Joining forces with The Next 36, Ryerson University, University of Waterloo and Ladies Learning Code
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TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - MasterCard announced today the launch of YES: Youth Entrepreneurial Success in response to a challenge posed by young Canadians who say they want to be entrepreneurs before turning 30 but don't have access to mentors or the support to do so.
YES is MasterCard's new philanthropic commitment for all Canadian youth. Working in partnership with The Next 36, Ryerson University, Ladies Learning Code and the University of Waterloo, YES will also focus on programs that introduce the entrepreneurial way of thinking to youth who lack resources or support to understand what is possible.
"The Canadian economy was built by entrepreneurs and MasterCard's YES will enable the next generation of Canada's creators, builders and innovators to expand tomorrow's economy," said Betty DeVita, President of MasterCard Canada. "We will help young entrepreneurs who may not otherwise have access to resources, and enable them to build a better, stronger, more inclusive Canada in the process."
Signature partner programs include:
- Next 36: The MasterCard Challenge will offer young tech entrepreneurs the opportunity to build businesses that address real world pain points helping to fast-track the development of Canada's most talented young innovators.
- Ryerson University: Creating opportunities for emerging women entrepreneurs at its Digital Media Zone (DMZ) by providing 360 degree support through financial aid and a uniquely designed series to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills and accelerate the growth and marketability of their companies.
- Ladies Learning Code: Across Canada 723 girls aged eight to 13 participated in a first-of-its-kind National Girls Learning Code Day – an initiative providing free introductory coding workshops to promote digital literacy and inspire girls to leverage technology to the change the world.
- University of Waterloo: A free online computer coding course for all Canadians to learn the basics of computer programming will be offered by one of the country's leading universities.
YES will also bring together a panel of experts for the YES Works Mentorship MeetUps. These quarterly meetups will connect youth who lack the necessary resources and support with successful peers and the MasterCard expert panel.
Expert panel members include:
- Sarah Prevette, Managing Partner, BrandProject, Chair
- Sean Stanleigh, Product Manager of Report on Small Business, The Globe and Mail, Co-Chair
- Brian Wong, Founder & CEO, Kiip
- Melissa Crnic, Co-founder, Girls Learning Code
- Keri Damen, Program Director of School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto
- Joseph Wilson, Education Advisor, MaRS Discovery District
- Rivi Frankle, Ryerson University
- Lisa Sanguedolce, Owner, Le Dolci Food Studio
- Jack Tai, Founder, OneClass
- Joanna Griffiths, Founder, Knix Wear
- Maria Riesenberg, MasterCard Canada
- Tom McTague, MasterCard Canada
After financial concerns, the biggest impediment to pursuing an entrepreneurial dream is not knowing how to start (40%). For youth facing challenging circumstances at home or in their community this can be particularly difficult. One of the most valuable resources MasterCard's YES program provides is access to knowledge and experience from many relevant disciplines. The young entrepreneurs will work with academics, educators, technology adopters, and experienced entrepreneurs, learning how to address their own real-life obstacles and opportunities. The YES expert panel will also develop recommendations for business and government stakeholders to act on in order to promote and enable Canadian entrepreneurship.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of youth aged 18-29 surveyed said they want to start their own business, and almost half (44%) think entrepreneurship is a young person's game, saying it's best to start a business before turning 30. Perhaps they see a correlation between creativity and youth because 72 per cent identified creativity as a critical quality for a successful entrepreneur. Being a risk taker (51%) also appears to be an important quality for a young entrepreneur. More than a third (35%) said fear of failure was the primary impediment to starting their own business.
The YES program is part of MasterCard's global focus on financial inclusion through entrepreneurship. The MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth provides strategic philanthropic investments that further sustainable and equitable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world.
"If we want to empower future innovation within Canada, we need to focus on enabling youth entrepreneurship," said Sarah Prevette, chair of YES Expert Panel and a serial entrepreneur. "We can do more as a society to foster early experiences and give opportunities for students to develop their creative confidence. I am thrilled that a multinational company like MasterCard has decided to dedicate their resources to helping those with ambition realize their potential."
"I'm an entrepreneur. I started my own business but I had a ton of help from my family and friends. Not everyone has that support. I'm excited to be part of YES and I'm looking forward to passing on some real-world experience and insights that I've come to learn," said Joanna Griffiths, Founder, Knix Wear.
"When you think of an entrepreneur, often people think high-tech. I'm a small business owner. I run my own bakery and food studio and it took a ton of risk and a real commitment to my craft. For young entrepreneurs, there is insight and support we need to provide so they too can take their ideas from concept to creation," said Lisa Sanguedolce, Owner, Le Dolci Food Studio.
"The world is changing and young people are far more astute and connected than we've ever been. They understand the value of technology and how to best leverage it. We're proud to partner with MasterCard and participate in YES to teach coding to girls. Jobs of the future, at their core, will have computer science and what can be better than free lessons across Canada," said Melissa Crnic, Co-founder, Girls Learning Code.
From July 10th to July 14th, 2014 an online survey was conducted among 1,003 randomly selected Canadian adults 18 to 29 years old who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current gender and region Census data to ensure a representative sample. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardCAnws, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
Video with caption: "Video: MasterCard introduces the YES program supporting Canadian youth and encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset.". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH7jcQ1j_hQ&feature=youtu.be
SOURCE: MasterCard Canada
For further information: Leslie Jackson, Ketchum Public Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416.355.7421; Serda Evren, VP & Head Communications, MasterCard, email@example.com, 416.365.6671