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Entrepreneurship in the Time of Corona

The past few months we’ve been plagued not only with a virus seeping over the globe, but also with uncertainty. While closing many businesses to the public has been necessary to keep people healthy and safe, it has taken its toll on entrepreneurs and the local economy.

Brick and mortar businesses have been hit the hardest, particularly if their usual operations don’t convert well to an online business model. We’ve seen a ton of innovation and ingenuity from local businesses, from curbside pickup at shops to free delivery from restaurants, but it hasn’t been easy on anyone.

So the Entrepreneurship Training Program has decided to do what it can to help members of the community who are trying to make the most of a bad situation. There are tons of people out there with amazing business ideas who cite lack of time as the reason they haven’t started yet. While this pandemic has brought us all a lot of stress and challenges, it has also given many people the gift of time.

Usually, the ETP content is available only to graduate students at Memorial University. It’s an 8- to 16- week program that can be completed either online or in person, one that offers students the fundamentals they need to start their entrepreneurial journey with confidence. But in the time of COVID-19, we want to make some of these resources available to the general public to encourage everyone’s entrepreneurial potential.

Until September, the School of Graduate Studies has decided to open up its suite of professional development sessions to the general public, and this includes select presentations from the ETP. The ETP will be offering four free online sessions each month on a variety of topics related to entrepreneurship. These topics include ideation and the lean canvas, skills identification and team building, mentors and advisors, and resources and supports. Anyone can register for these hour-long sessions, listen to the presentation, participate in the discussion, and get some resources to help them get started.

Registration is available through the School of Graduate Studies’ Enhanced Development of the Graduate Experience website. There you will find not only sessions on entrepreneurship, but also workshops on a variety of professional development topics, from résumé-writing to interview skills. There are also sessions related to employment in the time of social distancing, including tips for working remotely and virtual networking tips. All of these will also be open to the general public free of charge for a limited time.

At the School of Graduate Studies, we want to support our community in any way we can, and that includes sharing our resources and expertise. We hope that opening up these opportunities to our community will give people the inspiration and motivation required to continue setting and achieving goals.

For any questions on the Entrepreneurship Training Program itself or any of the sessions that will be open to the general public, please do not hesitate to contact the Program Coordinator, Grace Tatigian.

Ideation and the lean canvas

Have you ever thought about starting a business, but really have no idea where to begin? This session will give you the tools to critically consider the feasibility of your business idea (or help you come up with one) and show you how to pivot within that idea for the best chance at entrepreneurial success.

Skills identification and team building

Starting your own business can be daunting, but it’s a lot easier if you have the right co-founders and team to help you along the way. This session will help you identify your own skills as well as the skills you will need within your team to ensure success for your business.

Mentors and advisors

It’s so important to have mentors and advisors to help you on your entrepreneurial journey. This session will teach you where to find mentors and advisors, how to connect with them, and how they can help.

Resources and supports

Did you know that there are countless resources out there to help aspiring entrepreneurs? This session will provide an overview of supports both on and off campus that can help students start their own business. The more help you get, the greater your chance at success!


By Grace Tatigian

Entrepreneurship Training Program at Memorial University

Grace is the coordinator of the Entrepreneurship Training Program for the School of Graduate Studies. She has her Bachelor of Arts with a major in English, minor in French and a diploma in Professional Writing from Memorial University. Grace has a background in marketing translation and has been involved in entrepreneurship education through SHAD since 2013. Having helped hundreds of students graduate from the SHAD MUN program, Grace knows and values the importance of hands-on entrepreneurship training.

Feel free to contact Grace if you have questions about the Entrepreneurship Training Program. If you want to get involved, present, participate, she wants to hear from you!

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