In December 2019, the ThriveNorth program successfully completed its five-year mandate. Managed by Futurpreneur Canada, the program helped young entrepreneurs in Northern B.C. launch and grow their businesses by connecting them with resources, financing and mentorship.

As one of our valued partners, we wanted to introduce you to Shannon Bahm of Hecate Strait Employment Development Society, a non-profit organization with offices in Prince Rupert, Masset, and Queen Charlotte, British Columbia. We chatted with Shannon about Hecate Strait, the role she plays and their involvement with the ThriveNorth initiative. Here’s what she had to say…

Explain a bit about Hecate Strait and what it is that you do.

Hecate Strait Employment Development Society is a non-profit organization that provides employment programming and training to enhance the opportunities of the residents of the North Coast and Haida Gwaii.

What is your role at Hecate Strait?

I am the Workforce Development Coordinator. In my role I market our programs such as WorkBC, Settlement Services for Immigrants and our training center.

Why is supporting the ThriveNorth project so important to your organization?

The ThriveNorth project is important to Hecate Strait as it gives our clients options. We run a self-employment program through WorkBC and it is a natural fit to refer our clients to ThriveNorth for funding and mentoring options. It is a great program for young entrepreneurs as it provides support and guidance through those first few years of running their business.

Why do you feel that entrepreneurship is such a viable career option for young people?

There is so much talent and drive in our young people today. I believe that young entrepreneurs can be successful in starting their own businesses based on this. Young entrepreneurs have new ideas and can create their own path in the labor market.  Programs like ThriveNorth help make their businesses a reality and having that support is invaluable.

Why do you feel entrepreneurship is important to Northern British Columbia?

Small business in Northern BC and especially Prince Rupert is highly important. The majority of our services are delivered through small businesses. I believe it is what gives our town such character. Entrepreneurship in the North not only boosts our economy, but it provides job opportunities to our residents.

Are there any resources you provide that people should know about?

Our website is and provides links and contact information to our WorkBC program for Self – Employment and is a great website for information on self-employment, careers, and labor market inform

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