The Entrepreneurship Training Program in the School of Graduate Studies at Memorial University
By Colton Politte, Entrepreneurship Training Program Marketing Assistant, MUN
Sometimes all you need is a single guidepost to show you the next step in your life or career. For Ifeoma, the guidepost came in the form of an email that wasn’t even intended for her, but it helped her find and explore her future.
Originally from Nigeria, Ifeoma Ineh was no stranger to business. She had worked in the financial sector for years before she began her own business venture importing electronics and food to her country. She ran her business for almost six years before it had to close. Ifeoma was disheartened, but moved forward with her life and her ambitions. Once she came to Memorial University, she began taking courses in gender studies and set herself the goal of a master’s program in sociology. She attributes her eventual entrance in the Entrepreneurship Training Program to an email she stumbled across that wasn’t intended for her.
The Entrepreneurship Training Program is a free program offered to all graduate students at Memorial University. Offered through the school of graduate studies, the ETP aims to provide students with the tools, resources, and training they need to start and grow their own business here in the province. Ifeoma says that the program was instrumental in her own business growth and provided significant support to her while she began her journey as a business owner again in a new country.
“I had to use my daughter’s laptop because mine wasn’t working one day, and her MUN email was up, and I saw this email about ETP,” she said. “I said: ‘I should be the one getting these emails!’” She forwarded the email to herself and used it as the catalyst to start her journey towards entrepreneurship here in Canada.
“I always had a passion for business, and was always asking myself what was next after my studies. But in that program (ETP), it was ‘Sit down, let us show you what you need,’” she said, smiling. “It was so wonderful. The program was free!”
Ifeoma says that the classes were eye-opening for her. Every class helped her see a way through the obstacles she had faced in her previous business. ETP even helped her network with others in Canada to help find a permanent resident to help her register and start her business. The networking paid off further when it helped her find a partnership to get her ideas off the ground.
Her current venture is a program provided to children after school to help them spend time away from mobile technology, doing something more educational. While the business is still growing, she says that without the ETP, she would never have met the people she is currently working with, or been able to start the business and see it grow.
“You need to think this: ‘After school, what next?’” Ifeoma explains, going on to say that she recommends the program to almost everyone she meets. “Almost no one I speak to knows that this exists, and I wish that Memorial would take it a step further.
I feel that the next step is that all graduate students and maybe even the undergraduates should have to take this course. This information is so needed!
To learn more about the Entrepreneurship Training Program at Memorial University, you can visit www.mun.ca/etp or contact Grace Tatigian, the program coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.