Eric Venus

NW-ACE grads celebrate in style

The fifth cohort of the NW-ACE program graduated earlier in November

For six months starting last May, a group of eager First Nations entrepreneurs started their journey to becoming successful business owners involving everything from candy stores to roof-preserving spray technology.

They came together on the evening of Nov. 13 to celebrate their graduation as the fifth cohort of the Northwest Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs Program (NW-ACE).

“It went by really fast,” said grad Eric Venus.

“[We learned] so much that you think four months would be enough time, but it was really compressed. We had people coming in [to talk to us] specialized in a field [we were interested in]. They just did a wonderful job.”

The first four months of the intensive six-month schooling program where the NW-ACE students were together, they took in-class courses on their specializations. The latter two months, they were able to go out in the field and learn on-the-job training.

The classwork consists of interactive and practical learning components while in Prince Rupert and the business mentorship and coaching aspect comes as some of the students return to their home communities in the northwest in the later part of the year.

“We’re looking for people who have demonstrated a real stick-with-it-ness in their resumes. We’re also looking for people who have worn their teeth a little bit in building skills and experiences … If you’ve got a concept, you describe [it] and you’re also highlighting what your actual skills are. If there’s a really good alignment between your skills and experiences with the concept you’re proposing, that’s a really strong factor in you getting in the program,” said Cory Stephens, programs manager for NW-ACE, mid-way through this year’s program.

NW-ACE, a collaborative initiative made possible by TRICORP, the University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business and Service Canada among other organizations, has another cohort class set for the new year.

One of the most important things as the students move along in the program is the relationships they build not only with their business contacts, but with each other.

“[You’re] just grabbing 20 strangers and just bonding. You’re sharing a lot of fears and different cultures, but it’s just how we came together as a group and backed each other up,” said Venus, who is specializing in equipment operations.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice also took in the evening’s ceremonies.

“[The program] really mentors people … We’ve seen some successful businesses coming from the program and every year I listen to the presentation and I always learn something new,” she said.

 

Just Posted

Identifying child care space needs in Prince Rupert

B.C. government is providing a $25,000 grant for more than 70 communities to help improve daycare

Prince Rupert U17s are 2019 Junior All Native Basketball Tournament champs

This year’s tournament held in Kitimat and Kitamaat Village

Police investigating after body found in Terrace

Discovery Friday afternoon near Olson Ave.

Grant Lawrence brings stories and songs to Rupert

Luke Wallace, Rachelle van Zanten will support April 13 event as musical guests

Taylor Northcott will help build Arizona State hockey

Prince Rupert hockey star was a Seawolf before moving south for sports school

Rupert’s greens ready for golf season

VIDEO: Prince Rupert Golf Club is open for 2019 with turf that weathered well over winter

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Story of Wet’suwet’en Chief Alfred Joseph being told

Song of the Earth on Chief Gisday’wa will be launched in Hagwilget

Houston woman gets two years for aggravated assault

Ewald pleads guilty; trial of co-accused Calvin Dyrland begins in Smithers B.C. court

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Most Read