Business is Jammin’ using experiential learning to strengthen employment ecoysystem

From: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Initiative exposes youth to skills in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics

February 7, 2019 – Halifax, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Exposing youth to real-life experiences where they can learn business skills offers them long-term benefits, including the opportunity to discover additional ways to make positive contributions to their communities. Business is Jammin’ Society (BIJ), a province-wide charitable youth initiative of the Black Business Initiative (BBI), is providing experiential learning opportunities for young people by introducing them to the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEM) to improve their career and entrepreneurial potential.

Through this learning initiative, BIJ seeks to expose youth to entrepreneurship and social enterprise to develop leadership skills, as well as innovative and creative mindsets. BIJ’s programming is designed to empower African Nova Scotian and visible minority youth to influence and grow their communities, and contribute to the region’s economic sustainability. The program reaches across Nova Scotia, providing young people with the foundation to create life plans and grasp opportunities, both educationally and professionally, to break down barriers and help all Canadians succeed.

Today, Darrell Samson, Member of Parliament for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced support for BIJ’s STEM program to help grow and strengthen the region’s youth entrepreneurial/employment ecosystem.

The Government of Canada is making smart investments that will create good, middle-class jobs in our country. It is helping Atlantic Canadian communities access the tools they need to create sustainable economic growth. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.

“As a government, we are committed to helping all Canadians break free from the barriers that have held us back for so long – because we know we can’t continue to grow the middle class effectively without inclusivity. Business is Jammin’ is working diligently to create a culture that fosters entrepreneurial and leadership skills for youth to explore opportunities to contribute to the economic and overall strength of their communities.”

– The Honorable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Every Canadian deserves an equal opportunity to find ways to move forward and thrive in an economy that values and rewards skills and abilities regardless of colour, ethnicity or religion. The Government of Canada fully supports the youth empowerment opportunities Business is Jammin’ provides, which gives young people the entrepreneurial and leadership skills they need to be strong, contributing members of their community.”

– Darrell Samson, Member of Parliament for Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook

“Through Business is Jammin’ we are looking to create the leaders of tomorrow, exposing them to all the career opportunities that are out there. We know that all youth have the potential to be great and do great things. Business is Jammin’ wants to ensure that all youth are successful and meaningful participants within their communities.”

– Laurissa Manning, Director, Stakeholder & Community Relations, Black Business Initiative

“Our goal is to expose youth to opportunities that will benefit their educational and personal development. By doing so, Business is Jammin’ is building a foundation to create positive economic growth within Nova Scotia.”

– Ashley Hill, Business is Jammin’ Youth Coordinator

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada invested $124,887 in this project through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF).

  • The ICF focuses on investments that lead to long-term employment and economic capacity building in Atlantic Canadian communities.

  • Business is Jammin’s (BIJ) goals are to deliver a comprehensive enterprise and entrepreneurship learning strategy and instill business skills that will offer long-term benefits to young people.

  • BIJ works with young people through a range of educational, social, mentorship, and financial support programs to build business acumen and leadership skills throughout an extensive range of programs for youth aged 8-15, 16-20 and 21-35.

  • BIJ has a proven value within both the African Nova Scotian community and the Atlantic Canada economy. In the last two years alone, BIJ program participation levels have grown by more than 60 per cent.

  • A report on youth employment discusses the job challenges that young people face, such as rapidly changing technology and globalization, and cites these challenges are particularly high for African Nova Scotian youth, who require opportunities and supports to adapt to ongoing challenges.

  • The ICF continues to build on the objectives of the Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

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