By Karlie Mickanuik

Society has entered an entrepreneurial age. Small online businesses, farmers’ markets and local businesses have gained popularity in the business world as many people choose to shop locally rather than rely on bigger corporations. As more people adapt their life to support local markets, there are more small businesses appearing all over Edmonton. Anyone can start their own business. All you need is an idea and a good work ethic.

NAIT has many opportunities available to students who are interested in organizing their own business and becoming an entrepreneur.

The Mawji Centre is open to all NAIT students and focuses on helping students who dream to one day run their own business. The Centre provides programming and one on one coaching with students in any program at NAIT. You don’t need to be taking business to use the Mawji Centre’s resources.

Cecile Wendlant who works for the Mawji Centre explains how to get your business off the ground.

“First things first, identify a problem and then how you’re going to solve the problem,” said Wendlant.

If there is a problem in the world that you want to be fixed, think of a product that will solve the issue. Chances are multiple people are dealing with the same problem as you and will be interested in the product.

Wendlant also said to make sure you do your market research to ensure your product is unique and that no one else is doing the same thing as you. Market research will also help you to be sure your product is a good solution to the problem and will help you to improve your idea.

There are many legal factors to consider when you are starting your own business but a quick meeting with a representative at the Mawji Centre can help ease your fears about the seemingly endless documents and make your business official.

If financing your business is causing your plans to halt, take a look into grants and scholarships. These can help kick start funding for your business. NAIT’s Mawji Centre has solutions for NAIT students going into an entrepreneurial career regarding advice, support and even in funding options.

This is a great place to visit for any student interested in entering the entrepreneur world. The center provides one on one mentorship and coaching. It also offers free sessions and speakers. In every step of the process of creating your business the Mawji Centre can offer their assistance.

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