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Skilled Veterans. Confident Entrepreneurs.

Supporting Veteran Entrepreneurs

This Veterans’ Week, Prince’s Trust Canada is calling on all Canadians to celebrate and support our country’s vibrant community of Veteran entrepreneurs.

During service, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans, and the families that stand behind them give to Canada in countless ways. After transitioning to civilian life, many members of the military community continue to contribute as entrepreneurs, using the skills they built in the military to open new businesses that create positive economic and social impact in their community.

There are a few ways to get involved and show your support:

Buy Veteran – our Canadian Veteran Business Directory (buyveteran.ca) lists over 450 Veteran-owned businesses online and in communities across Canada.

Mentor a Veteran – join our sixth-month mentoring program and share your knowledge, expertise and perspective with an established or aspiring Veteran entrepreneur. We are recruiting business professionals and entrepreneurs from all sectors and from diverse professional backgrounds.

Donate – help more Veterans and their families by donating to support our Operation Entrepreneur program.

2020 Featured Entrepreneurs

Our award-winning Operation Entrepreneur program provides a continuum of training and support services plus the network building opportunities needed for Veterans to start and grow successful businesses.

The program’s signature “boot camp” is an intensive business training program held in partnership with select Canadian universities and at not cost to Veterans. During the week-long training, participants receive in-class instruction from business school faculty, participate in mentoring forums and networking events, receive one-on-one coaching and work on a plan to take their business to the next level.

Since the program’s inception in 2012, there have been more than 550 graduates who have gone on to start more than 440 businesses, in a wide range of sectors across Canada.

We asked five graduates of our boot camp about what inspires them and how the skills they developed in the military are helping them as entrepreneurs. Read Rene’s, Nicole’s, Ryan’s, Christina’s, and Matthew’s stories below.

 

Rene Doucet

23 years of service, owner of Kalité Inspection, 2019 Université Laval boot camp alumnus

Rene knows that a client centred approach is essential for success. Learn how Rene is applying the time management skills he built in the Canadian Armed Forces to meet client’s needs and run Kalité Inspection. Read more

 

Nicole Schur

26 years of service, owner of Nicole Schur Yoga, 2020 east boot camp alumna

A global pandemic and a life-changing move did little to slow Nicole’s pursuit to run her own yoga business. Learn how Nicole is applying the resiliency she learned in the military to run her business. Read more

 

Ryan Pagnacco

15 years of service, owner of Enable Innovation Product Development, 2017 Memorial University boot camp alumnus

Ryan’s engineering service turns clients’ ideas into physical products. He says the 15 years he served in the Canadian Armed Forces taught him the soft skills needed to succeed as an entrepreneur. Learn how Ryan uses leadership skills at Enable Innovation Product Development. Read more

 

Christina Connelly

21 years of service, owner of Kompass Health Associates Incorporated & Soldier to Self, 2019 Dalhousie University boot camp alumna

Grit, according to Christina, means having the perseverance, resilience, integrity, unwavering dedication and courage to work towards challenging long-term goals without any immediate feedback. Learn how Christina is using her “grit” to help other Veterans find meaningful careers. Read more

 

Matthew van Erp

25 years of service, owner of Healthy Habit Mentoring, 2019 University of Regina boot camp alumnus

Matthew knows from his 25 years of military experience that you can never have the perfect plan. But knowing how to problem solve means being able to come up with a range of solutions. Learn how Matthew applies the problem solving skills he built in the military to run Healthy Habit Mentoring. Read more

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