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New wave jobs: entrepreneurism is the new job creation tool.

Growing numbers of young Manitobans are finding employment the old-fashioned wa -- by creating their own jobs -- and governments, universities and banks are encouraging this trend by offering help. They are being forced to take this tac because the economy is not producing jobs in the numbers it once did. In other words, times have changed.

But the good news is there is a lot of help for young people who want to get up and get going. Among the resources: books and brochures, low-cost consulting services, business courses aimed at owner-operators, low-interest loans -- even non-repayable start-up grants.

Growing numbers of students now enrolled in management studies plan to start their own businesses rather than searching for jobs with corporations.

Take 22-year-old Chad Hughes. A management studies student at Brandon University, Hughes took on a College Pro Painters franchise for the Brandon are in the spring of 1993. He grossed more than $100,000 despite the rainy summer and the sluggish Brandon economy, good enough to become College Pro's Rookie of the Year in Canada.

Since then he's been so busy he's had to reduce his study commitment to part time. In addition to painting, he's become the Western Manitoba distributor for the Hotsy Corporation, a Denver-based producer of industrial pressure-wash cleaning equipment.

Then there's Lisa Anderson, a fourth-year commerce student. Like about 50 other students, she was a member of the University of Manitoba Entrepreneurs Club (UMEC). Club members share ideas and build one anothers' confidence, trust and entrepreneurial motivation.

Last winter Anderson and three other students formed a team and went to Lincoln Nebraska, to take part in a national business plan competition. The group was competing with teams from across North America, some of whom were MBA students. The Manitobans placed third in their division.

During summer holidays, Lisa works in her family's business, Anderson Auto Part Ltd. in Brandon -- as she has done since the age of 12. The firm specializes in the sale of used and reconditioned parts, with 13 employees.

She's looking forward to joining the family business after she graduates next year -- or starting her own firm.

Federal and provincial governments offer a growing variety of incentives, guarantees, and encouragement to young people who want to start businesses.

Jonas Sammons, a businessman who teaches at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Management, offers a course that indirectly reaches out to students who haven't even graduated from high school. It's aimed at people who want to teach business skills to young people. The course, called the Summer Institute and Enterprise Education, ran from July 4-15 this year. In addition to school teachers, it has attracted rural development officers looking for ways to keep people employed without having to move to larger centres, where competition for jobs is already fierce.

"We want to get a culture change and broaden their perspective," says Sammons, who is also vice-president and general manager of Manitoba Division of the The Canadian Manufacturers' Association.

The course focuses on the key business skills necessary for success, establishing a network for people to exchange ideas, and contacts with the business community. The group learns about "enterprising behavior" -- creativity, problem-solving and communication.

As part of the course Sammons gets successful business people to talk about their experiences.

"It's not for everyone," admits Sammons, "but it's important to get people on board philosophically that business is not evil, that good people are in business, and that it plays an important role. We want to get that dialogue going."

Equally enthusiastic about teaching the values and rewards of entrepreneurship is John Chyzyk, who teaches management at Brandon University.

Brandon University offers a three-year arts major in business. It also has a student entrepreneur organization called the Brandon Entrepreneurial Student Training Club (BEST). Chyzyk is also a national advisor for BEST's parent group the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs in Canada (ACE Canada). In its four years, BEST has won first or second place chapter awards nationally.

In addition, Brandon University established the first Canadian chapter of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). SIFE is an American-based non-profit organization with 400 chapters, sponsored by corporations. In a regional SIFE competition at Atlanta last April, BEST won the Rookie of the Year award.

Chyzyk has also invented The Executive Game, designed to simulate for high school students the uncertainties of business. High schools across the province take part in an Executive Game competition each year. Winners receive cash prices, books, or computer software. Business education groups in other provinces and in the United States also sponsor competitions based on The Executive Game.

Still involved in encouraging business values in students is the venerable Junior Achievement program. Its main format is still the Company Program, in which teams of students produce and market a product in the community.

But three other options are also in place. The newest one, Business Basics, reaches down as far as grades 5 and 6. Recently, with the help of the provincia government's Department of Rural Development, Junior Achievement expanded outside of Winnipeg to smaller centres.

In all, about 7,500 students take part in one or more of JA's programs each year.

Most major banks offer encouragement and information on the basics of business, including information on market research and creating a business plan.

There are resources at the community level as well, sponsored in part by the federal government's Community Futures program.

Most of these organizations are based in rural Manitoba, but Enterprise St. Boniface Inc. is one such group. Enterprise Saint-Boniface Inc. is not aimed directly at youth, but it attracts a lot of young entrepreneurs. It offers business consulting services and financial assistance in the form of loans and loan guarantees for qualified businesses, or would-be businesses, in the St. Boniface area.

It seems a byproduct of down-sizing by major corporations is entrepreneurs. The realities of the marketplace, according to Sammons, are that the jobs universities are educating our children to take, will not be there in the future. The '90s is going to be the decade of do-it-yourself -- devising your own means of earning a living.

Ken Emmond is a Winnipeg-based business writer.
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Author:Emmond, Ken
Publication:Manitoba Business
Date:Sep 1, 1994
Words:1022
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