Summerside recruitment campaign drawing interest from young entrepreneurs, officials say
Program uses local ambassadors to highlight business and lifestyle advantages of living in Summerside
Officials with the City of Summerside say a program aimed at attracting people to the area has generated a lot of buzz in its first year.
The Homeward Bound program uses local ambassadors to highlight economic and employment opportunities in Summerside, as well as the lifestyle advantages that come with living in a smaller municipality.
Mike Thususka, Summerside's director of economic development, says thanks to the program's website and social media presence, his department hears from people daily wanting to connect.
"We are seeing inquiries from around the globe," Thususka said.
"A lot in central Canada for sure, for the most part they are young thirty-somethings wanting to see whether there's a match for their skill sets and/or their entrepreneurial spirit and find ways we can maybe link those two together."
200 requests for information
He said a database of economic development contacts has grown by 250 people in the past year, and he believes it can be credited to several individuals who have, or plan to, move to Summerside.
Thususka said he's received more than 200 requests for more information since the program launched.
"What we're seeing for the most part is an uptake among young entrepreneurs, the family-orientated entrepreneurs, and career-seekers that are wanting to come back, so it's pretty amazing."
The program initially had three ambassadors. It has since expanded to seven, with another nine expressing interest, Thususka said.
$1,000 per year
Officials with the program are now working with a marketing firm to establish next steps, but say they plan to increase the frequency of their messaging, adding more videos and expanding the sectors represented in their messaging.
Thususka said with the website in place, program expenses are minimal — about $1,000 per year.
"It's not a huge expenditure, but the dividends we are getting back in terms of creating conversations far outweighs the investment we are making in this."