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Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre
“Business Blitz” Talks Side Hustles and Entrepreneurial Success
Posted: Jan 10, 2018

“Business Blitz” Talks Side Hustles and Entrepreneurial Success 

(Sault Ste. Marie, ON) – January 10, 2018: Over 115 local high school and post-secondary students, entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and young professionals attended today’s “Business Blitz – Entrepreneurial Secrets of Success” informational, networking and skill-building event. The event was hosted by YouLaunch, a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC), and coordinated by Sault College’s Public Relations and Event Management program.

Featuring five local entrepreneurs operating a range of successful businesses, each owner brought their own experiences, insight, stories and words of advice to the Business Blitz panel and Q&A period. The free event was designed to offer an informational and interactive skill-building opportunity and chance for attendees to hear from inspirational local leaders. Youth heard what is involved in entrepreneurship, how to start a side hustle, and how/when to make the transition from a passion or hobby to a full-time business owner.

Business Blitz panelists included Dionne Elgie, Village Electric President/Project Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of Sault Ste. Marie content on; Kaitlin Pelletier and Christina Trevisan, Studio Directors with Elite Dance Force; Kevin Syrette, owner of Stackburger; and Monique Morrison, Digital Marketing Manager and Founder of Jeronamo Solutions.

“We appreciate the opportunity to share our personal experience as business owners in Sault Ste. Marie with local youth, and hopefully give them an idea of what entrepreneurship looks like,” said Kaitlin Pelletier and Christina Trevisan, Studio Directors at Elite Dance Force. “We are so lucky to have been able to turn our passion for dance into a career and establish our own business, and we hope others are encouraged to do the same if it seems like the right opportunity.”

A facilitated skill-building and brainstorming activity was included, which brought attendees together to collaborate and come up with ideas in response to a scenario based question. Additionally, networking was encouraged and the focus of the final portion of the event.

YouLaunch and the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre hosted the event as part of its effort to help aspiring young entrepreneurs (ages 29 and under) to start or grow successful businesses by providing connections to business development resources, mentors, networking events, funding opportunities and other support services in Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma District.

“The Business Blitz was a great opportunity to connect with many of our Innovation Centre clients as panelists and attendees, and engage potential future youth clients as they begin to think about their journey and future in entrepreneurship,” said John Prgomet, Business Development Manager with SSMIC, who also manages the YouLaunch division. “YouLaunch is proud to partner with many community organizations dedicated to youth in the region, as well as Algoma University and Sault College.”

The event was coordinated in partnership with the Public Relations and Event Management program at Sault College, an eight month post-graduate program that combines key skills and practical experience in both public relations and event management activities.

"The Business Blitz has been an effective learning experience for the students. They learned how to write media materials to gain awareness in the community, prepare logistics and contingency plans along with skill building activities for the participants attending the event,” said Natasha Colak, Professor and Coordinator of the Public Relations and Event Management Program at Sault College. “Learning through hands on work benefits the students tremendously so they are prepared for the workforce come graduation. We are proud of what they have accomplished with today's event and we thank the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre and YouLaunch for this partnership opportunity.”