It's your business, so start it!

Youth Ventures empowers students aged 12-29 to start their own business.
Do you have a great idea? Do you have the passion and drive to be your own boss? We can help!

Get Started!
Years in operation

Coordinators

Businesses started

Entrepreneurs helped

Here's how we can help

Discovering an idea

Discovering a business idea that fits your skills and personal goals.

Business planning

Creating a detailed business plan to guide you as you grow.

Marketing direction

Marketing direction and materials to get your business noticed.

Financial advice

Financial advice and support in getting your business up and running.

Hiring employees

Determining when and what employees to hire.

Mentorship

Constant advice and support from an experienced mentor.

So, are you ready to bring your business idea to life?

Get started!

Latest news

Business Tips

How To Find Your Business Idea

Business.

Coming up with an original and successful idea is often difficult. Many inventors or famous business people didn’t come up with their ‘million dollar’ idea in a day. In fact, it may have taken them years to create the perfect product idea or maybe it was by some freak accident while trying something else.

Take the chocolate chip cookie for example, Ruth Graves Wakefield, a dietician and food lecturer, prepared all the food for the guests at her families Inn. One night while baking she ran out of baker’s chocolate and instead chopped up a semi sweet chocolate bar expecting the chocolate to melt and disperse through the cookie dough as regular baking chocolate would. Instead, the chocolate pieces kept their individual form, but were softened and perfectly gooey, creating the world’s first known chocolate chip cookie!

The point here being, you need a good idea before you can really start a business! Here are some ways to get those creative juices flowing.

 


 

Relax:

A good way to start thinking of ideas that could work for you is to start with a fresh mind. Stop thinking about what’s currently stressing you out, and just relax.
Draw a hot bath, take a nap, go for a run, anything that helps you clear your mind and you’ll be able to concentrate more on coming up with your business idea.

Explore Your Interests:

When starting a business, you definitely want to come up with an idea that interests you and that you are passionate about. Think about things you would consider fun instead of work and maybe it’ll turn into a great idea!

Write It Down:

Take a pen and piece of paper and write down any ideas that come to mind throughout the day. It could literally be anything from a thought about something you use to get ready in the morning to how your lunch food is served.
Write every product or service idea down that you think could be of value to someone.

Guaranteed you will have to eliminate some ideas because they just aren’t possible or there’s already some product out there that serves a similar purpose.

Think About What Bugs You:

Look at the way you do things and think about what frustrates you and how you can fix it. If you can think of a solution that others would find useful then there’s your idea!

Look At The New Fads:

New trends catch on fast, so try to get involved with a fad early! Fads come and go though, so try coming up with something you think people will stay interested in for the long run.

Take Charmed Aroma Candles, the candle with a ring in each one and an appraisal code. Women love the idea of getting a candle and jewelry, especially if they receive the high end $5000 dollar ring. People are very interested in this product and now another company is selling Pearl Bath Bombs. A bath bomb that fizzes till the hidden “pearl” is shown. This is another product that women will love with basically the same idea.

Do The Research:

What better way to find out what people want than to ask them? Talk to shoppers and see what things they would like to purchase but can’t find exactly what they want.

Always remember to do research while brainstorming, it is important to make sure there isn’t already an identical product or patent for what you come up with.

Business Tips

9 Ways to Achieve Customer Loyalty

Customer loyality

1 – Offer the best

The best way to please customers and ensure their business in the future is to offer them the very best you can. Make sure your product or service is something they value. Make sure that your employees and you are friendly, inviting, and helpful.

2 – Be friendly

Customers love to ask a million questions before purchasing; it could be important questions or it could be, what employees think are “stupid questions”. No matter what the customer is asking or wants, you should always answer with kindness and try to help them the best to your abilities.

A smile goes a long way, and if a customer feels appreciated and that the employee they are dealing with is friendly, than they are more likely to continue doing business with them.

3 – Be flexible

Consumers usually expect products or services whenever they want or need it. They aren’t concerned about schedules or product availability because they expect you to have openings and inventory. This is an easier step to take if you offer a service. Say you operate a lawn mowing business from Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm, but a customer contacts you during the weekend and would like their lawn mowed. If this is a valued customer than try to be flexible with your schedule and get it done on their time. The customer should appreciate your hard work and dedication and result in more business from them.

4 – Offer incentives

No matter how hard you try to perfect your product or service there will be people who want to return an item and get their money back. Be sure to hear these customers out and try to understand where they are coming from. It’s best to offer them an incentive for their troubles, unless it’s an outrageous request or compliant.

5 – Don’t ignore existing customers

Some businesses will offer different promotions every month or at certain times in the year. It could also be something like “Sign up today and receive 20% off!”

Although that is a great way to engage new customers, it’s important to remember your existing ones. Maybe offer them a promotion when they have been doing business with you for a couple months or at the 6 months mark. Obviously your promotions will vary and the time will depend on your business.

6 – Get their email

By getting the customers contact information you can keep them updated with new things your business is doing, new promotions, and keep in contact with them. However, stay clear of spamming their emails!

7 – Ask for feedback

Asking for customer feedback is a great way to make the customer feel valued. Asking in person or a phone call to see how they enjoyed your product will have the customer feeling like their purchase was important to you. Not to mention, you will receive some valuable feedback to help improve your product or service.

Asking for feedback can create customer loyalty, but it’s important to note that you don’t harass and annoy them. Don’t leave endless voicemails and emails.

You could also ask them to complete a survey and often a discount or deal that will benefit them.

8 – Be active on social media

A lot of consumers are active on social media. They may post things to the internet like “Just had the best meal at …” or it could be something negative like “bought this product today and must warn everyone to save their money”. If you are active on social media you can thank the customers who praise your business, and you can apologize and explain or offer something to the negative feedback you might receive.

As well as, promote your business on social media and reply to customers quickly, this will likely result in better customer loyalty.

9 – Create a sense of community

Customers will value your business and stay loyal if you can make them feel valued and that their business is very important to you. If you can create a sense of community and make them feel involved, than they will likely stay loyal and praise your business to new customers. Match names to faces and keep in contact. Also, if you have any business events, you should send them an invite!

All, Timelines

Timeline: Shopify Inc.

shopify

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Shopify.

Shopify is an ecommerce company that allows you to set up an online store to sell your products. It lets you organize your products, customize your storefront, accept credit card payments, and track and respond to orders.

Sounds cool, right? Yeah, we thought so too!

Here’s a timeline of how Shopify came to be.

2004 – Shopify was founded by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake after attempting to open Snowdevil, an online store for snowboarding equipment.

2006 – Lütke used the open source web application framework Ruby on Rails to build Snowdevil’s online store, and launched it after two months of development. The Snowdevil founders launched the platform as Shopify in June.

2009 – In June 2009, Shopify launched an API platform and App Store. The API allows developers to create applications for Shopify online stores and then sell them on the Shopify App Store. Several companies have developed apps that integrate with the Shopify platform

2010 – Shopify launched a free mobile app on the Apple App Store. The app lets Shopify store owners view and manage their stores from iOS mobile devices.

Shopify started its Build-A-Business competition, in which participants create a business using its commerce platform.

Shopify was also named Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company by the Ottawa Business Journal in 2010. The company received $7 million from an initial Series A funding round in December 2010. Its Series B funding round generated $15 million in October 2011

2013 – Shopify announced the launch of Shopify Payments, which allowed merchants to accept credit cards without requiring a third party payment gateway. The company also announced the launch of an iPad-centric POS system. It uses an iPad to accept payments from credit cards. The company received $100 million in Series C funding in December

2015 – Shopify filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbols “SHOP” and “SH” respectively. During its debut on the New York Stock Exchange, Shopify started trading at $28, more than 60% higher than its USD$17 offering price, with its IPO raising more than $131 million. Shopify went public on May 21, 2015.

In September, Amazon.com announced it would be closing its Amazon Webstore service for merchants, and had selected Shopify as the preferred migration provider

 

 

 

Sources: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shopify

 

Uncategorized

10 Characteristics of Entrepreneurs

Business, man, outdoor.

Do you feel a desire to carve your own career path? Do you have a drive to be your own boss?

Well maybe you have the potential to be a very successful entrepreneur!

We’ve made a list of characteristics that most successful entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, and many more, share.

Here are 10 popular characteristics of Entrepreneurs:

1 –    Passionate

You need to be driven by a clear sense of purpose for your business to succeed.

Become an entrepreneur so you can spend every day at work doing something you enjoy.

2 –    Think/Plan for the future

Plan plan plan! Plan for the things you have to do this week, or month. Have a timeline made that outlines your goals. Remember to keep your working area and your head organized so that things are done efficiently and on time.

3 –    Be Resilient

More often than not, entrepreneurs will receive criticism and doubt about their ideas. It is important to channel that negative energy and turn it into advice and thrive from it.

After all, Apple co-founder, Steve Wozinak, pitched his first computer idea to HP and was rejected 6 times. Now look how far Apple has come.

4 –    High Sense of Self Worth

If you don’t have confidence in yourself and your ideas, than who will? Remember to tell yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind too. The sky is the limit!

It is also important to note that entrepreneurs feel insecure sometimes too; after all, we’re all humans. Use any insecurities to drive yourself to accomplish your dreams.

Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran group and co-star on dragons den, said “those who are nervous about failing can become hyper-focused on success.”

5 –    Ability to Sell

This is a necessary trait to posses when entering the business world. If you are an entrepreneur and you want to succeed, then you must be able to sell your product or service to the best of your abilities. You need to be convincing and finish a sale. Research ways to pitch your business, work on your elevator pitch, and always be prepared.

6 –     Balanced

As an entrepreneur you need to balance work, social life, healthy lifestyle and everything all at once. You need to know when a battle is worth winning, when to walk away from a failure, and when to go home for a good night rest.

7 –      Decisive

When starting a business there are a lot of questions that will arise. Who am I selling to? What price is product worth to people? Should I follow this route or a different one? You are constantly going to have to make decisions that will greatly impact your business. Weigh the pros and cons and then choose. Be confident in your decisions and try to make smart moves and stick with it.

8 –       Fearless

This is a big one for entrepreneurs. You need to learn to take risks and be fearless. If you are constantly thinking about how you couldn’t possibly do something because of the repercussions than you won’t reach the great entrepreneurial success you are dreaming of! You have to risk everything, money, free time, other people’s opinions of you, and much more. If you truly believe in yourself and your product/service than you will make the risks and either live your dream or learn from your mistakes and try again.

9 –       Childish

 Approach your day with childlike wonderment, faith, and curiosity.

Entrepreneurs are like kids in candy stores; nothing is off limits and everything is theirs for the taking.

10 –      Financially Prepared

Business start up is never usually cheap. It is important to think about how you will finance your business along with your everyday life expenses.

 

Do you have what it takes?


Awards

Each year Youth Ventures, with the support of our amazing sponsors, has the privilege of giving out awards to young entrepreneurs who have made an outstanding effort throughout the duration of the program.

See the 2015 Winners

Thanks to our partners

CBDC

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

ACOA

Government of Canada