A Simon Fraser University Beedie School of Business student who has received national recognition for her leadership and entrepreneurship joins the 2014 class of The Next 36.
Chantelle Buffie is one of 40 successful candidates gleaned from a field of about 1,000 applicants nationally for a spot in the prestigious program, aimed at stimulating new ideas among brilliant young minds. She is the third SFU student to secure a place in the competitive program.
The young entrepreneurs will spend the next nine months building companies with the support of mentors, a unique academic program and a pool of business advisors.
“It’s important for students to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way,” says Buffie, who recently began working full-time at TELUS following a co-op term. “The world is at your fingertips, and it’s up to you to grab what you want out of life.”
The 2012 program manager of Enactus SFU’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year initiative, Buffie was earlier named the 2013 HSBC Women Leader of Tomorrow for Western Canada.
Together with student Sonam Swarup, she created Fusion Kitchen, aimed at empowering immigrant women to obtain jobs by working with them to teach cultural cooking lessons. The venture, no longer running, earned a BC Ideas recognition in the university solutions investment category.
Buffie, of Surrey, was also named a Top-24-under-24-award recipient by the Vancouver daily newspaper 24-Hours. “The faculty support and resources available to me at the Beedie School have been instrumental in my success as an aspiring entrepreneur,” says Buffie, who participated in SFU’s Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator, which fosters student start-ups, and has also worked with RADIUS, Beedie’s interdisciplinary social innovation lab and venture incubator.
While at SFU, she created Jumpstart, an eight-week accelerator for SFU students with ideas that could be launched into businesses, and also spent a term studying at the Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Italy.
Previous SFU participants to The Next 36 include SIAT student Michael Cheng, who created Needle HR, a talent acquisition platform, and Beedie undergraduate Jessica Fan, who used the program to develop her business venture Penyo Pal, an app that teaches children to speak Mandarin
Last year, SFU became an official academic partner of The Next 36, solidifying SFU’s reputation as a Canadian leader in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.
The Next 36 has the support of more than 200 Canadian business leaders. Its first three cohorts raised over $18 million and created more than 150 new jobs.