MH college student chosen for entrepreneurship program

·2 min read

A Medicine Hat College student has earned a coveted spot in the Student Entrepreneurship Sprint program.

Second-year business administration student Ashley Brooks-Jackson was one of more than 50 post-secondary students to apply for a spot, and was one of 30 to be accepted.

“I’ve always wanted to have my own business and I kind of had an idea for it,” she said. “I connected with the Entrepreneurial Development Centre here at the college and started working on my idea with them.

“My idea got put on the back burner because of school and COVID, but about a month ago my adviser from the centre reached out to me and let me know about the Sprint.

“I looked into and it looked amazing. I had to at least try.”

After being accepted into the program, Brooks-Jackson and the rest of her peers got to work at the beginning of the month.

The program lasts five weeks and breaks students into small groups to work digitally with experts with an entrepreneurial background.

Over the five weeks students participate in group advisory sessions, complete various modules, amend and improve their business plans, and spend the last week giving their final pitch. After the pitch, students get to decide whether to pursue the idea, or if they want to modify it.

Brooks-Jackson says her goal is to build a financial education and training program.

“This would be specifically for people struggling to manage their finances,” she said. “I want to help people who don’t know where their money is going. I want to provide step-by-step guidance to help them navigate out of debt and into wealth, no matter what their situation is.

“My program would focus on zero-based budgeting, but it would zone in on emotional and behavioural patterns that are the underlying cause for each person’s financial difficulties.”

Medicine Hat College is one of eight post-secondary institutions in the province to have representation at the Sprint program. Brooks-Jackson says the program has been well worth her time.

“Originally I had this idea and vision, and being in this program has let me articulate and refine my idea,” she said. “I’ve figured out that the people I originally thought would be my customers may not end up as clients.

“I’ve learned a lot about social entrepreneurship, which is what I would fall into.

“I want to end the stigma around money and poor financial literacy skills, and to normalize talking about financial literacy.

“This program has been a great help with those goals.”

Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News