Young: Much still to do to create entrepreneurial hub in the valley

People approach me to discuss their desire to find financing for their entrepreneurial project.

We are about to come to the end of another year in the Okanagan that continues the answer the question about our socio-economic future.

Everywhere I go in my travels, people approach me to discuss their desire to find financing for their entrepreneur project or  express a need to find the realistic opportunity for them to pursue a business plan’

Do I enjoy these exchanges? You bet. It is what makes me happy at this stage of my life—to offer my advice and counsel to those who trust my experience, knowledge and networks.

The  was a consideration behind a personal commitment to create a provincial non-profit entity, the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society, a few years ago to focus on contributing to the development of entrepreneurial leaders across the valley.

There was also a goal to seek through the society’s formation and development a forum to guide potential entrepreneurs through the challenge of launching their business opportunity to the world.

While our society has been able to accomplish that feat every few months, the society has ow moved to yet another plateau in its transition, recently completing the inaugural valley entrepreneurship conference.

We now ready ourselves for the second such conference in 2013, along with a second entrepreneurship television series via collaboration with Shaw Broadcasting and strive to complete the inaugural Okanagan regional entrepreneurship strategy with many partnerships in the making.

This column, thanks to the Capital News, has been a catalyst to propel our society’s vision of  entrepreneurship in the valley toward raising the bar amidst the entrepreneurship resources of which we all have available to us from Salmon Arm to Osoyoos.

All of the above has made myself and our society board very proud of what has been accomplished, but there remains  a couple of other important ingredients to the establishment and confirmation of an entrepreneur friendly region here.

These ingredients include the creation of a cohesive, collaborative and collectively committed Okanagan Valley entrepreneurship and technology innovation centre, perhaps housed at a site that would embrace the clear opportunity of its formation and existence for the greater socio-economic good of our regional population for now and the years to come.

I do lean to UBCO and Okanagan College in this regard as a centre location, an example that has been carried out across North America to a success for students, entrepreneurs and the community at large.

This goal will only be achieved when we are able to formally invite and succeed in having the educational institutions and other socio-economic stakeholders agree to play in the sandbox together seriously with undying dedication and commitment.

Early 2013 shall see if this will occur sooner rather than later.

Next and last on my job jar of entrepreneurial dreaming is the mechanics for investment and venture capital for all existing, aspiring and budding entrepreneurs in our Okanagan.

We currently have in place in the Central Okanagan, an Okanagan Valley Angel Investment Network, chaired by Raghwa Gopal, an esteemed angel investor and entrepreneurial coach and mentor to many. As well, recently the VA Angels Forum, an Alberta-based entity with chapters in a few prairie cities has come to Kelowna, an opportunity again to match the right entrepreneur project with the right funding.

So is all this enough? I genuinely feel, delving deep into my many years of experience and knowledge in this field, that I must say an unequivocable…no.

It is my firm belief that perhaps through organizations like the Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society, Women’s Enterprise Centre, Community Futures and others, we can create a vehicle for investment and financing that will be leading edge in B.C., Western Canada and the nation.

But only  if we collectively have the will to see it through to a successful creation and launch.

So I have put my heart on my sleeve for this Christmas greeting to all of you, and I close my final column of 2013 with my very best and blessed Christmas offering to you and your families and may the year ahead bring you all the joy and entrepreneurial bliss you deserve.

Just Posted

Kelowna takes to high altitude skating

Kelowna’s Landmark 6 building is the scene of synthetic skating this weekend

Petition filed to supreme court on Peachtree Village

A petition was filed Wednesday by the Friends of Beach Avenue Association

Kelowna pot dispensary launches petition

One of the medical marijuana dispensaries being sued by the City of Kelowna is fighting back

Ethel Street to reopen in Kelowna as upgrade work wraps up

Design work has already started for the next phase of Ethel Street’s active transportation corridor

Accident near Kelowna shopping centre

Fender bender on Springfield Avenue across from Orchard Park Mall

What’s happening

Find out what is going on this weekend in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Rockets stop two-game slide with win over Giants

Dillon Dube scores the game winner on a third-period power play Friday in Langley

Kelowna Rockets slip past Vancouver Giants: ‘When you don’t execute, there’s got to be changes’

Giants coach frustrated after his team’s 3-2 loss at Langley Events Centre

Second lawsuit this week filed against jail

Inmate claims he was stabbed by another inmate while in protective custody

Kelowna company offering calibration service cameras

Speedy Glass has been selected as one of 50 service centres

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Big White has wet opening day

The resort only opened four out of 19 lifts

Most Read