The Waterloo region has become a sought-after destination for entrepreneurs, drawing sharp and inventive talent from around the world to its business and finance community. Many innovative thinkers want to take advantage of the city’s resources so they can put their business plan into action as well as upgrade their skills and connections. The city is home to an ever-growing community of entrepreneurs, business students and visionaries.
It’s important for business schools to provide a solid textbook education for students as well as emphasize the importance of strong interpersonal skills, networking, team-building and the role those skills play in a career in business and finance. The Lazaridis School of Business & Economics offers a diverse selection of degree specializations such as accounting, financial management, entrepreneurship, international business management, marketing, operations management, organizational behavior and human resources management, as well as strategic management and supply chain management. Students looking to study from an entrepreneurial perspective will find the school’s holistic approach to education enlightening as they approach their startup and conduct their business through the lens of versatile perspectives. The school is internationally recognized drawing students from all over the globe with its AASCB accreditation and its options for full and part-time study with campuses located in the Waterloo region as well as Toronto. Many students and are navigating to cities that focus on the cultivation of a startup ecosystem as well as the development of small businesses.
The presence of the Communitech Hub in the Waterloo region tech community has attracted entrepreneurs from all over who want to meet and mingle with like-minded individuals who share the same drive for success. The space serves as a club house for business students and entrepreneurs who are in various stages of starting, building and maintaining their own companies. Their mandate is to help people build their professional network, connect with funding sources and to introduce them to a client base while providing support for startups. It houses the Laurier Launchpad a service that provides dedicated workshops specifically for students focusing on the entrepreneurship specialization as well as alumni who have a clear concept for their product as well as a rough business model. Successful companies that have benefited from the LaunchPad program include Ethical Coffee Chain, Microfluence and Wherego.
Also associated with the Communitech Hub, the Velocity Garage is another useful tool for students specializing in entrepreneurship as they provide workshops, funding and mentorship. They focus on the importance of their full-time business advisor team, as well as the physical workspace that they provide for students who may not have one. When reviewing applications they look at the originality of the business concept, the company revenue and the contribution the company will bring to the community, which is proof that they are dedicated to nurturing a startup ecosystem.
It’s important for MBA programs to provide knowledge and insight into the intricacies of starting a company and for them to be located close to the action. It takes a driven, self-motivated individual to come up with an idea for a startup company, but that vision can only thrive within a community of innovative people. Many entrepreneurs have that one brilliant idea but simply need the mentorship and companionship of like-minded people to bring it to life.