The way the world conducts business has changed dramatically, and continues to do so at an exponential pace. The days of graduating from high school or university and moving onto a fulfilling career that would allow you to provide for your family for 30 plus years are long gone. The strategy has changed. Now it centers on the innovation and creativity of a growing number of young and hungry entrepreneurs.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Networking Group of Ottawa – or YENGO – was founded in 2014 to help young entrepreneurs from the Ottawa area accomplish their dream of entrepreneurial success. There was a need that founding partners, Operation Come Home, The Bethany Hope Centre, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre, and The Natural Step Canada saw that brought them together. They decided that they could, and needed to fill this gap – making entrepreneurial aspirations become reality for the youth of Ottawa.
YENGO received their initial funding to become a sustainable foundation and within five months of that, YENGO exploded, climbing their numbers to 16 partner organizations. It was a clear, and defining signal that the greater Ottawa business community had a divested interest to see the local entrepreneurial economy grow and flourish.
Since their inception in 2014 the founders of YENGO have been hard at work to ensure that their mandate is put into action. After countless hours of hard work, meetings, research, strategic thinking, and unwavering determination, the YENGO website www.yengottawa.org officially hit the World Wide Web on April 21, 2016. With the launch of the YENGO website, the plethora of resource tools to help youth and other community members navigate the many entrepreneurship programs, and support services available across the city became easily available.
YENGO is already starting to make their presence felt, they were exceptionally pleased to be a part of NEON 2016 – New Entrepreneurs of Ottawa Networking – which was attended by 300 small business owners, and local entrepreneurs. It also included a 28 exhibit trade show. The conference was a huge success and YENGO got a first-hand, in-depth look into the current world on youth entrepreneurship in the city of Ottawa. There is still work to be done but they were extremely pleased with everything they witnessed at the conference.
Entrepreneurship is such a fluid idea. There are no set guidelines, no rules of engagement, and most importantly, no guarantees. The dictionary definition for entrepreneur is; one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. When it is said like that, it feels cold and emotionless, perhaps even a touch of cognitive dissonance. Entrepreneurship is about personal drive, it’s about the creativity, innovation, and determination needed to grind out your place in the world. You need to work just as hard as the person standing next to you. It should be hard, the fact that it is difficult makes it that much more rewarding when goals are achieved. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be extended a helping hand to make it just a little bit easier.
YENGO is still seeking further sponsorship and support to fuel the dreams of countless young entrepreneurs. If you would like to get involved in making this happen, please visit the YENGO website, www.yengottawa.org.