University students are increasingly looking for ways to start their own business after graduation. A 2013 BMO study found 46 per cent of Canada’s postsecondary students see themselves starting a business after graduation. Universities are responding by providing the resources and setting for students to try out new business ideas, network with alumni, classmates and experts in their field, and get introduced to venture capitalists to help them succeed.
Each year, thousands of Ontario university students are learning entrepreneurial skills in dozens of programs and hundreds of courses. A July 2014 HEQCO study found Ontario universities offer 114 entrepreneurship education courses or business incubators, as well as an additional 58 extracurricular entrepreneurship activities including incubators, competitions, workshops, co-ops, internships, mentorships and workspaces. As universities foster and support creativity, problem-solving skills and independent thought, they spark the development of hundreds of start-up companies and give graduates the talent and skills to be “intra-preneurs” – employees who behave like entrepreneurs within the context of a large organization.