Penticton workshop targets young entrepreneurs

Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen offers free workshop to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34

Ever thought about starting your own business? Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen is offering a chance for young entrepreneurs to find out if they have what it takes.

Starting Wednesday, they are offering a two-day youth self-employment workshop, in partnership with the Canada Youth Business Foundation, at their Penticton offices. The workshop is free for anyone between the ages of 18 and 34. That, said Denise Blashko, community relations officer for CFOS, includes a wide range of people, from those just leaving high school, college or university to those who have been in the workforce for a while.

“That is even some of your stay-at-home moms who are wanting to get back into doing a little bit of entrepreneur stuff, whether it is home-based businesses or something that they found was working for them and they want to put that into a business idea,” said Blashko “It is basically helping them explore self-employment as an option.”

On the first day, participants in the workshop will look at the skills and personality traits needed by an entrepreneur and what a day in the life is like for people who decide to go that route. Then, on day two, the instructors start to help participants look at their business idea and assess its viability, start to look at the things they need to think about before jumping in full on.

“And a little bit about business planning, a little bit about marketing, and possibly getting financing from organizations, where they can get help and get access to resources,” said Blashko, who added she is looking forward to the workshop, to getting to the youth and seeing and helping those people that want to get started in self-employment.

“Because we have kept it in the starting stages, it is for anyone who has a thought or an interest about becoming an entrepreneur,” she said. “They don’t necessarily have to have a solid business idea or a business they want to buy. It can even be at the starting dream phase.”

Depending on the response to the initial offering of the self-employment workshop, Blashko said they hope to offer it again.

“We were just going to do this as a little bit of a dry run, to see if we get a few people out. If we even get a handful of people coming out this round, then we’ll have a better idea of yes, people want it,” she said. “And we’ll have it back out in the fall and have a couple of sessions.”