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Operation Entrepreneur delivers its first online boot camp

This June, our Operation Entrepreneur program wrapped-up its first ever online business boot camp, delivered in partnership with Université Laval.

The intensive boot camps are designed to help veterans and transitioning military members prepare for second careers as entrepreneurs. Participants arrive with a developed business idea and learn best practices in marketing, finance, business planning and accounting from business school faculty. They participate in mentoring forums with local entrepreneurs, receive one-on-one coaching and work on a plan to take their business to the next level.

The four yearly boot camps are normally held in person on university campuses. As the global health epidemic spread, the program team had to quickly adapt. They worked closely with our partners at Université Laval to create an online version of the program.

The seven days of training was spread out over two weeks. Sessions were conducted online and facilitated by business school faculty, entrepreneurs, program alumni and experts.

Christine Carignan served 29 years in the Canadian Armed Forces and is the co-founder of DIAKI Experiences. She participated in the boot camp at Laval and said she most appreciated the support she received from her mentor. Carignan said her mentor helped her make sense of her business plan and clarified the business model canvas for her. She said, “Before boot camp it was just boxes to fill in, now I know how to move forward with the exercise.”

An online graduation ceremony took place to celebrate the participants and included special guest The Honourable J. Michel Doyon, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec.

The English boot camps will be delivered in collaboration with our three English university partners: Dalhousie University, Memorial University and the University of Regina.

Since its inception in 2012, the Operation Entrepreneur program has supported veterans and their families through the transition to civilian life. The program has helped launch more than 440 businesses across Canada.

If you would like to get involved, a new mentoring component was launched earlier in 2019 that matches successful entrepreneurs and business professionals with graduates of the boot camp. The program is actively recruiting mentors willing to share their expertise and knowledge. Find out more about the mentoring program.