PC MHA Steve Kent wants high school students to be excited about entrepreneurship, and he wants to hear about it.
Kent, the representative for Mount Pearl North and the parliamentary secretary for the office of public engagement, was at Mount Pearl Senior High Tuesday morning to talk to about 50 students about the government’s Getting the Message Out (GMO) program, which encourages young people to consider entrepreneurship.
The government has offered up big prizes, including a new iMac, for students who participate in a contest about entrepreneurs in the province.
“I’ve seen first hand that small businesses, entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the economy here in our province, and entrepreneurship is going to be so important as we continue to try and diversify our economy, particularly in rural parts of Newfoundland and Labrador,” Kent said to reporters.
“I really hope that the GMO program will continue to inspire young people to really consider entrepreneurship as a career. We have bright, energetic, creative minds in this province, and starting a business is a great way for young people to make Newfoundland and Labrador their province of choice.”
Speaking to students, Kent said that small businesses owners are important to the province partly because they contribute to the taxes that make government work.
“Entrepreneurs are leaders in our communities and our regions. They provide employment opportunities, build stronger communities and help fund provincial government programs and services such as health care and education, and allow us to build and maintain our hospitals and our roads and our schools,” he said.
“Their contribution, as well as the new, exciting opportunities that are increasingly prevalent is what motivates us as a government under the leadership of Premier (Kathy) Dunderdale to support youth-oriented initiatives.”
Kent invited students to enter the government’s iDiscover contest, which wants youth to profile “an entrepreneur in their community or region” according to the news release sent out Tuesday.
Kent says he hopes young people wil get creative, using drama, film, essays, visual art and any other medium they want to profile local entrepreneurs.
Winning students will win either an iPad2, an iMac, or an iPod Touch.
When students came into the school learning resource centre, they found ballpoint pens with the GMO logo on them, and glossy information cards telling the students, “There are lots of reasons to stick around … Newfoundland and Labrador is full of opportunities — to build a business, build a career, build a life.”
The information cards included a little sticky “Egrip” device designed to be stuck to the back of a cellphone so that you can put the phone down on a hard surface like a car dashboard, and it won’t slide off.