Being a mentor is a great opportunity to re-invigorate your own business,” she says. “Young entrepreneurs see business in a new and exciting way.”

Farrell encourages entrepreneurs interested in mentoring the next generation of local business leaders to attend ThriveNorth’s Mentor Masterclass on Oct. 6 from noon until 4 p.m. at the Crest Hotel.

“Take the first step to playing a role in nurturing the future of business in B.C.’s northwest,” she says. “You’ll learn just as much as you teach.”

ThriveNorth empowers young people to start and grow businesses in the northwest region of British Columbia. It provides emerging business owners aged 18-39 with resources, financing, mentoring and connections in their communities. ThriveNorth is a joint initiative between Futurpreneur Canada and Prince Rupert LNG, the proposed LNG project on Ridley Island.

For more information about ThriveNorth, visit www.thrivenorth.ca.