York U’s Strategic Entrepreneurship Council to host community discussion on entrepreneurship, Oct. 17

The following is an invitation to the York University community from Sarah Howe, director, Innovation York on behalf of the Strategic Entrepreneurship Council:

At York University, where our roots are in social justice and social innovation, we are seeking to expand how we discuss, teach and experience entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship can be about technology and business, but it is also about a way of thinking to identify problems and create solutions through for-profit, non-profit or social innovation. Entrepreneurship can take many different shapes and forms and we want to ensure that students can learn about and experience different forms of entrepreneurship during their time here at York.

To this end, the recently created Strategic Entrepreneurship Council (SEC) is launching community consultations to develop a strategic plan for entrepreneurship at York University – we’ll be kicking off consultations with a community presentation and panel discussion on Oct. 17 in Room 305, Founders College. We are looking to engage with faculty, students and staff from across the University about why entrepreneurship is important, and the direction York University should take in the future.

There are many different curricular and co-curricular programs that support entrepreneurship at York and there have been many great examples of entrepreneurship that have resulted from those supports. An interesting example of entrepreneurship operating right here on campus is the Green Campus Cooperative, a non-profit campus co-operative incubator. The cooperative has created two ventures to date, The et al Faculty and Graduate Student Cafe & Pub and Green Campus Cotton. These ventures are designed to address specific sets of social and environmental industry-rooted problems that require a commercial, civil society and research approach when developing market-based solutions. It is this outside of the box and creative thinking that we want to encourage with our students.

By exposing students to different forms of entrepreneurship and developing their entrepreneurial mindset, we are providing them with new skill sets that can be applied in any career they wish to pursue upon graduation. In preparing our students to be global citizens, we need to adapt to uncertainties in the labour market. By developing the mindset of our students through curricular and co-curricular programming, we trying to accomplish just that.

To further this goal, the offices of the Associate Vice-President, Teaching & Learning and the Vice-President, Research & Innovation, through Innovation York came together to develop the Strategic Entrepreneurship Council with the goal of regularly bringing together representatives from across the university to discuss new opportunities, find ways in which to work together and to develop a common set of values and goals that all areas of the University develop entrepreneurial programming under. It is with this goal in mind that the SEC is leading the development of the strategic plan.

The planning process will begin with a community presentation, but will be followed by consultations with faculty, students and staff from across the university, as well as with external stakeholders.

If you are interested in learning more or being a part of one of these consultations, email innovationyork@yorku.ca.