I am tremendously proud to officially unveil a remarkable and diverse group of young Ryerson University students: the winners of the first Sheldon and Tracy Levy Aspiring Innovators Fellowships.
As first announced earlier this year, this award was created in honour of former Ryerson President, Sheldon Levy, and his wife, Tracy, whose support for fostering students – and nurturing their entrepreneurial ideas – was a critical component of Ryerson’s transition to an innovation-driven university.
Created in partnership with Ryerson’s Zone Learning Network, the program aspires to engage, support and mentor students in entrepreneurship, and to give ambitious youth a head start with guidance and capital that they might not otherwise have access to.
Last week, the founding cohort of the program was selected among Ryerson University’s brightest young innovators and entrepreneurs. Each student pitched their ideas for a spot in the Fellowship, with great enthusiasm and hopefulness.
Empowering Canada’s young people and inspiring them to become changemakers, innovators and entrepreneurs is a key ingredient to Canada’s economic success. Who better to secure the country’s future than our next generation?
Youth are entering a tough job market, and it is no exaggeration that advancing technology is quickly supplementing – and in many cases, replacing – entry-level jobs. Our recent report, Future-proof: Preparing young Canadians for the future of work, found that to thrive in today’s rapidly changing workforce, Canada’s young people need to be equipped with a specialized set of technical and soft skills. At the top of the list? Entrepreneurial abilities, such as managing uncertainty and taking risks.
The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship wholeheartedly congratulates the founding cohort of the Sheldon and Tracy Levy Aspiring Innovators Fellows Program. We wish all of the new Fellows success throughout the program and beyond!