Mentoring program helps veterans succeed as entrepreneurs

October 21, 2019

Toronto: This Remembrance Week, Prince’s Trust Canada, a national charity established by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, is calling on successful entrepreneurs and business professionals to become mentors to veterans who have launched and are running a business.

The Trust’s new mentoring initiative is the newest offering within the award-winning Operation Entrepreneur program, complementing existing supports offered to Canadian Armed Forces members and veterans as they transition to civilian life as entrepreneurs.

Since 2012, Operation Entrepreneur has helped veterans launch more than 370 businesses in a wide range of sectors, in communities across Canada.

“While our seven-day business boot camps give veterans key business fundamentals to succeed as entrepreneurs, the connections they make and the encouragement they receive are often just as valuable,” said Sharon Broughton, CEO of Prince’s Trust Canada. “The transition to civilian life is difficult and can feel lonely. A mentor plays a valuable role as they help veterans reach their personal and professional goals by providing support, advice and perspective. It’s keeping them mission-focused and easing that transition.”

Boris Milinkovich served 13 years in the military and attended the Memorial University business boot camp in 2018. “After boot camp I was so motivated and excited to start and grow my business. I learned so much,” said Boris, owner and CEO of True North Tradecraft. “But after a while, I reached a plateau. My mentor has helped me become more accountable to my goals. He’s providing helpful guidance, reassurance that I’m on the right path and some introductions that have broadened my business network.”

The mentoring program is providing business leaders with a way to give back and help those who have served our country. “As a mentor, I’m providing advice on things that I wish I had known when I was starting out,” said Jim Quesnel, mentor and Distribution Centre Manager at Brewers Supply Group Canada. “I’ve come to realize how the military can be excellent training for an entrepreneur. You’re taught leadership, strategic planning, creative problem-solving, execution and resiliency. I’m learning a surprising amount from my mentee. The whole experience has been very rewarding.”

The mentoring program runs over a six-month period with the mentor and mentee each committing to spend two-to-four hours per month on the relationship. The program includes a straightforward intake process for optimal matching, training and supports throughout the commitment. Apply now to become a mentor.

In addition to recruiting mentors this Remembrance Week, Prince’s Trust Canada is encouraging Canadians to support veterans by buying from veteran-run businesses. You can find these businesses online and in your community using their Buy Veteran business directory. There are hundreds of businesses listed offering a range of products and services including dog treats, coffee shops, consultants, designers, cabinet makers, home inspectors, fitness coaches and more.

Please contact André Garneau to arrange interviews with Operation Entrepreneur staff, veteran business owners, mentors and mentees.


For more information contact:
André Garneau – Manager, Marketing and Communications
647-355-3106 |


About Prince’s Trust Canada

Prince’s Trust Canada is a national charity established in 2011 by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Prince’s Trust Canada’s programs unlock potential in three key areas: providing entrepreneurship training for veterans and transitioning Canadian Armed Forces members, helping young people build confidence through employability programs, and supporting Indigenous communities as they revitalize and protect their languages.


About Operation Entrepreneur

A program of Prince’s Trust Canada, Operation Entrepreneur (POE) helps transitioning military and veterans become entrepreneurs by offering one-day workshops, seven-day boot camps, ongoing support and mentoring to build confidence, develop networks and launch successful businesses. Supporters of the program include the Government of Canada, True Patriot Love Foundation, BDC, TD Bank, LesLois Shaw Foundation, Sage Foundation, Dobson Foundation, VIA Rail, Accenture and Lockheed Martin.

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