Meet Your Coordinator

Youth Ventures Success Stories — Meet Sofia Kabir, YV Coordinator!

Meet Your Coordinator

We are excited to flip the script with this story! Introducing the 2020 Star Coordinator Award winner, Sofia Kabir.

Here’s Sofia’s story…

In the Beginning

Sofia is from Stephenville, Newfoundland and joined Youth Ventures in 2013. Sofia was actually a participant from 2013 to 2016 with her own business, Boutique Nails. When the job opportunity to be a Youth Ventures Coordinator came across her desk, she felt like she had the right amount of skills and experience to help the next generation of youth take charge of their dreams!

 

Life as an “Entrepreneurial Fairy”

The young entrepreneurs that Sofia speaks with regularly are enough of an inspiration themselves, however there are a few business ideas that tend to pull on the heart strings. 

One example of an inspiring business that shifted into a charitable approach during the global pandemic is 3D Portrait Prints. “They have been printing ear protectors for face masks and they have been giving them to local businesses and hospitals for FREE.” recalls Sofia. The compassion of the youth helps to demonstrate the true meaning of paying it forward.

 

Leadership, Growth, and a Bright Future

During the day, you can typically find Sofia helping the youth in our province in one capacity or another. Of course, she helps inspire future business moguls to turn their talents and hobbies into a business, but there is so much more. 

Sofia says that Coordinators are a major part of the startup process, including “picking the name, designing a logo, marketing and advertising, and helping get their product or service to the consumers.”

 

Being Inspired and Paying it Forward

Sofia believes that Youth Ventures plays a significant role in shaping the future of our province in a home-grown manner. This program helps to educate on the world of entrepreneurship and “that you don’t need to go out of the province for work,” Sofia shares excitedly. “Which not only makes our economy stronger but it makes our province stronger as well.”

To reflect on Sofia’s time with Youth Ventures, when asked what her message would be to those considering becoming a Coordinator, the messaging was very clear: “Youth Ventures is an amazing opportunity for everyone. You get to meet many inspiring youth along with an amazing team of Coordinators from all across the province.”

Talk about inspiring!

Thank you for sharing your story, Sofia, – your Youth Ventures family is proud to continue supporting you as you pursue your future goals!

Stay tuned for the next Success Story. Until then, let’s keep makin’ lemonade!

Meet Your Coordinator – Cathy Payne – Town of Parsons Pond

Meet Your Coordinator

What is your name? 

Cathy Payne

What Youth Ventures site are you based out of? 

Parsons Pond

What are some of your favourite hobbies? 

Reading and learning new skills

What’s your favourite movie? 

Grease

What is your favourite band? 

Journey

What is your favourite restaurant? 

Swiss Chalet

Do you have any pets?

 2 Samoyeds named Bree & Liddy

What does entrepreneurship mean to you? 

It means having an idea and taking the steps to bring that idea to life 

What is the coolest business you heard of?  

Selling ice cream out of a homemade ice cream bicycle

are you looking forward to most this summer? 

Interacting with youth virtually while still making YV the success it’s always been

What are some interesting business opportunities you see in your region? 

Lawn Care; Babysitting; Virtual Music Lessons; Dog Walking; Pet Sitting; Guided Social Distancing Trail Tours

What do youth in NL need to know about Youth Ventures? 

We are here to help you plant and grow your ideas

What is the most important thing people of any age who want to start a business need to know? 

All businesses start out as ideas and with the proper help and training you can be a success

How can people get in touch with you if they’d like to talk about starting a business? 709-660-3583 or parsonspond@youthventuresnl.com

Meet Your Coordinator – Taiwo Ilyas – Associations for New Canadians

Meet Your Coordinator

What is your name? 

Taiwo Ilyas

What Youth Ventures site are you based out of? 

Associations for New Canadians in St john’s

What are some of your favourite hobbies? 

Reading and travelling 

What’s your favourite movie?

 X-Men Series

What is your favourite band? 

Maroon 5

What is your favourite restaurant?

The Fish Exchange

Do you have any pets? 

No

What does entrepreneurship mean to you? 

Turning an idea into a reality and making it a successful business through hard work

What is the coolest business you heard of? 

Photography (Art), Virtual math training and selling homemade yogurt.

What are you looking forward to most this summer? 

Helping youths bring their ideas to life.

What are some interesting business opportunities you see in your region? 

Dog walking, Virtual music training.

What do youth in NL need to know about Youth Ventures? 

Youth ventures can provide the resources needed to help bring up an idea into an accomplished business. 

What is the most important thing people of any age who want to start a business need to know? 

Starting a business is not easy, just go for it, you can do it. 

How can people get in touch with you if they’d like to talk about starting a business? anc@youthventuresnl.com

Meet Your Coordinator – Will Neville – CBDC Avalon West

Meet Your Coordinator

What is your name?

William Neville  

What Youth Ventures site are you based out of? 

Avalon West Region – Based out of Placentia.

What are some of your favourite hobbies? 

Playing music, playing sports, watching podcasts/ series, and spending time with friends and family.

What’s your favourite movie? 

Good Will Hunting

What is your favourite band?

This is a tie between The Tragically Hip and Fleetwood Mac.

What is your favourite restaurant? 

My favorite restaurant (that I’ve been to) would be either The Keg or The Big’s.

Do you have any pets? 

Yes, I have three dogs.

What does entrepreneurship mean to you? 

Entrepreneurship to me is the opportunity for any individual with a creative mission and drive to create a successful product or service.

What is the coolest business you heard of?  

The coolest business I’ve heard of was a Youth Ventures participant that made jewelry out of busted guitar strings. This was a very cool, smart, and environmentally friendly business that I found very interesting.

What are you looking forward to most this summer? 

I am looking forward to meeting new Youth Ventures participants while also contributing toward a part of our coordinator team. As a returning member, there are still many experiences and skills I believe I can gain throughout this summer. 

What are some interesting business opportunities you see in your region?

I see opportunities for lawn mowing, painting, and interior and exterior car cleaning. There are many services that can be beneficial to our region, as well as many products. 

What do youth in NL need to know about Youth Ventures? 

Youth should recognize that this program is very beneficial for young people and can provide a great business foundation for what can lead to great success in the future. As a previous member of this program with a DJ service, I have learned new knowledge and skills throughout my experience at program events and meetings with the regional coordinator

What is the most important thing people of any age who want to start a business need to know? 

There is always a risk. It may not be an easy process but through learning and skill building, your knowledge and experience will push you toward your future goals. The best way to learn how to grow a business is to start one, and even failures are an asset by demonstrating a need for a different approach in the future.

How can people get in touch with you if they’d like to talk about starting a business? 

If you have any questions or want to chat about starting a business, you can reach me at 213-0883 or avalonwest@youthventuresnl.com

Meet Your Coordinator – Danielle Burden – Rising Sun Developers

Meet Your Coordinator

What is your name?  

Danielle Burden

What Youth Ventures site are you based out of?  

Rising Sun Developers

What are some of your favourite hobbies?  

Walking my dog, going for drives, and watching Netflix

What’s your favourite movie?  

Beetlejuice

What is your favourite band?  

Fleetwood Mac

What is your favourite restaurant?  

Newfound Sushi

Do you have any pets?  

Yes, a beagle named Beau

What does entrepreneurship mean to you?

Entrepreneurship means that you can do what you love and get paid to do it

What is the coolest business you heard of?  

There’s a café in St. John’s called Mad Catter Café where you can have coffee with cats

What are you looking forward to most this summer?  

I’m looking forward to helping more youth start up their own businesses

What are some interesting business opportunities you see in your region? 

Any type of pet care (ex. dog walking, pet sitting) 

What do youth in NL need to know about Youth Ventures? 

Youth Ventures is an excellent resource for youth in NL who are interested in becoming an entrepreneur

What is the most important thing people of any age who want to start a business need to know?

Be confident and fearless in your business idea. Creativity is everywhere

How can people get in touch with you if they’d like to talk about starting a business? 709-454-7071 or risingsun@youthventuresnl.com

Meet Your Coordinator – Amanda Barney – Labrador Straits

Meet Your Coordinator

What is your name? 

Amanda Barney

What Youth Ventures site are you based out of? 

Southern Labrador / Strait of Belle Isle Community Youth Network

What are some of your favourite hobbies? 

Hiking, Quading, Snowmobiling, all things outdoors

What’s your favourite movie? 

I love any romantic comedy

What is your favourite band? 

Love Bon Jovi

What is your favourite restaurant?

Swiss Chale

Do you have any pets? 

Barney, a Brittany Spaniel

What does entrepreneurship mean to you? 

There is no better work arrangement than to be your own boss! With the right level of commitment, the sky is the limit!

What is the coolest business you heard of? 

Any business is cool when someone takes an interest of hobby and turns it into a prosperous venture! In a previous year I had a participant who made ice fishing poles and roasting sticks and painted them in the colours of the Labrador flag.  The business excelled way beyond our expectations!

What are you looking forward to most this summer? 

I am looking forward to helping youth make their business ideas become a reality.  I will help them work through this new reality that we are in because of Covid-19 and I am anticipating a successful Summer!

What are some interesting business opportunities you see in your region? 

There is a strong tourism industry in the Labrador Straits.  Businesses in the arts and crafts usually seem to do well in this industry. Examples include knitted goods, crafts made with local products (Ex: rock, driftwood, sea glass, etc.). This year, due to Covid-19,  we will have to rely more on tourists from our very own province.  The whole province of Newfoundland and Labrador has an aging population so I see that service type businesses would be very successful as well.  These include housekeeping, car wash. yard work, dog walker, etc.

What do youth in NL need to know about Youth Ventures? 

Youth Ventures is a great program that can provide the necessary support, resources, training, and counseling to potential new business owners. This program fosters entrepreneurship in our youth and helps shape them into leaders of tomorrow. 

What is the most important thing people of any age who want to start a business need to know?

Business opportunities are endless but starting your own business takes a huge level of time, resources, and dedication.

How can people get in touch with you if they’d like to talk about starting a business? 

Amanda Barney

Youth Ventures Regional Coordinator

Labrador Straits Community Youth Network

L’Anse au Loup, NL A0K 3L0

Phone: 709.927.7912

Email: southernlabrador@youthventuresnl.com

Meet Your Coordinator – Megan Jensen – Harbour Breton Community Youth Network

Meet Your Coordinator

What is your name? 

Megan Jensen

What Youth Ventures site are you based out of? 

South Coast, NL

What are some of your favourite hobbies? 

Listening to music, reading, being with friends

What’s your favourite movie? 

Mean Girls

What is your favourite band? 

The 1975

What is your favourite restaurant? 

Boston Pizza

Do you have any pets?

 A cat named Axel, and a beagle named Jocko

What does entrepreneurship mean to you? 

Entrepreneurship is about the ability to take risks and think outside the box, while creating something you’re passionate about.

What is the coolest business you heard of? 

OceanQuest Adventures in St.Johns, NL. You can swim/kayak with humpback whales, view icebergs, etc.

What are you looking forward to most this summer? 

I’m looking forward to connecting with youth and creating more local businesses in the south coast region.

What are some interesting business opportunities you see in your region? 

There is so much natural beauty on the south coast, I think businesses such as tour guides would be successful. 

What do youth in NL need to know about Youth Ventures? 

Youth Ventures is a great program that can easily get your business up and running, while providing you with great mentors, information and resources. 

What is the most important thing people of any age who want to start a business need to know? 

It is important to remember that starting your own business is a process, and results take time. You need to be dedicated to your business!

How can people get in touch with you if they’d like to talk about starting a business?

Email southcoast@youthventuresnl.com or call 709-885-5448

 

Meet Your Coordinator – Alicia Goulding – Grand Lake Centre of Economic Development

Meet Your Coordinator

What is your name? 

Alicia Goulding

What Youth Ventures site are you based out of? 

Grand Lake Centre of Economic Development in Deer Lake 

What are some of your favourite hobbies? 

Reading and watching Netflix 

What’s your favourite movie? 

Tangled 

What is your favourite band? 

Jonas Brothers

What is your favourite restaurant? 

Jungle Jims

Do you have any pets? 

No

What does entrepreneurship mean to you? 

Being independent and taking a skill of yours, and turning it into a business

What is the coolest business you heard of?  

Salty Sea Crafts 

What are you looking forward to most this summer? 

To helping youth get the resources and support they need to create a successful business 

What are some interesting business opportunities you see in your region? 

Babysitting and yard work 

What do youth in NL need to know about Youth Ventures? 

That it can provide you with the support and resources you need to help you create the business you wish to accomplish. 

What is the most important thing people of any age who want to start a business need to know? 

That any idea can become a successful business if you’re willing to put the time and effort into it. 

How can people get in touch with you if they’d like to talk about starting a business? 709-636-9443 or grandlake@youthventuresnl.com

Meet Your Coordinator – Julia Blackwood – Gander & Area Chamber of Commerce

Meet Your Coordinator

What is your name? 

Julia Blackwood

What Youth Ventures site are you based out of?

Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce

What are some of your favourite hobbies? 

Volleyball, running, going to the gym, and road trips. 

What’s your favourite movie? 

The Blind Side

What is your favourite band?

High Valley 

What is your favourite restaurant? 

Boston Pizza 

Do you have any pets? 

Sadly, no

What does entrepreneurship mean to you? 

I think anyone can be an entrepreneur and the business opportunities are endless. Making the decision to become an entrepreneur enables you to turn the smallest idea into possibly your biggest accomplishment. A quote for possible participants: “The secret to getting ahead is getting started” -Mark Twain

What is the coolest business you heard of?  

The Mad Catter Cafe in St. John’s

What are you looking forward to most this summer? 

I am so excited to see what the youth in my area come up with for business ideas in this unprecedented time. As well, seeing how my participants from last year have grown their businesses

What are some interesting business opportunities you see in your region? 

Anything homemade always seems to do well. Especially anything souvenir like. 

What do youth in NL need to know about Youth Ventures? 

Youth in NL need to know about how helpful the program can be in making your business dream become a reality. There endless possibilities and each and every coordinator in each region are well equipped to help youth start their business. 

What is the most important thing people of any age who want to start a business need to know? 

The journey of becoming an entrepreneur may be daunting but the pay off for your hard work will be worth it. 

How can people get in touch with you if they’d like to talk about starting a business? 

Julia Blackwood

Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce

gander@youthventuresnl.com

www.youthventuresnl.com

Meet Your Coordinator – Sofia Kabir – CBDC Long Range

Meet Your Coordinator

What is your name? 

Sofia Kabir

What Youth Ventures site are you based out of? 

CBDC Long Range

What are some of your favourite hobbies? 

Painting and Drawing

What’s your favourite movie? 

Fury

What is your favourite band? 

Nirvana 

What is your favourite restaurant? 

Killick Cafe

Do you have any pets? 

5 cats

What does entrepreneurship mean to you? 

Taking the risk to pursue something you love doing

What is the coolest business you heard of?  

Magine Snowboards 

What are you looking forward to most this summer? 

This summer I am looking forward to helping youth become more familiar with operating their business in an online space.

What are some interesting business opportunities you see in your region?

I see the potential for landscaping services and other services that can be offered online. 

What do youth in NL need to know about Youth Ventures? 

I think that youth in NL should know that Youth Ventures is here to help and support your business

What is the most important thing people of any age who want to start a business need to know? 

No idea is a bad idea when it comes to starting a business!

How can people get in touch with you if they’d like to talk about starting a business? 709-643-1231 or longrange@youthventuresnl.com