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Blossoming entrepreneurs; Island students gather for third annual business forum

Three Oaks students Deklan Gavin, left, Elizabeth Matheson and Amber Dyer attended the youth entrepreneurship forum organized by the CBDC, which was held in Summerside on Thursday.
Three Oaks students Deklan Gavin, left, Elizabeth Matheson and Amber Dyer attended the youth entrepreneurship forum organized by the CBDC, which was held in Summerside on Thursday. - Millicent McKay

Sarah Bennetto O'Brien and Alex MacLean were two of the guest speakers at the youth centred event

SUMMERSIDE – With a mother as an entrepreneur, Elizabeth Matheson has seen what it takes to start a business and keep it running.

“I think it’s been an inspiration. If I became an entrepreneur I would probably follow along with what she does, opening a restaurant or coffee shop.

“It’s been interesting to see the amount of work she puts into and what you have to do to make a business successful.”

On Thursday, Matheson, some of her classmates from Three Oaks Senior High school as well other Island students attended the third annual Community Business Development Corporation, CBDC, Youth Our Future, entrepreneurship forum held in Summerside.

Amber Dyer and Deklan Gavin from TOSH were also in attendance.

“I’m hoping there will be things that will surprise me. The more I can take away from today’s event the more of an understanding I’ll have if I want to start my own business,” said Dyer.

Gavin agreed.

“I’m hoping I’ll have a better understanding of what it all means. It’s a very interesting topic and maybe one day I’ll want to start my own business but I don’t know what I’d do yet.”

Dyer is considering opening her own business some day as well.

 

Alex MacLean, founder of East Coast Lifestyle Clothing Inc. spoke to Island students about entrepreneurship on Thursday at the CBDB youth entrepreneurship forum.
Alex MacLean, founder of East Coast Lifestyle Clothing Inc. spoke to Island students about entrepreneurship on Thursday at the CBDB youth entrepreneurship forum.

 

“I’d want to open my own law firm or physiotherapy centre. I just really hoping to take away new tips and ideas to help me in the future.”

Sarah Bennetto O’Brien, owner and operator of the Hand Pie Company spoke to the group of Island students hoping to pass along lessons from entrepreneurship.

“If you have mad hustle, you might be an entrepreneur.”

O’Brien opened her first business, Scapes, a restaurant in Borden-Carleton in 2014. This year she has revamped the business into the Hand Pie Company.

“I hope to shed light on what is the core of entrepreneurship and how do you know if you are an entrepreneur.”

“Entrepreneurs have to see barriers and road blocks as opportunities. You have to love learning new things every single day and thrive on challenges. You need to know how to paddle your own boat, essentially,” Bennetto O’Brien added with a chuckle.

She continued, “You have to be hyper committed to life-long learning and like constantly looking for answers… you will be everyone, you will wear every hat and like me you will shovel your walkway to make money that day.”

Bennetto O’Brien recommended trying as many new experiences as possible.

“Try everything. Do everything. Follow your passions, do what interests you and follow your heart. Keep trying things until something clicks.”

Alex MacLean of East Coast Lifestyle Clothing Inc. also spoke at the forum.

“I hope I show students its important to start a business while you can. I think many people assume they just can’t do it. But I was in their spot five years ago. I had no idea what I was going to do after studying business at Acadia. But it’s all about using what’s around you to grow and succeed.”

millicent.mckay@journalpioneer.com

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