CYBF looking for young entrepreneurs

CYBF looking for young entrepreneurs

byline: Bruce Johnstone

REGINA — The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is looking for 30 young entrepreneurs who want to start their own businesses in Saskatchewan and just kick around some ideas over a cup of coffee.

That’s the idea behind CYBF’s “Owners Wanted’’ campaign, which is being launched across the country, including in Regina and Saskatoon, this month.

Riley Nadoroznick, business development manager for CYBF in Regina, said ironically the hot provincial economy is causing many would-be entrepreneurs to put their dream of owning their own business on hold. “The job environment is really good right now. Somebody can go from high school or university and make six figures, if they want. So the incentive to start your own business isn’t necessarily there.’’

As a result, Saskatchewan is seeing fewer young people start their own businesses than in other provinces. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of self-employed people between the ages of 15 and 24 years actually decreased by 29 per cent in the province, while other parts of the country have seen young entrepreneurship grow.

That’s why CYBF is sending an open invitation to “millennials’’ and other young entrepreneurs to sit down, have a coffee and talk about their business ideas and plans with a CYBF representative.

“With the Owners Wanted campaign what we’re trying to do is get some of these people that have a business idea but have never taken it forward — maybe they have job right now, that kind of thing — and just start the conversation in a laid-back environment,” Nadoroznick said. “It’s more about introducing ourselves and (finding out) what they’ve got in mind.’’

What CYBF can offer is advice, mentorship and even money, if the idea — and the individual behind it — show promise. “We have quite a few online resources — tutorials, templates, sample business plans for different businesses — that type of thing. Other than that, we can provide entrepreneurs with up to $45,000 in financing, with the help of BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada). “

With CYBF putting up $15,000 and BDC $30,000, startup businesses won’t be starved for working capital. “And everyone who receives one of our loans is paired with a mentor for two years,’’ Nadoroznick added,

Timothy Martin, part-owner of Atlantis Coffee Co., which is hosting the CYBF sessions in Regina, said he could have used CYBF’s help when he was starting out as a young entrepreneur seven years ago. “At the age I was when I got into this, people like (Nadoroznick) weren’t readily available to (help people start their own businesses) … Now it’s more accessible and there are more platforms,” said Martin, who also co-owns several restaurants in Regina.

Every Tuesday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. until the end of the month, anyone with a business idea can meet Nadoroznick at Atlantis Coffee at 1992 Hamilton St. to have a coffee and get some free expert advice. He can be contacted at or by calling (306) 737-1589 or by visiting the CYBF website at

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Leader-Post | Regina, Saskatchewan