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Starling Community Services.

New Program Supports Youth Entrepreneurs

Lutherwood is pleased to announce the launch of “BizU” – a new youth entrepreneurship program to support youth interested in pursuing self-employment as a career option. Delivered in partnership with YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo and Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship (WLU), the innovative program is funded by the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade & Employment.

“We are invested in the success of young people who are motivated to overcome challenges in order to realize their dream of starting their own business,” said Beth Pitt, Program Supervisor at Lutherwood. “Thanks to the investment from our partners, BizU participants will develop valuable skills and knowledge which will greatly increase their chances of success.”

Building on the experience of the three organizations in delivering youth self-employment and small business programs, BizU will attract youth between the ages of 15-29 who experience challenges (income, race, ethnicity, disability or literacy issues) to finding and securing employment or establishing their own business.

The BizU program will offer entrepreneurial training with business advising, coaching, case management, mentorship, networking and recreation. Participating youth will be paired with young entrepreneurial mentors from Wilfrid Laurier University and they’ll have access to state-of-the-art technology through the Laurier Launch Pad. “It's a great example of two-way experiential learning where Laurier Entrepreneurship students will share their knowledge as mentors and learn a great deal from BizU participants,” added Steve Farlow, Executive Director, Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Thirty-six youth have the opportunity to participate with the first group starting in June, 2014. The program will be delivered at Lutherwood and YMCA locations in Kitchener and Cambridge.

“Building a successful business requires the right knowledge, tools and resources,” concluded Lil-Marie Myers, Director of Employment Services at the YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo. “BizU will guide participants in the areas critical to successful entrepreneurial development and business ownership. Thanks to this partnership more youth in our community will be able to reach their full potential.”

For more information or to register for an information session, prospective participants are encouraged to contact visit our website, email us at or call (519) 743-2460.

Media Contact:
Chris Sellers
Director, Communications, Marketing & Strategy
519-707-1958 x1237

"I wanted work that would allow me to go home and feel good, so I turned to Lutherwood for help. They listened to me, pointed me in the right direction and that is where I needed the help."