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MHC student selected in top 30 for Entrepreneurship Sprint
October 27, 2020
Ashley Brooks-Jackson is a second year business administration student at Medicine Hat College (MHC) with an entrepreneurial spirit and business idea that has earned her a coveted spot in a work-integrated learning experience.
The Student Entrepreneurship Sprint program, powered by Platform Calgary, University of Calgary’s Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, and Mount Royal University’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, saw over 50 applications from learners across the province, with Brooks-Jackson’s being selected amongst the top 30 business venture ideas.
MHC is one of eight post-secondary institutions in Alberta to have student representation in the program.
The sprint kicked off the first week of October with the participants being put into small groups and assigned an advisor with an extensive entrepreneurial background to work with throughout the program. Over the course of five weeks, the entrepreneurs participate in group advisory sessions, complete various modules, amend and improve their business plans, and will wrap-up with a final pitch.
For Brooks-Jackson, the program is an invaluable opportunity to build her network and learn from the experiences, successes, and struggles of fellow start-up entrepreneurs.
“The Student Entrepreneurship Sprint is for entrepreneurs who are in the beginning stages of developing their business idea. It wasn’t expected that we have every aspect of our business figured out prior to participating in the program, but rather we’re given an experiential and hands-on learning opportunity to take what we learn and apply it to our business plan.
“The idea is that by the end, we will have the skills, knowledge, and experience to know if we should continue with our idea, or tweak and change it in some way in order to become a successful start-up enterprise.”
Brooks-Jackson says she’s had her idea in mind for quite some time, and has been working with Christie Wilson, Entrepreneur Outreach Coordinator with MHC’s Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC), towards bringing her business to life.
“I plan to build a financial education and training program designed specifically for people who are struggling with managing their finances, who do not know where all their money is going, and provide them with step-by-step guidance to help them navigate their way out of debt and into wealth no matter what their current financial situation and income level might be,” explains Brooks-Jackson.
“My program will focus on zero-based budgeting where every cent of inflow and outflow are accounted for and, most importantly, helping to identify emotional behavior patterns that are the underlying cause of each individual’s financial difficulties.”
She plans to offer her services in both group and one-on-one settings, and will further work to end the stigma around financial illiteracy and money mismanagement.
The final pitch and wrap-up session occurs November 5, with participants earning a $500 grant upon completion of the program, proudly sponsored by the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking at the University of Calgary.
Brooks-Jackson shares her gratitude for the opportunity to learn and grow from the mentorship she’s received throughout the sprint.
“I want to thank Christie and the EDC for bringing this amazing opportunity to my attention and for everything she’s done for me to help me succeed. I would also like to thank the three participating program sponsors, as without their support, this incredible learning experience wouldn’t have existed for new entrepreneurs in our province.”
To learn more about the EDC at MHC, visit www.mhc.ab.ca/Services/EntrepreneurDevelopmentCentre.