The Canadian economy is changing. It used to be that one would graduate high school, attend post-secondary school, and get a good paying job with benefits. This is no longer the norm and our students should expect different career opportunities and different paths than their parents or grandparents. Our students may have to reimagine what their careers might look like and entrepreneurship may be part of that picture.
The Grade 9 Futures in Business class took a tour to North Forge Technology Exchange to learn more about entrepreneurship and to be inspired by all the innovation happening right here in our community. North Forge Technology Exchange is a non-profit development agency that offers young entrepreneurs (aged 18-39) access to shared resources including a powerhouse community of fellow entrepreneurs, award-winning mentors, affordable office space, and Canada’s largest fabrication lab. Students were given a full tour of the fabrication lab with included equipment for rapid prototyping, 3D printing, woodworking, metalworking, and plastics forming to name a few.
In addition to the lab tour, students met a local successful entrepreneur, Matt Olson, who is making eco-friendly snowboards and listened to many success stories coming out of North Forge. They have had incredible success in assisting small business start ups. In Winnipeg, it is estimated that approximately only 50% of new businesses survive their first year whereas those that work with North Forge have a survival rate of 97%. Some of the success stories that have come out of North Forge have been Heft, a shovel attachment that makes shovelling easier, and Permission Click, an app that makes paper permission slips a thing of the past.
Here is what some of our students had to say about North Forge:
“We learned that the community of entrepreneurs are the greatest asset to North Forge. I want to start a business one day and it is very encouraging to know that there are places for people to go to grow their businesses.” Serafina Busceti
“What I found the most interesting is how North Forge has gotten the attention of people around the world. Business leaders have come from China to learn about what they are doing. It’s incredible to have such a successful business right here in Winnipeg and have it get so much attention.” – Halle Dupre
“One of the cool things that interested me was the 3-D printers. It’s fascinating how you can have an idea, then put it in the printer and it becomes a reality.” – Carter Ullett