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Conference targets young entrepreneurs

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Everyone aged 15 to 29 who’s ever thought of starting their own business can get take a step in the right direction by attending the Rainy River Future Development Corp.’s youth entrepreneurship workshop March 16 at the Red Dog Inn.

“It’s a free workshop based on youth getting their own business off the ground,” noted Angela Halvorsen, projects co-ordinator at the RRFDC, adding a maximum of 30 people can attend the 1-5 p.m. workshop.

The primary presenter will be Carol Loroff of the Thunder Bay and Area Business Self-Help Office, who was well-received at a previous seminars here, Halvorsen said.

But some local speakers also will be on hand, including Ted Stewart of Stewart & Sande, Don Lovisa of Confederation College’s Don Lovisa, Brian MacDonald of the Northern Lights Credit Union, and Mike Maxton of Extreme Electronics.

As well, business planner Jack Hendry of the RRFDC will outline what to realistically expect when starting one’s own business, while Cindy Bernie of the Northwest Training and Adjustment Board will talk about establishing a “Youth Connection” directory to link business-minded youth across the region.

“Basically, I tried to get every possible aspect of getting a business started covered while arranging the presenters,” said Halvorsen.

While the RRFDC has offered such seminars before, most recently last autumn, Halvorsen noted the focus may shift depending on what end of the 15-29 age range is represented.

“Really, there’s not a whole lot of difference between this and the small business seminar for adults,” she added. “But the focus might be more on summer jobs, rather than full-time business, if the crowd is on the younger side.”

And that’s where Halvorsen will be pitching the RRFDC’s Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative program. Every summer, it works to help students start businesses such as mowing lawns, washing cars, and painting.

“We can set them up with loans anywhere from $500 to $5,000 which, of course, they have to pay back, and show them the advantages of working for yourself, setting your own hours, and so on,” she remarked.

Information packages also will be available for attendees to take home.

Those interested in registering can contact Halvorsen at 274-3276.

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