Immigrant outreach workshops get entrepreneurial twist

The TRU branch of the global entrepreneurship club, Enactus, will be working with Kamloops Immigrant Services to help new Canadians adapt to business and life in the country. Classes and workshops taught by Enactus to recent immigrants living in Kamloops will be offered for the rest of the year.

Enactus has offered these classes for several years now, teaching job skills such as resumé building, networking and interview skills. According to Danika Schmietenknop, a director at Enactus, the goal of teaching these classes is to improve immigrants’ quality of life and to “make them feel more one with the community.” According to Enactus VP of Program Development Katie Doherty, the focus of this year’s program is entrepreneurship, to help immigrants create their own jobs.

In the entrepreneurship workshops, Enactus members will work one on one with people help them obtain the grants, sponsorships and help from the community needed for their business succeed. According to Schmietenknop, a lot of people in the community are willing to help out with the entrepreneurship program. In the past, those using the program have expressed a desire to set up restaurants, hotels, farms and importing businesses that would improve services in the city.

Both Enactus and Kamloops Immigrant Services are planning to expand the program to encompass other important skills. New skills will include how to winterize a car, how to eat healthy on a budget and how to obtain a driver’s license. The goal of these future workshops is “to have a substantial impact in these new Canadian lives,” Schmietenknop said. The long term goal, according to Doherty, is to have a sustainable program which can be passed onto Kamloops Immigrant Services, no longer requiring help from Enactus.

The workshops will run biweekly with four sessions before Christmas, each focusing on a specific topic. The first Enactus-run workshop will be on Oct. 28, followed by Nov. 4, Nov. 18 and Dec. 2. The club wishes to draw similar attendance as last year, aiming for approximately 12 people per session.