Headhunting is a struggle for small businesses, in both remote areas and commercial hubs, but a 23-year-old Dartmouth, N.S., native thinks his organization can help fill the gap.
Scott Stirrett founded Venture for Canada, a not-for-profit fellowship program that matches Canada’s top university graduates with cutting-edge, home grown start-ups such as Shopify, Bionym and 500px.
The problem is that most small businesses can’t just send out their few employees to scout out campuses and the salaries they can afford are much lower than those big companies offer.
Mr. Stirrett’s entrepreneurial gene isn’t too far up the family tree: his father, Gordon Stirrett, runs financial planning firm Gordon Stirrett Wealth Management and his grandfather, Louis Deveau, founded Acadian Seaplants Ltd., which now has 330 employees across nine countries.
He said he’s happy to see more entrepreneurship courses offered across campuses, which were largely non-existent five years ago, and more burgeoning programs such as The Next 36, a recruiting partner for Venture for Canada.
Modelled after the successful Venture for America, which now has former fellows-turned-entrepreneurs hiring new fellows, Venture for Canada is aiming to recruit 24 participants in its first run. He is now developing programming for the first training camp, to be held in May 2015.
The hope is that fellows will finish the two-year work placement ready to launch their own businesses, Mr. Stirrett said. Venture for Canada has partnered with startups in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax and Waterloo, Ont., but Mr. Stirrett plans to actively search for companies farther west.
Applications are open until March 2, 2015 but, with four selection rounds slated, fourth-year students and recent graduates are encouraged to apply earlier as fellows are accepted into the program on a rolling basis.
Source: Financial Post