Bay of Quinte Young Entrepreneurs is the online resource for young entrepreneurs. I am primarily focused on fueling the inherent creativity of youth by showing them how they can take their ideas and turn them into viable businesses that are sustainable within the Bay of Quinte region, as well as in other rural communities in Canada. All blog topics and information come from my own personal research and experiences as both an entrepreneur and as someone who grew up in the Bay of Quinte Region. 

The information here can be used to either help teens launch a business venture or can help them to identify community problems/issues that they believe need resolving and the solutions needed. There are blogs filled with inspirational quotes, ideas for first time businesses, the benefits of being a young(er) entrepreneur and even how to figure out if entrepreneurship is right for you. This is designed to complement and enhance the already existing organizations within our community. After all, aren’t we here for the same reasons? You know, to help out our young people and the betterment of our community?

My goals for Bay of Quinte Young Entrepreneurs are to: be the organization that brings all of the entrepreneurship-focused organizations together to collaborate for the sake of the community and our youth, guide you to where you need to/want to go next (be it finding a business counsellor, grant dollars, a place to talk to someone when you’re feeling depressed, etc.), provide extra information that you need access to for your business (i.e. organizational tips, how to register your business in different areas, why you need a mentor, etc.), and provide my insights as a young professional trying to make a go of it myself.

Why does Bay of Quinte Young Entrepreneurs need to exist for the Bay of Quinte Region and other rural Canadian communities?

There is a very serious problem in the Bay of Quinte community, and in most other rural communities across Canada. The number of students who are leaving our Region upon graduation is roughly 40%. When youth leave, all of the innovation, talent and economic impact (spending and investments) goes with them. According to Statistics Canada, out of the remaining 60% of youth (ages 15-29) that are here, roughly 14% are unemployed vs. 7.7% of the general population. Bay of Quinte Young Entrepreneurs will help to attract and retain families and youth to the area and give the youth that we already have here a chance at a better life. Together with other community-focused organization, we can make this Region into a more sustainable community for all.

How did this come about? Who am I?

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My name is Rachael, and I am a Bay of Quinte born & raised graduate of the Business Accounting Diploma, Human Resource Management Post-Graduate, and Entrepreneurial Studies-Business Launch Post-Graduate Programs at Loyalist College. I am also a very proud member of the Cadet Instructors Cadre Branch of the Canadian Forces, charged with the duty to develop and train members of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. In 2014, I was one of the youngest to run for a seat on Prince Edward County Council. In 2016, I participated in the District 7070 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and was one of the coordinators for the Rotary Club of Belleville’s Camp Enterprise. I have also had the honour of serving as an Expert Judge for Ontario Centre of Excellence’s 2017 Make Your Pitch Competition and will be doing so again this year.

I’ve always had a passion for working with teenagers, and I do experience every week just what they are capable of. I know if they are given access to the right resources, have someone who believes in them, and are passionate enough about something, they really can do anything they set their minds to. I also know firsthand what it is like to struggle with finding meaningful employment in the place that I love, and understand completely why others my age and younger desire so badly to leave. I had my own struggles with this before I decided to take a stand and make some changes. A community without engaged and employed young people is not going to sustain itself for very long.

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