Michaëlle Jean Foundation kicks-off arts entrepreneurship drive for underserved youth in Canada

December 4, 2013

Michaëlle Jean Foundation kicks-off arts entrepreneurship drive for underserved youth in Canada  

OTTAWA—The Michaëlle Jean Foundation, supported by BMO and CIBC, is launching a national program to increase entrepreneurship and business literacy within underserved communities across Canada.

Entitled Young Arts Entrepreneur, the program is designed to help creative youth establish their first arts-based business. To be eligible, applicants must be aged between 17 and 30, Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and have experience working in an arts-related field.  The program was designed with the assistance of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation to fill a gap identified by community youth and arts organizations across the country.

Successful applicants are given $7,500 in start-up funds, over a two-year period. They also receive mentoring in business plan development, marketing and other business skills, as well as ongoing mentoring in arts techniques, from seasoned professionals. The aim of the program is to provide participants with the tools, experience and connections in the financial world they need to “graduate” to other ongoing opportunities to build their businesses.

“Over the past decade, we met hundreds of young Canadians who shared their dream of making a better future for themselves by creating a successful arts-based business.  We were so inspired by their testimonies that we decided to create a program that could empower underserved youth to take their first steps in the business world,” said the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean and Jean-Daniel Lafond, Co-Founders and Co-Chairs of the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.

“At CIBC, we are committed to helping young Canadians build a better future,” said the Honourable Jim Prentice, P.C., Q.C., Senior Executive Vice-President and Vice Chairman of CIBC. “We are proud to support the Michaëlle Jean Foundation in empowering Canada’s young artists and entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they need to make their business dreams come true.”

To access the program application form and detailed criteria, please visit: http://www.fmjf.ca/what-we-do/young-arts-entrepreneur/.

Deadline for applications is January 10, 2014.

About the Michaëlle Jean Foundation

We support youth arts initiatives that transform young lives and revitalize underserved communities across Canada. Through our programs, underprivileged youth are using their creativity to build new solutions to pressing social issues, like poverty, social exclusion and mental health. In so doing, they are catalyzing innovative community renewal projects, driving Aboriginal cultural resurgence, and kick-starting cutting-edge business ventures, all over the country. For more info: www.fmjf.ca.

About the Canadian Youth Business Foundation

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to growing Canada’s economy one young entrepreneur at a time. We look at character, not collateral, when providing youth aged 18-39 with pre-launch coaching, business resources, low-interest financing of up to $15,000, and industry-leading mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses. CYBF’s co-financing partner, the Business Development Bank of Canada, leverages CYBF’s application process to provide up to $30,000 in additional support for CYBF entrepreneurs.

Established in 1996, CYBF has been recognized as a global leader in advancing youth entrepreneurship. CYBF is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of The Prince’s Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week (being held November 18-24 in 2013).

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For more information:

Peter Flegel
Director of Communications and Programs
Michaëlle Jean Foundation