Starting a business is never easy. But with the help 50,000 in startup financing, a mentor, and free workshops and networking events, it can become a hell of a lot easier.
That's why the recent announcement that the Spin Master Innovation Fund
(SMIF) is being offered again this year is welcome news for young Canadian entrepreneurs.
The result of partnership between Spin Master Ltd
. and Canadian Youth Business Foundation
(CYBF), the fund aims to help up-and-coming entrepreneurs kick start their business by supplementing startup financing with tutelage and training. Launched in 2011, the SMIF proved so successful that two organizations have re-partnered to offer to the award to fresh batch of entrepreneurs in 2012 (read Yonge Street
's profile on the 2011 Toronto winner here
"We are excited to see the high quality of candidates, and the innovation, passion and outstanding character that is sure to be delivered in 2012," stated Spin Master' president and co-CEO Ronnen Harary in a news release.
While the partnership of a children's entertainment company and CYBF might seem an odd pairing, Spin Master's founders, themselves young entrepreneurs, see the project as way to share their wisdom with Canada's up-and-coming business owners.
In a news release, CYBF CEO Vivian Prokop stated that the entrepreneurial spirit of Spin Master's founders make the company an ideal partner. "Spin Master Ltd. is a pioneering Canadian business that has grown from an innovative idea shared by three young, brilliant Canadians to become a global leader in its industry."
Up to 10 winners will have the opportunity to benefit from the business kick-start package. Here’s how it works: the entrepreneurs behind the best online applications will be invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of Spin Master executives and industry leaders. An expert panel will award the best projects with a combination of financing and mentorship tailored directly to each project. The financing package, up to $50,000, will help the young entrepreneurs get on their feet by providing them with a low interest-rate loan that requires no collateral and no principal repayment in the first year. Winners will also be paired up with an industry expert who will mentor them over the course of the year. In addition, each entrepreneur will receive two paid trips to Toronto to attend a series of workshops which will bring together experts and up-and-comers to share advice, guidance and contacts. Online applications are available here
. The deadline is May 10.
Writer: Katia Snukal
Source: Canadian Youth Business Foundation and Spin Master Ltd.