Improve Impact | John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise

Improve Impact  |   John F. Wood Centre for Business and Student Enterprise

My grandfather started his business in Toronto.
and being in agriculture wanted to be at the heart of where agriculture was growing from. That was the University of Guelph. So, my grandfather was a
brilliant engineer he graduated top of his class from the University of
Saskatchewan. But, he was not a businessman and the
business struggled until the 1960s when my father took over the business. He
graduated top of his class but in business and I think that combination of
engineering and business was the recipe for success Every business starts out at some point is a small business and every business
is started by an entrepreneur so by supporting students who are passionate
about their their business acumen about being an entrepreneur about advancing
their business is kind of at the center of what my father has always believed.
Student innovation and entrepreneurship are so critical in today’s world because
of the fast pace that the world is changing. It allows for growth and
fosters the ability for creativity a little bit of courage and leadership. So
to push us into the future. I was so lucky to be admitted and
accepted into the hub incubator program because it really provided a really
great sense of an entrepreneurship culture that I wasn’t getting in my in
my theoretical classes. I developed a company called Lendly and it started
out as a passion project and I was developing a peer-to-peer lending
platform to help combat payday loans so I wanted to connect borrower to lender
the way that ride-sharing like Uber. connected Rider to driver. So the Centre for Business and Student Enterprise helps develop new businesses through our hub
incubator program. We help develop the entrepreneur and we also support
students who want to do good work in our community through our business
consulting course. This gift is going to allow us to have more startups coming out of the University of Guelph we will be able to support more entrepreneurs
and we will have more students out in the community doing work through our
business consulting course. The new John F Wood Centre for business and student
enterprise, this incredible gift is going to help us take our commitment and our
passions and our creativity to the next level through this gift we will have two
funded chairs one in entrepreneurship and the other end community engagement
with these two new faculty positions in place we will be able to launch a minor
and entrepreneurship we are going to be able to provide more students with the
opportunity to engage with organizations so a really important part of the gift
is the seed funding that supports our hub incubator program. So, real cash given to real students who have ideas that we believe in. That’s what we can provide, an
opportunity if they have an idea to learn how to bring that idea to life and
then have it make a positive impact on society. Part of that idea turning ideas
into action making them actionable for our students is about providing our
students with a place where they have the resources, where they have the
support, mentoring to guide them through on their own journey to becoming leaders.
This Centre will do exactly that. We received the Upcycle Kitchen idea
sort of in its infancy from Tom who works at the seed, so it was him who
developed the concept of the Upcycle Kitchen and asked CBaSE for students
to develop it further. We take food thats surplus from local farmers and it’s food
that’s usually imperfect or kind of looks like misfit things that are bent
the majority of our context remains through sea bass actually and one of
them is that we met a wholesale distributor we actually met with some
last week and he told us he has so much produce
that he has to throw out because it’s surplus because it’s not perfect enough for
restaurants. He doesn’t have anyone to sell it to and this is where we would be
buying that ripe tomatoes which was perfect as then we can process it into
tomato sauce right away. Beginnings are important and so how things start is
very important what this gift is done is it’s it’s given a spark it’s provided a
spark for students at the front end as they develop their ideas and turn those
ideas into action through incubator space and other kinds of supports that
are so so very important. The other great thing that this gift is
going to do is over time it’s going to strengthen and build that
entrepreneurial culture within our university with ripple effects that
extend way beyond a local community to the province and beyond. As W.C Wood Company
grew they recognized that they needed to give back to the community. All of those
employees worked so hard to create the success of that business. It wasn’t one
person it wasn’t two people it was everyone working together and there were
hospitals that needed money and there were social agencies that needed money
if we had the money to give we wanted to support that community in its growth. My hope is that the students here at Guelph that participate in what’s happening
here at the business school is that they will hopefully get a little piece of my
father’s passion for business whatever group they come from or whatever
discipline they come from at the school if they walk out of here with a small
part of what made my father so successful in terms of his love for
business I think then this will be a success. you

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