“I think all CEOs, chairs, entrepreneurs and senior management have an obligation to make our minds and experiences available to the kids who will one day be us.”
“The Biz Camps have become one of the most important outreach programs of the University of Manitoba.”
Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship
The various programs offered by the Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship (SCCE) have a single goal: encourage and support the growth of Manitoba’s next generation of community leaders. The Asper Foundation contributed the original $1 million to the University of Manitoba’s I.H. Asper School of Business to establish the Asper Centre for Entrepreneurship in 1997. This original support was greatly enhanced in 2008 by a $5 million donation by University of Manitoba alum and successful oil and gas entrepreneur, Stu Clark. In recognition of his generous support the centre was renamed in his honour on April 1, 2008 (click here). On that same date it was decided to acknowledge the pioneering role played by The Asper Foundation along with their continuing participation in several of the Stu Clark Centre’s programs by naming the executive director’s position in honour of Dr. I.H. Asper. Thus, as of April 1, 2008, this position is known as the I.H. Asper Executive Director for Entrepreneurship.
The SCCE supports entrepreneurial activities across the entire University of Manitoba campus. In addition to supporting students at the I.H. Asper School of Business (Asper) it also support students from all faculties across the University of Manitoba – Fort Garry and Bannatyne Campus including: Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Education and more.
Its mandate is to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in students and expose them to the entrepreneurial mindset, help them develop entrepreneurial skills, provide them with opportunities to practice those skills and drive entrepreneurship awareness as a viable career too.
Partners in Education
Regardless of students’ chosen area of study, the SCCE is designed to support and promote educational opportunities related to entrepreneurship in a variety of ways.
- Beginning in Fall 2019 there will be an exciting new core course in entrepreneurship called ENTR 2030: Introduction to Entrepreneurship: Business and Social Perspectives course being added to our B.Comm.(Hons.) degree. Involvement includes providing experiential elements such as a pitch competition, support for business planning and the organization of a tradeshow.
- In addition to the new Asper course, Asper is also offering a parallel course called ENTR 2020 that students from other faculties can take who are wanting to learn about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
- Asper is proud to have a popular major in B.Comm. Hons. major in Entrepreneurship Small Business where students are exposed to the process of a new venture startup, social initiatives, small business management and family business.
- The MBA program is one of the most versatile programs in Canada and offers an entrepreneurship and innovation stream for students to concentrate on.
Driving Entrepreneurial Awareness
The SCCE drives entrepreneurial awareness through a number of exciting events and competitions including our three major business plan competitions listed below.
- Stu Clark Investment Competition: The Stu Clark Investment Competition represents a prestigious, international academic competition designed to mimic the real world process of starting a new venture while rewarding innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit. The competition is for graduate students to gain real experience while developing and growing new ventures based on the student created, managed or owned ventures. Just by participating teams are guaranteed at least $1,000, but more than that, the expertise and feedback teams will receive from our leading industry expert judges is more than money can buy. Throughout this two-day competition teams will compete in an elevator pitch, logo pitch and business plan presentation for more than $60, 000 prize money, and will evaluate the feasibility, market opportunity and business model of a new venture.
- Manitoba Undergrad New Venture Championships: Post-secondary students across the Province of Manitoba compete at this 1-day competition in an elevator pitch, logo pitch and business plan presentation for more than $15,000 prize money, and will evaluate the viability of their new venture.
- Manitoba High School New Venture Championships: High school students across the Province of Manitoba compete at this one-day competition in an elevator pitch, logo pitch, business plan presentation and trade show competition and compete for exciting prizes. Not only is this competition fun for students, it also exposes them to important life skills such as public speaking, and writing skills in a fun and safe way.
These competitions wouldn’t be possible without heavy involvement from the entrepreneurship community members and allies in the business and educational community. Each event requires 20 – 35 industry expert judges who are tasked with providing students valuable and tangible feedback to help progress students’ ventures forward.
In addition to competition, SCCE also supports The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub which is an initiative launched to provide access to critical information in support of Women’s Entrepreneurship. It will serve as a one-stop source of knowledge, data and best practices for women entrepreneurs. As part of this role, the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub will deliver a number of activities intended to support the advancement of women entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds throughout the innovation ecosystem.
Create a Student Community
Sponsored by the Stu Clark Centre and other local community members the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO Group) is a campus wide entrepreneurial student group and is the heartbeat of student level entrepreneurship. The CEO group organizes fun events and networking opportunities throughout the year in Winnipeg’s dynamic entrepreneurship community. Events often include a local business start-up bus crawl, a real life elevator pitch competition, a campus edition of Ramp Up Weekend and more.
In addition to the exciting events offered by the CEO Group, the SCCE also hosts events lunch hour events and workshops throughout the year that inspire, connect and spark entrepreneurial spirit students with business plan boot camps, lunch and learn videos, and Q & A discussions with local entrepreneurs.
Supporting Entrepreneurial Activities
The Venture Coach program at the SCCE is a resource for students to help lead them into startup land. The Venture Coach provides one-on-one meetings with students at any stage in the startup, from the beginning stages of an idea and beyond. Students book a meeting with the Venture Coach and receive valuable feedback in idea vetting, feasibility studies, financial modelling, capital raising, capital structuring, market research, cash flow projections, or to simply bounce ideas around with another entrepreneur.
The Venture Coach at the Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship is a recent graduate who has experience in entrepreneurship and is passionate about mentoring students pursuing their own ideas for a venture.
Winnipeg’s vibrant, active and knowledgeable entrepreneurial ecosystem has some key players that SCCE is honoured be connected with such as North Forge Technology Exchange, Futurpreneur Canada, The World Trade Centre Winnipeg (WTC Winnipeg), The Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba and more.