News Release Archive


Some future Nova Scotia high school students will be among the
first in North America to graduate not just with a diploma, but
with their own small business up and running.  

Education and Culture Minister Robbie Harrison said students will
have this opportunity through new Entrepreneurship Venture
Centres to be opened first in Shelburne, Yarmouth and Antigonish.
Under the instruction of a full-time certified teacher, students
will be able to start their own business while taking regular
high school courses tailored to the businesses they're running.
Students will help develop their individual course load and
receive full academic credits for their courses, graduating with
the same diploma as their peers. As a bonus, venture centre
students will graduate operating their own business. These
connections between high school subjects and their application to
running a real business will make the centres unique in North

"Teachers are still teaching their students -- simply in a
different setting -- while giving young people the opportunity to
start their own business," Mr. Harrison said. "Even more
importantly, we're helping them gain entrepreneurial experience
and the values, attitudes and skills needed to succeed at home,
at work and in their communities."

Each venture centre will consist of a youth self-employment
centre similar to the existing Halifax Open for Business model, a
computer resource facility, workshop space and office space
students can use to hatch their business plans. The venture
centres will be located away from the local school so students
are in a community entrepreneurial setting.

"This program is aimed at all youth. Individuals will make their
own decision to apply for enrolment. It is expected that the
students and other youths will be highly motivated as they have
arrived by their own initiative," said Chris Curtis, chief
executive officer of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education
and Development of the Department of Education and Culture.

Twenty students are expected to be enrolled in the first 
semester. In addition to the full-time teacher, a project
co-ordinator will be hired to support all of the venture centres. 

While guidelines are provided, the project is structured to allow
the venture centre program to be moulded to suit the needs of
each community. Each centre will have an advisory board of
individuals and representatives from local and government
organizations interested in helping to build a better future for

Beginning in the fall of 1997, each centre will operate the Open
for Business storefront to provide self-employment services for
youth interested in entrepreneurship and/or seeking assistance in
starting their own business. Recruiting of students will begin in
the fall, with the first students beginning their studies at the
start of the second semester, in February 1998.

The Entrepreneurship Venture Centres are three-way partnerships
involving the provincial and federal governments, the local
school board and community. The centres were selected based on
applications from seven communities. It is hoped that more
applications will be approved in the new fiscal year. The
long-term goal for each venture centre is to be a self-sufficient
and community enterprise supported by the participants and local


Contact:  Colin Craig 
          Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development

trp                       June 23, 1997 - 3:30 p.m.