Corporate Spotlight – The Importance Of Entrepreneurship In Economic Development And Job Creation
Story And Photos By Arthur Barbut
On November 19, 2015 the Accelerator hosted its “Second Annual High School Entrepreneurship
Summit.” This event is the kickoff to the Accentchin program developed by the Accelerator with
the purpose of introducing entrepreneurship to high school students in Windsor Essex. This program has been made possible by a high school entrepreneurship outreach grant provided by the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.
The summit took place at St. Clair College Centre for the Arts and brought together students, teachers, service providers and local start-ups. The event was sponsored in part by St. Clair College, Royal Bank of Canada, Motor City Community Credit Union, Greater Essex County District School Board and the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.
The event hosted over 400 high school students from the public, Catholic and French school boards. Each student had the opportunity to visit as many as 16 booths that were facilitated by rising local entrepreneurs and organizations that foster and support entrepreneurship. Start-ups such as Dry Parlour, Windsor’s first blow dry boutique and the first “no cut, no colour, just blow dry” salon; Windsor Express, a National Basketball League of Canada team and back-to-back national champions; and many more were present at the event. The summit also hosted service providers such as WEtech
Alliance and the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation.
These organizations provided the students with an idea about the unique and diverse businesses within Windsor Essex and the service providers showed the resources and guidance available to new ventures.
Students were also invited to contribute to the canvas wall that asked the question: “What do you want Windsor to be?” The students could write or draw their answers on the 9 ft x 5 ft canvas, which will be framed and displayed at the Accelerator.
In addition, the summit also featured three presentations from local entrepreneurs — Nick Mastromattei, Owner of Mastro Marketing, and founder of Learn In Windsor; Burhan Siddiqui
and Zaheem Riberdy, students at Assumption College Catholic High School who spoke about their experience in Summer Company, a program provided by The Small Business Centre and Steve Nicodemo, President and Co-Founder of Liquid Wild Inc. who was the keynote presenter. The speakers talked about their personal story and the lessons they learned about entrepreneurship.