Entrepreneurship support established for Yukon communities

WHITEHORSE, YT—  Yukonstruct and Yukon University’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship will provide entrepreneurship support to Yukon communities thanks to a $740,512.50 funding investment from the government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre (FSC). This funding will establish the Yukon Skills Research and Engagement project and the Northern Entrepreneur Development Network aimed at helping rural Yukon respond to the pandemic and prepare for the workforce of the future.

These programs will engage with Yukon communities to understand their unique entrepreneurial needs. The Yukon Skills Research and Engagement project will gather data over the next year to determine the impacts of COVID-19, assess the Future of Work landscape in the Territory, and inform the development of training, and program opportunities to help all Yukoners; ensuring that Yukon will continue to develop a resilient and sustainable economy. The Northern Entrepreneurship Development Network is a two-year program that will develop a network of local support and adapt entrepreneurial programming to serve rural communities in an accessible, culturally relevant way.

“We are proud to partner with Yukonstruct to help people build resilient businesses that are agile and forward thinking in the face of the new economic reality”, said Lauren Manekin-Beille, Department Head, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Yukon University. “By understanding and responding to the needs of Yukon communities through programs and services, we can empower self-determination, recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, and foster resilience for future shocks.”

Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Yukonstruct will involve Yukon communities early in the process by engaging with entrepreneurs, partners and key stakeholders to understand how to best serve rural communities.

"Yukonstruct is dedicated to supporting Yukoners to grow their skills, knowledge, and community connections, so they can bring their ideas to life”, said Lana Selbee, Executive Director, Yukonstruct Society. “Preparing Yukoners of all ages for jobs of the future is key to fostering economic resilience in Canada's North. This partnership with Yukon University and support from Future Skills Centre allows us to expand our work to ensure all Yukoners have access to skill development, entrepreneurship, and the networks and connections they need to build thriving communities and futures."

These programs are a result of FSC’s call for proposals for Shock-proofing the Future of Work: Skills Innovation Challenge, in which 64 projects were funded throughout Canada. The projects will impact thousands of Canadians in all provinces and territories and in a variety of sectors.

“As we look forward to a world post-recovery, we know that a dynamic skills agenda will be central to Canada’s success in a constantly-changing labour market,” says Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre. “By leveraging networks of mentors to build a thriving entrepreneur community in Yukon’s rural communities, this program will help design new skills development approaches that allow Canadian workers and businesses to seize opportunities in our future economy.”

“Today’s announcement highlights the importance of collaboration and innovation across all sectors, to build a skilled, agile workforce that is ready and able to shape the future. I know this funding will allow our communities to continue learning, acquire new skills, and create opportunities for all across the Yukon”, said Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament- Yukon. “Together, we can and will pave a way forward to ensure that our workforce is at the forefront of innovative thinking and action, now and for years to come.” 

For more information on how to get involved, please visit Innovation & Entrepreneurship with up-to-date information on the programs outreach modifications due to COVID-19.

Yukonstruct is funded by the Government of Canada's Future Skills program

Victoria Kennedy
Marketing Coordinator, Yukonstruct
867 335 3521 

Eglantine Ronfard
Communications Manager
Future Skills Centre
647 262 3706