Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur kicks 2019 one-day workshops across the country

Military personnel and spouses considering venturing into the entrepreneurial world might be interested in Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE) one-day workshop. 

Operated by the Prince’s Trust Canada, POE kicked off the new year hosting its first 2019 one-day workshop in Petawawa, ON this week. The organization also offers other programs geared toward helping military families become entrepreneurs. 

The one-day workshops are designed to help future business owners determine if they are serious about starting their own business and then guides participants to get into an entrepreneurial mindset. The workshops also help participants channel their existing skills and interests to find an ideal business.

One of the first goals at the workshops is to give participants a high-level overview of business concepts and to educate participants about the who, what, when, where and whys of running a business explains Kathleen Kilgour, senior program manager with POE.  

There are many points that need to be considered with a new business, from considering costs and pricing accordingly to tax considerations, and more. The idea behind these workshops is to make sure participants are able to set themselves up to be successful in their business.


Kilgour notes discussions revolve around the 4Ms: 

Me – what are my interests; 

Money – how much money do you have to put into the business; 

Moment – is it the right time in your own life to do this type of business;

Market – is there a market for your business? 

The main idea is to help you set up a business that suits you, your interests, and the current market – all, so you can follow your passion, said Kilgour. 

She states, “Every time you engage with POE, you will leave with at least one actionable next step.”

Kilgour also stressed that you can have a good business idea, but it might be the wrong time in your life for it, or there might not be a market for it. But that can all change – a market may develop, and your circumstances can change with time. 

When developing your business plan, Kilgour reminds people to find other entrepreneurs to talk with. As she says, not everything has to be done from scratch. In fact, working with another entrepreneur can be a great way to learn about running a business, and is also an excellent networking opportunity. 

The POE website features a network of businesses launched by former military members and military spouses. She encourages all new business owners who are military spouses or former members to list their business in the network.

Kilgour said that one surprise benefit of these workshops is meeting others. Having the opportunity to network is invaluable when starting a business.

These workshops have also been effective in improving participant’s confidence, especially as they’ve guided participants set up realistic expectations for their business.

For more information about POE click here.

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Deborah van der Linde

Deborah is a librarian who is passionate about books, storytelling, and writing. Thanks to her husband Adam’s military career, they have had the great fortune of living all across Canada. Deborah and Adam have two delightful children and a dog that thinks he’s one of the kids.

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Canadian Military Family Magazine