"ENTREPRENEURIAL EXPERIENCES IMPROVE CANADA’S WORKFORCE."- JOHN MACRITCHIE, ASSISTANT VICE-PRESIDENT,AND STRATEGIC INITIATIVES TORONTO METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY ( FORMERLY RYERSON UNIVERSITY )
It might be odd to hear this from someone who leads incubation at a university, but not everyone needs to be an entrepreneur and not every startup will succeed. Our success has come as a result of embracing this experience, and how it develops students and innovators.
Leveraging startup and venture creation as a vehicle to drive innovation, Zone Learning creates opportunities for students to pursue non-traditional careers via entrepreneurship, and to achieve more in traditional career paths. We consistently hear from employers that it is difficult to measure the qualities that they are looking for in new hires – the ability to problem solve outside your comfort zone, to work in an interdisciplinary team, to be adaptable, to demonstrate resilience, and to show initiative.
While technical skills can be taught and practiced, these valuable intangible skills must be earned through experience working on real projects and interacting with others. This helps to develop “the entrepreneurial mindset” – a collection of competencies that develop from an authentic experience where an individual has the opportunity to lead, is held accountable for tasks, develops their personal network, and, ultimately, becomes more self-aware. We even differentiate our programming for those who want to develop startups and for those who want to develop skills for employability.
The process of trying to launch a new venture – whether successful or not – builds the entrepreneurial mindset, complements academic learning and supports the growth of individuals. The Zone Learning experience produces higher quality entrepreneurs, and improves the employability and success of graduates, regardless of their career paths.
Visit ryerson.ca/zonelearning to learn more about our programs, initiatives and zones.