Dave Hall from the Windsor Star wrote an excellent article today about our program Supporting Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurs in Windsor and Essex (SAYEWE).

See here: http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/10/17/aboriginal-entrepreneurs-growing-getting-support/

This program provides twenty Aboriginal youth 18-29 seminars on the fundamentals of starting and running a business.  The top four participants will then be selected to launch their startups in the Downtown Business Accelerator with additional mentoring.  The partnership we built to support this program are tremendous and include a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development,  Union Gas, Royal Bank of Canada, CanAM Urban Native Homes, CanAM Indian Friendship Centre, the Aboriginal Education Centre and the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor, the Small Business Centre and the Downtown Business Accelerator.  It has been a tremendous privilege working with our partners and our participants.

Interestingly, the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs in Canada is the Aboriginal community, and yet they lack training in the fundamentals of running a business, such as a business plan, and lack networks of support.  This gap was what motivated us to build this program in our region.

It is all about empowering our youth to create businesses and jobs in our region.

I spent an evening today with the WE Succeed Youth Leadership Council made up of young women ages 18-25 who are breaking down barriers that prevent them from entering Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as the skilled trades. One of the reasons I am so passionate about FIRST Robotics is because half the participants are girls and FIRST Robotics does a remarkable job of breaking down those cultural barriers that limit the potential of our young women in this regard. Less than 2 percent of workers in the skilled trades are women. Also, less than 10 per cent of engineers are women. That’s our loss!

Check out this great video of an all-girls robotics team from the Bronx:

All Girls Robotics Team from the Bronx

We have a robotics team in Windsor that is made up mostly of girls including the Team Leader and Chief Engineer.  If you are a woman engineer or woman in the skilled trades, make the decision to mentor one of our fourteen local robotics teams today, and help break down these stereotypes and cultural barriers that stand in the way of our girls. Email me and we’ll get you plugged in!


I emailed Windsor Fire Chief Bruce Montone a question about which nursing homes in Windsor (and in particular Ward 7) had automatic sprinkler systems, since only recently did the Ontario government make them mandatory for all nursing homes. Even though the Fire Chief has his hands full with National Fire Prevention Week, he was nice enough to respond quite quickly. Here is what he said:

With Respect to your question…8 of 9 Long Term Care Facilities within the City of Windsor are sprinklered with the 9th Chateau Park, currently underway and scheduled for completion by year end (Dec.31/13). As we head into 2014 All LTC facilities within the City of Windsor will be sprinklered. Hope this helps with the information you were seeking.