Just Own It Summer Boot Camps at Brescia to welcome 50 local high school girls for an intensive one-week residential program focused on female entrepreneurship

News Release
March 23, 2015

London, ON – Brescia University College is excited to announce the next step in our one-of-a-kind entrepreneurship initiative taking place at Canada’s only women’s university this summer. The Just Own It Boot Camps will welcome 50 girls and young women from several different school boards and private institutions across the southwestern Ontario region for an intensive week of hands-on training by experts in the field of entrepreneurship. The Just Own It program has been made free of charge for all participants. The Just Own It Boot Camps will provide high school girls with the opportunity to be exposed to, explore, and experience entrepreneurship.

Camp directors, Associate Professors Colleen Sharen and Melissa Jean, are excited to see the concept come to fruition. Sharen explains, “In primary school, girls have equal desire to be entrepreneurs. By high school, girls are 30% less likely than boys to want to be an entrepreneur. By university, only 18% of entrepreneurs are young women. And less than 8% of businesses employing more than 100 people are owned solely by or majority owned by women. Through Just Own It, we’re helping girls explore entrepreneurship as a career choice, one where they can be creative, do something they love, and be prosperous. One participant told us the Just Own It conference on February 20th, a forerunner of the summer Boot Camps, allowed her and her classmates to  “see themselves” at University and as potential future entrepreneurs, saying at the end of the session, “I feel so empowered. I always thought entrepreneurs were other people, but now I know that could be me.”

Principal at Brescia, Dr. Colleen Hanycz, says, “Brescia is well positioned to deliver a new entrepreneur program that will redress these alarming statistics. We already have extensive experience working with high school girls and boards of education, and we have established an impressive track record in developing and delivering successful curricular and extracurricular experiential learning activities in entrepreneurship. We also have strong relationships with young and established female entrepreneurs and mentors in the community.”

Objectives of the Boot Camps include offering intensive hands-on training in five major areas of entrepreneurship: The Business Model; Customer Discovery; Product Prototyping; Financial Management; and Pitching an Idea. Just Own It engages high-school aged girls by providing exposure to young female role models; increasing girls’ confidence in their entrepreneurial abilities; increasing participation in Ontario and community-based youth entrepreneurship programming; and building young women’s awareness of Brescia as an institution of choice for their post-secondary education.

Included in this initiative will be an academic research component, aimed at understanding more fully how to prepare and encourage young women for entrepreneurship by evaluating the effectiveness of our programming.

The Just Own It Boot Camps will be hosted at Brescia in two sessions:

Boot Camp 1 (For girls in Gr. 11&12 in the 2014/15 school year): June 25th –June 30th, 2015

Boot Camp 2 (For girls in Gr. 9&10 for the 2014/15 school year): July 6th – July 10th, 2015

Each boot camp is open to a maximum of 25 high-school aged students. The students will stay in Brescia’s Clare Hall Residence, and all meals will be provided by Brescia’s food services team.

The Just Own It Boot Camp applications will be open March 23rd, 2015, and will close on April 15th, 2015 at midnight. Students who are selected to participate in the Just Own It Boot Camps will be contacted before May 1st, 2015.

To learn more about the program, or to apply for the Just Own It Entrepreneurship Boot Camps, visit http://brescia.uwo.ca/justownit/.

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For more information please contact Caitlin Core, Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer at 519.432.8353, ext. 28280 or at ccore@uwo.ca. You may also contact Sheila Blagrave, Director Communications, Marketing & External Relations at 519-432-8353, ext. 28293 or at sblagrav@uwo.ca. Brescia University College, Canada’s only women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,275 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Online Media Room at https://media.bresciauc.ca.