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Futurpreneur pairs youth with mentors

Anny Chih photo

By Anny Chih, 24 hours Vancouver

Young entrepreneurs can use a good mentor. (FOTOLIA)

Young entrepreneurs can use a good mentor. (FOTOLIA)

There is no typical Monday for Julie Beyer, entrepreneur and founder of For the Love of Food – a dessert company that specializes in producing sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free organic treats in Vancouver, B.C.

 

She’s one of the 6,900 young Canadian entrepreneurs that Futurpreneur has helped support with resources, financing, and mentorship. She enjoys the freedom of choosing one’s own schedule that being an entrepreneur affords her.

Over the past few Mondays, Beyer says she’s been working on organizing her finances, but “other times [she’s] making chocolate or meeting potential customers.

“It totally depends on the week,” she adds, but “something done every Monday is to plan [the] week because if you don’t, it’s easy to lose focus of what you’re doing.”

Planning her week and organizing her receipts as they come in are things that Beyer has had to learn over time as a new business owner. She admits that unlike making chocolates, finance isn’t something that comes naturally to her, which is why Futurpreneur paired her up with a mentor in the food and beverage industry that has a strong background in finance.

“Mentorship has been really great,” says Beyer, who has met with her mentor up to three times a month for business advice since starting the program a little over a year ago.

Mentorship isn’t the only thing that Futurpreneur provides for entrepreneurs like Beyer though. The most valuable benefit of the program, she says, has actually been the financial support that Futurpreneur provides for young entrepreneurs that would otherwise have difficulty securing first-time loans.

“They look at a viable business plan and also look at your character,” she says. “For the first year, you just pay back interest so that gives you time to get more established.”

Futurpreneur offers up to $45,000 in financing for Canadian entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39, as well as one-time cash awards like the Best Emerging Entrepreneur Award through Small Business BC; nominations for this award will be accepted starting Oct. 1, and details are available at sbbcawards.ca.

So what’s next for Beyer? Only time will tell. As an entrepreneur with a sweet product supported by Futurpreneur, the opportunities are endless.

To find out more about the Futurpreneur program, visit www.futurpreneur.ca. For more information about Julie Beyer or For the Love of Food, visit www.loveoffood.ca.

 

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