WINNIPEG -- North Forge Technology Exchange and the Seven Oaks School Division have joined forces to host an Indigenous Student Mentorship Program.

Students that have business ideas or those who are interested in entrepreneurship are mentored by Indigenous leaders within the school division and also trained on how to be an entrepreneur.

Marney Stapley, who is the vice-president of North Forge, said the organization is always willing to provide learning opportunities for students.

She said the students can learn at North Forge's fabrication lab.

"We have a proven curriculum for entrepreneurship," said Stapley.

The fabrication lab is a "training-focused" facility where people can transform their ideas into something "tangible".

Fabrication Lab

Source: Marney Stapley

Stapley said one of the main focuses of the program is engaging students in community development work.

"By introducing them to critical initiatives within the school division, while at the same time, teaching them how to service problems in the community, through design processes," she said.

She added the students are taught how to take a solution from an idea to market.

Stapley said there are currently eight students in the summer program and another program will start in September and 14 students are signed up for it.

The program at the fabrication lab is available to students in Grades 10, 11, and 12.


Stapley also said North Forge has also created an Indigenous scholarship.

"Entrepreneurs face a wide range of barriers in bringing their ideas to life and having access to our fabrication lab can play an invaluable role in moving their business forward,” she said.

"Costs are always a concern and often a barrier. Prototypes are often required when asking for investors and the fee associated with creating prototypes is a deterrent to making them for many people. The scholarship could erase those concerns related to the cost associated with the creation of an early model of a product."

The scholarship is available to anyone between the ages of 18 and 24-years-old and will be awarded to two people.

The scholarship will provide the winners with around $2,500 worth of training and materials to help create their project, which includes a one-year membership to the fabrication lab.

For those who want to apply, the deadline is September 15.