Summer Institute mentors small N.B. businesses
Businesses include jewelry that helps people with anxiety and flat pack furniture made of cardboard
A small initiative in New Brunswick is helping get businesses off the ground and hoping to dispel the myth that the province's economy is all doom and gloom.
The Summer Institute is an intensive three-month program that has already had a number of success stories.
Some of them so far include jewelry that helps people with anxiety and flat pack furniture made of cardboard.
It's ideas like those that make Dhirendra Shukla optimistic about the future.
"We are creating this buzz that is so exciting, that I am hoping that it permeates across New Brunswick," he said.
Shukla is chairman of the University of New Brunswick's Dr. J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management and Entrepreneurship and is the driving force behind the Summer Institute.
Connect with mentors
One of the main thing the institute does is connect new small businesses with a team of mentors.
"What we want to do is change the conversation to something positive, something constructive, something about fundamentally rolling up your sleeves and doing something and it's happening," Shukla said.
It happened for the Wear Your Label clothing brand. In 2014, the company took part and is now shipping worldwide.
Friday was the final event to wrap up the 2015 program. It was the opportunity for entrepreneurs like skateboard maker Alex Matson to show what they have learned and where they plan on going next.
"It's quite hard to quantify how much value we've been given through the program," he said.
Plans are already in place for the 2016 Summer Institute with organizers inviting interested business owners to get in touch.
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