Business in the Streets is Shaping Canada’s Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

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Business in the Streets entrepreneurs © Sarah Collier

With Canada’s aging population, the torch of economic leadership is passing to the next generation— and in the rapidly evolving business world, access to quality training and mentorship is paramount for young entrepreneurs looking to make their mark. How can these future business leaders get the skills they need to take up the mantle?

The answer comes in the form of Business in the Streets (BITS), a Canadian charity that provides underserved and underrepresented young people access to top-tier business training, mentorship, funding, and ongoing business support. BITS equips young people with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to succeed in this dynamic environment. Their vision is a Canada where every young person, regardless of their circumstances, believes in the potential of their ideas.

Mentorship That Makes  A Difference

What makes the BITS method so effective is its network of mentors and industry experts who provide ongoing support, guidance, and constructive feedback.

In the last decade alone, BITS has made an impressive impact: the organization has served over 1,000 young people and provided over 10,000 hours of mentorship, leading to $500,000 in startup and growth capital facilitated and an impressive 850 program graduates. This invaluable resource enables young entrepreneurs to navigate challenges and seize opportunities, setting them on a path to sustainable success—it’s not just the building blocks to a thriving business; it’s an enduring community of support.

A Lasting Impact

“BITS understands that failure is just a stepping stone to growth and discovery,” said BITS’ Executive Director, Kyle Monczak. “At BITS, students learn this lesson through real-world action like gathering feedback from potential customers, pitching their ideas, and even making their first sales.” This approach equips young participants with the skills and mindset needed to succeed in any environment.

However, some obstacles, like funding, need to be addressed directly. That’s why BITS offers various funding options, including grants, loans, and scholarships, giving entrepreneurs the runway they need to take off.

business in the streets
Richard © Alice Xue Photography

Take Richard Porras, founder of Real Empanada Co., for example. While pitching his business at BITS, Richard was introduced to David Mendez, commercial account manager at RBC. David was inspired by Richard’s business, which sold empanadas using his Abuela’s authentic Columbian recipe. With David’s support, Richard accessed $100,000 through the Canadian Small Business Financing program, a program that had previously denied Richard. As a result, Richard opened his first storefront and now has two locations in Toronto.

BITS offers two distinct programs. Youth Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (YCEO) is ideal for those with a budding business idea seeking guidance on how to validate it, while the Boot Camp is designed for entrepreneurs with a tested business idea and consistent sales over the past three months or more, aiming to develop an actionable business plan.

Impact is not just a buzzword for BITS; it’s a core principle. Through practical virtual business training, mentorship, and community support, BITS is forging a brighter future for the next generation of leaders and innovators. This spring, make an impact on the lives of youth in your community!

© Courtesy of Business in the Streets
Learn more about becoming a participant, mentor, or Pitch Day Judge, and support the business leaders of tomorrow at businessinthestreets.com

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Business in the Streets (BITS) is a Canadian charity that provides underserved and underrepresented young people access to top-tier business training, mentorship, funding, and ongoing business support.

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