Project Enterprise participants at Sullivan Heights Secondary School. (submitted photo: Surrey Board of Trade)

Project Enterprise participants at Sullivan Heights Secondary School. (submitted photo: Surrey Board of Trade)

Project Enterprise goes online with goal of giving Surrey students ‘entrepreneurial mindset’

Teachers of students in Grades 9 to 12 encourged to get involved in the SBOT program

Surrey Board of Trade’s youth entrepreneurship program will be more hands-online than hands-on during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Project Enterprise challenges secondary school students to develop social enterprises and discover their ability to be change-makers.

The fourth edition of the program will put added emphasis on ideation and mentorship “by further engaging the support of local business and philanthropic leaders.” In contrast to previous years, it will be conducted in a virtual setting.

SBOT encourages teachers of students in Grades 9 to 12 to get involved in the program by calling 604-538-0832, or email

“Project Enterprise is easy to implement in the classroom,” says Tiffany Gallaher, program co-ordinator. “The program aligns with curriculum outcomes for different subjects and can be customized to meet specific teaching goals.”

According to Gallaher, teachers who have previously participated in the program say that applying business and financial concepts in a meaningful real-world context has empowered their students to take ownership of their learning and increased their confidence.

Prioritizing “People, Planet and Profits,” the program debuted at the three Surrey secondary schools of Frank Hurt, Princess Margaret and Sullivan Heights Secondary, and concluded with a “Dragon’s Den”-style pitch and judging event last June. Close to 350 students in 15 Surrey classrooms were involved last year, as part of an agreement between Surrey Board of Trade and Surrey Schools.

At Frank Hurt, Jason Southwell’s Grade 9/10 class participated in Project Enterprise last year.

Many of the presentations centered on what the students had learned and how they could build on their experience. In fact, a key message was the importance of treating failures as learning opportunities. One group described a “fail” as the “first attempt in learning” and went on to explain how they used a mistake to shift gears and make changes to their sales approach. They felt their enterprise was far more successful as a result.

Southwell said the program brought life to the material that he was covering in the classroom.

“Having the opportunity to apply concepts in a real-world context was very beneficial for our class. The students got to try things out and experiment with new ideas,” Southwell said. “After launching their social enterprises, we were able to have meaningful discussions about what worked and what didn’t.”

The Coast Capital Savings-sponsored program “encourages youth to think outside the box and re-imagine business success as a triple bottom line of people, the planet and profits,” says a SBOT news release. “Its socially conscious focus promotes community awareness while its real-world approach helps students develop an entrepreneurial mindset that is needed in a highly competitive marketplace.”

Helping young people develop an entrepreneurial mindset is a priority for the Surrey Board of Trade, says Anita Huberman, the organization’s CEO. “One of the greatest benefits of this initiative is the opportunity for students to connect with and be supported by our business members.”

To learn more about SBOT’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program, email Huberman at

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