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Okanagan College Students Receive National Grants for Entrepreneurship

Okanagan College is one of a select number of post-secondary institutions in Canada to receive national grants in support of local entrepreneurship.

Enactus Okanagan College is the only college in Canada and one of five post-secondary schools to receive three or more national grants from Enactus Canada. The Enactus Okanagan College students have already applied funds from two of the grants to encourage social entrepreneurship in young people and have launched a new social enterprise, InnSpire, to generate funds for a homeless shelter in Kelowna.

Brent Basil, project manager for Enactus Okanagan College's InnSpire project (Photo Credit: Okanagan College)

The grants are part of the Enactus Canada partnership program and are in conjunction with several companies, including the RBC Foundation, BDC and 3M Canada.

“Being selected for the three grants goes to show how much effort our team, and our community partners put into our programs,” said Tom Arrowsmith, president of Enactus Okanagan College. “These grants add an extra level of validity to our programs by having them be nationally recognized.”

Dr. Kyleen Myrah is the faculty advisor helping oversee the newly launched InnSpire venture, which is a partnership with Inn from the Cold. The students have created a social enterprise that generates revenue from the sale of donated soap. The funds support Inn from the Cold’s Chandler House and the students get the chance to put their business skills to use.

“The goal of this project is to run a social enterprise; providing a sustainable source of revenue that also serves to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness, promote the work of the Inn From the Cold organization, and provide long-term employable opportunities for the men in the Chandler house,” said Myrah.

The social enterprise was launched in November using money from the grants and the project has already raised thousands of dollars for Inn from the Cold.

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