Back in January, I recorded a podcast episode called “The Importance of Volunteering as an Entrepreneur”. In the episode I talk about the great opportunities volunteering can present to entrepreneurs and how many benefits it comes with.

The truth is, volunteering can be a great way to build your resume – even if you are an entrepreneur. That is why at the end of the episode, I recommended each of you to take the time to do some research on organizations you want to be apart of and assist.

One organization I believe that does not get enough credit is Junior Achievement. And that is why today, I am writing more about it in detail.

Junior Achievement Of Northern Alberta & NWT

In this blog post, I will talk about a recent interview that was conducted for the Bee Influenced podcast.

As you may not know, I recently got the opportunity to sit down with Keith Pudwill at Junior Achievement located in Edmonton Alberta, to discover more about the different opportunities that are available and the benefits of volunteering that this company is providing.

(If you want to listen to the podcast, just click the player above, or scroll to the bottom of the page).

But before you do that, let me introduce you to Junior Achievement and what kind of organization it is. So…

What is Junior Achievement?

What started as an organization that focuses on providing education to students about work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy – set the cornerstones of Junior Achievement a couple of years ago. The company also offers some other volunteering programs such as the diversity program that helps students open their minds when it comes to diversity and the impact it has on the world.

In a nutshell, all the programs talk about and emphasize the importance of hard work, the importance of sticking to your laurels, and the value of always going forward.

All of the volunteering educational programs are tailored to the needs of the students and are hands-on. This means that they are designed to help the students practice skills like problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork etc.

I have personally gotten the opportunity to run a diversity program in 2016, back at my junior high school. I had a lot of fun working alongside Junior Achievement, and it truly amazing to see the impact you can make on one’s life.

Talking more to Keith about all the programs that Junior Achievement does, I kind of wish my school would have brought it in when I was attending.

One particular program that Junior Achievement runs that I believe is great for high school students is their company program, which basically teaches students how to build a business while at school.

Building a Business while in High School

According to Junior Achievement, every teenager should get a chance and learn something about business, entrepreneurship and company formation. This program not only teaches them these details – it directly applies to them while they are in high school. That is why it is known to be among the best high school business programs in the US and Canada.

This educational entrepreneurial program is available to all students who want to participate – and runs from February to June every year.

During the 18 week program, all students do a complete business plan examining, market research, idea generation, and then create individual roles for their organization. After they complete these phases, they put their ideas to action and are learning to do actual business formation. At the end of the program, they even liquidate their businesses to help provide an understanding of the whole business cycle.

WHAT?

I know is that crazy! Kids in high school starting businesses, right? That’s an incredible experience and opportunity – which is why this high school entrepreneurial program is popular in the US &Canada and offers great value.

High School Entrepreneurship Success Story

Keith was telling a story about how one group in Hinton, Alberta created hoodies with designs by local individuals imprinted on them.

Believe it or not, this high school venture made $10,000 in 13 weeks!

This is incredible! For some high school students to come together, build a business and become successful in that short time period, it is clear that we have a bunch of highly bright young entrepreneurs coming!

The truth is, it’s these kinds of stories that inspire me to bring entrepreneurs and unique individuals onto the podcast to help educate you about all the possibilities that are out there. Whether it’s a volunteering program by a high school, a creative workshop or simply education at its finest, the value of participating must be accepted by students nowadays.

On a side note, it’s truly remarkable to hear these stories and feel inspired about what we can be accomplish if we put our minds to it.

Keith and I continued talking about multiple different business topics such as the importance of mentors. The great opportunities that volunteering presents and much more!

Click the player on the bottom to listen to the full podcast…And if you want to hear more tips about building a business from scratch as mentioned in it, we are basically summing them up below.

Whenever a guest comes onto the podcast I like to ask the same last questions.

3 Tips for Starting a Business

No matter how many business tips you have read or heard out there, you should know that the approach I use in my podcasts is always different and unique when it comes to building a business from scratch.

Wondering how?

Well, whenever a guest comes onto the podcast, the last question I like to ask is:

“If you had to give some one 3 tips when first starting their business, what would those tips be?”

In this case, Keith Pudwill’s answered:

  1. Know what you’re getting into. You have to be available all the time. You need to be passionate about
  2. Do your homework, know your market, and know what differentiates yourself compared to your competitors.
  3. Don’t be afraid to create a team. You can’t do everything yourself. Find people that believe in your goal, and you can rely on”.

 

Sounds like some piece of solid advice, right?

Know your market, know what you’re getting into personally, and build a team! If you look at any great entrepreneur we have brought onto the podcast they would all agree these are key fundamentals essential for success.

Since Keith provided such good recommendations, I have created a free business plan template that you can download to start planning your own business.

Get Involved in Volunteering

If you are looking for volunteering opportunities that are tailored to your needs and career goals, Junior Achievement is a great organization to volunteer for.

If you are interested in volunteering, you can check their volunteering programs on their website at HERE

Or….

If you are interested in making a donation to Junior Achievement, you can do that via their website at HERE.

And just in case you missed it…

On May 3rd, Junior Achievement is hosting the annual Northern Alberta Business Hall of Fame which is the big fundraising event for the year. Because of this fundraiser is what allows the organization to provide their volunteering programs for free to thousands of students and classes each year.

This year, they will be inducting: Dr. Herb Belcourt, Paul Douglas and Dr. PremSinghmar.

For all the information about this fundraiser, you should contact Keith and get your answers.

Therefore, the best way to get a hold of Keith Pudwill is via email at: kpudwill@janorthalberta.org

For the end…

I would like to personally thank Keith for coming on the podcast, and say another thanks to Junior Achievement for making a leap forward and bringing the best form of education and valuable service to our future generations!

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