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Calling All Mentors! – Support a Budding Veteran Entrepreneur

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Prince’s Trust Canada and Prince's Operation Entrepreneur Encourage Canadians to “Buy Veteran” and Support Veteran-Owned Businesses

Toronto (October 17, 2018): Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE), a program of Prince’s Trust Canada that helps those transitioning from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to become entrepreneurs, encourages Canadians to support veteran-owned businesses this Remembrance Day. POE will also be calling on entrepreneurs and professionals to consider mentoring a budding veteran entrepreneur. 

Each year around Remembrance Day, Canadians demonstrate their steadfast appreciation to the men and women who served our country; now, they can show their support in a tangible way by supporting veteran businesses year-round through POE’s searchable Canadian Veteran Business Directory (buyveteran.ca).  Since launching the directory in 2016, there are currently 350 veteran businesses listed, and growing.  

“Most Canadians want to do more for our veterans but are not sure how, outside of showing their support during this time of year,” said Kathleen Kilgour, Senior Program Manager, Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur. “One of the easiest ways to directly make an impact is to buy and use the services of veteran-owned businesses. From purchasing a cup of coffee from a veteran-owned café in your neighborhood, to using a home inspector who formerly served in the military or taking your kids to a rock climbing gym owned by a veteran family, the public’s support makes a world of difference.”  

Canadians can search local veteran-owned businesses in every province and from a wide range of products and services including retail, construction, hospitality, and security consultants, among others.  All members of the CAF community, including veterans, serving members and their families, can join the national community of veteran entrepreneurs by listing their businesses in the directory at no cost. Veteran businesses that are listed will also have the opportunity to proudly display a “Buy Veteran” logo on their storefront or e-commerce site, making it even easier for consumers to identify veteran-owned enterprises. 

As the hub of veteran entrepreneurship, POE provides a continuum of training and support services plus the network building opportunities needed to start and grow successful businesses, including its hugely successful business intensive ‘boot camps’ offered through select Canadian universities – at no cost to veterans.  449 veterans have graduated from POE’s boot camps, and new this year, POE is piloting a mentoring program to provide ongoing support to boot camp graduates.

The goals of the mentoring program include increasing confidence for budding veteran entrepreneurs, complementing the network of support for medically releasing veterans, a higher success rate for veteran businesses and increased public awareness and engagement with veterans.  Over the course of a six-month program, mentors will work with veteran entrepreneurs to test their business plans and act as vital counsel when roadblocks inevitably arise. 

POE is currently looking for volunteer mentors who have demonstrated entrepreneurial success, professional experience, and passion for the cause.  For more information and to sign up as a mentor or mentee, please visit http://www.princesoperationentrepreneur.ca/programs/mentoring.

About Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE)
Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE) is a program of Prince’s Trust Canada that combines two of HRH The Prince of Wales’s lifelong interests: encouraging entrepreneurship and support for the Armed Forces. POE provides education, tools and resources to transitioning military members who are interested in starting their own businesses. Supporters include the Government of Canada, True Patriot Love Foundation, Wounded Warriors Canada, TD Bank, TruShield Insurance, BDC, Sage Foundation, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Accenture, UPS and Via Rail.  For more information, please visit princesoperationentrepreneur.ca

About Prince’s Trust Canada
Prince’s Trust Canada works to unlock potential in three key programs – providing entrepreneurship training for veterans and transitioning Canadian Armed Forces members, helping young people build confidence through employability programs, and supporting Indigenous communities as they revitalize and protect their languages. For more information contact princestrust.ca

Media Contact
Kelly Price, KWT Global