Entrepreneurship

Preparing students for the workforce, supporting entrepreneurship focus of new RBC-SMU partnership

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A new partnership between Saint Mary’s University and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) will create new co-operative education positions and expand entrepreneurial coaching, skill building and mentoring for Saint Mary’s students.

On Thursday, Feb.14, 2019, Saint Mary’s University and the RBC Future Launch Program announced the establishment of the RBC Talent Hub at the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre. The partnership is supported by a gift of $695,000 over three years from the RBC Foundation in support of RBC Future Launch. The new RBC Talent Hub will encompass four initiatives designed to expand cooperative education and entrepreneurship opportunities for Saint Mary’s students.

“As a national leader in business education, Saint Mary’s has a history of driving entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Saint Mary’s University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray. “Through this new partnership, we are looking to bridge the gap between the needs of our changing economy and what students are learning. Together with RBC, we can better prepare our students for the workforce and support the growth of Saint Mary’s as a key driver of entrepreneurial culture and success in our region.”

Chris Ronald, RBC Regional President, Atlantic provinces and Saint Mary’s University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray

Chris Ronald, RBC Regional President, Atlantic provinces and Saint Mary’s University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray

RBC Future Launch is a 10-year, $500 million commitment to empowering Canadian youth for the jobs of tomorrow. With a focus on networking, skills development, practical work experience and mental wellbeing supports and services, the initiative aims to help break down the barriers facing young people.

“Canada is at a transition point, economically, socially and technologically, and universities play an important role in positioning our country for tomorrow,” said Chris Ronald, RBC Regional President, Atlantic provinces.  “Our country’s future prosperity will depend on our young people and their ability to lead us forward, which is why we are so proud to help bring students high quality experiential learning opportunities through the RBC Talent Hub.”

The RBC Talent Hub Program will consist of:

•      Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program: rotating, nationally recognized EIRs who will coach and mentor students and help connect local entrepreneur-led businesses with co-operative education opportunities.

•      Entrepreneurial Mindset Success Certificate: multi-level skilled entrepreneurship training workshops for Saint Mary’s students.

•      Student Consultant Team: co-operative education students will run this self-led student consulting practice focused on the needs of entrepreneur-led businesses.

•      Talent Fund: fund student co-op placements in the region and support opportunities for students to grow their own business as part of a co-op term.

Gregg Curwin (BComm’90), the inaugural RBC Entrepreneur in Residence

Gregg Curwin (BComm’90), the inaugural RBC Entrepreneur in Residence

Chris Ronald also announced the inaugural RBC Entrepreneur in Residence.  An innovative alumnus and industry disruptor with decades of business experience, Gregg Curwin (BComm’90) is the director, and former president & CEO, of TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture, a company that has created an indoor farming system to grow fresh plants for food and medicines. In his advisory role as EIR, Curwin will work within Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre to coach and mentor students and help to build relationships with regional entrepreneurs.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this partnership between Saint Mary’s and RBC,” said Curwin. “This type of forward-thinking approach is exactly what is needed to prepare students for the demands of the workforce and the opportunities they have before them as business leaders and entrepreneurs. Some of the most important things I learned about being an entrepreneur came from my mentors. Being able to share my knowledge with the next generation, and pay it forward, is an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Saint Mary’s University to participate in Halifax and eBay partnership on retail program

Saint Mary’s University and The David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services are proud to be a part of a new partnership between eBay Canada and the Halifax Regional Municipality. The partnership is for Retail Revival, an eBay program designed to help small and medium-sized retailers harness the power of e-commerce and global trade.

Retail Revival is a free 12-month training, support and educational program that empowers 60 – 70 local small and medium-sized retailers to thrive by leveraging eBay's global marketplace to reach new customers around the world. The program will also include a dedicated customer service support team, digital tools and subscriptions, promotional marketing from eBay, as well as additional education and resources from participating partners focused on small business and exporting.  

The David Sobey Centre for Innovation in Retailing and Services will participate in the eBay Retail Revival program in Halifax as a research partner.  Dr. Ramesh Venkat, Director of the David Sobey Centre, along with Dr. Rahman Khokhar and Dr. Mark Raymond will form a research team to study the performance of the companies participating in the program as well as the overall economic impact on this region.

“This partnership represents a great opportunity for both our region and university,” said Saint Mary’s University president Robert Summerby-Murray. “It is a recognition of the important role that we play as a national leader in business education, entrepreneurship and retail across Canada. We look forward to bringing the expertise of our business faculty and the David Sobey Centre to this partnership.”

This program is a partnership between eBay Canada and the Halifax Regional Municipality. It is supported by the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia. As part of the program, eBay is partnering with Halifax Partnership, Nova Scotia Business Inc., and Saint Mary’s University.

Photo credits: Stoo Metz, Click Productions.