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Transitioning military and veterans kick the tires on entrepreneurship at one-day workshops

“Putting answers on paper actually clarified that I wanted to move ahead with my idea”

– One-day workshop participant

The skills acquired during a career in the Canadian Armed Forces can transfer very well to entrepreneurship and running a business. Certain traits including leadership, problem-solving, strategic planning and resiliency are all necessary to build and run successful businesses.

For veterans and transitioning military personnel trying to decide if entrepreneurship is a good fit for a second career, Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE) offers 18-20 free one-day workshops across Canada each year.

The workshops are led by professional entrepreneurship coaches and trainers. They cover a range of topics including evaluating business ideas, marketing, financing, and networking as well as what to expect in the day-to-day life of an entrepreneur. Additional resources and online tools are also distributed.

“After serving in the military, many veterans consider starting their own businesses. It’s great how the workshops can ignite an idea and motivate someone to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams,” said Kathleen Kilgour, POE Program Manager. “It’s also great if it helps someone realize it’s not for them.”

The workshops also feed into POE’s signature program, the seven-day intensive business boot camp. The POE boot camp, held on university campuses across Canada, is like a ‘mini MBA’ designed to help veterans and transitioning Canadian Forces members rapidly advance their business knowledge and skills.

So far in 2018, over 230 people have attended six workshops in Bagotville, Esquimalt, Petawawa, Shilo, Edmonton and Kingston. There are three more scheduled this winter, four in the spring and six in the fall.

The one-day workshops are offered in English and  French and are open to the Canadian military community including veterans, still-serving members, reservists, and their families.