New retail store aimed at providing a space for youth and young adults to grow their businesses could help reduce the almost one million unemployed Canadian youth and young adults.
TORONTO, <<Monday May 28, 2012>> / – The Doorsteps Neighbourhood Services lead Youth Enterprise Network (YEN) is pleased to announce the opening of Ascend, a new store featuring clothing, jewelry, artwork, magazines, music and other retail products by local youth and young adult entrepreneurs. Ascend, opening on June 14, 2012 at 3 30 pm at 2350 Finch Avenue West, provides entrepreneurs from the Black Creek (Jane/Finch, Jane/Chalkfarm, Jane/Falstaff) community the opportunity to take their business to the next level through reaching a broader clientele, developing business skills, networking and mentorship.
“This is a real entrepreneurship initiative, not just an after-school or summer program that introduces youth to the idea of business,” says Morris Beckford, Executive Director of Doorsteps Neighbourhood Services. “It is designed to support youth and young adults with all aspects of developing their businesses, through real-life experience in an intensive entrepreneurship curriculum, designed to open doors that are too often closed for youth and young adults who have had limited opportunities.”
According to one of the participating youth entrepreneurs, Michael Webb, of N.I.S.E. Clothing, “this is a huge stepping stone for N.I.S.E. and all of our supporters. We’re lucky to share this experience alongside some other great young entrepreneurs with a community connection. We are thankful for the opportunity and look forward to what the future has in ‘store’.”
“I often hear the excitement in young people’s voices when they talk about the real opportunity the retail store provides… Ascend will serve as the primary place of business for many of the youth,” adds Meshell Dupé of the Blueprints Program of Youth Unlimited, the partner organization responsible for delivering the business training.
A few of the participating businesses include: N.I.S.E. Clothing, a men’s and women’s ‘streetware’ brand; Blair Photography, a fashion and event photographer; Malyka Clothing, a designer T-shirt brand, and; C-Virtue, a women’s clothing line. Retailers will donate a percentage of their gross revenue back into the store, to support the social enterprise initiative in continuing to provide business training and retail space for youth and young adult entrepreneurs.
The Youth Enterprise Network (YEN) is made up of entrepreneurs and local organizations that came together in 2009 to provide supports and increase opportunities for young entrepreneurs living in the Black Creek community. YEN understands that local youth and young adults have the innovation and entrepreneurial drive to succeed. The program is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation with inkind support from General Paint, and TGK Consulting. Key partners include Greenwin Inc., NYKE, Youth Unlimited (Toronto YFC), Black Creek Community Collaborative Committee, City of Toronto, West-100 Capital Realty Inc. Brokerage, West-Side Arts Hub (WSAH) and local volunteers.
For further information:
Executive Director, Doorsteps Neighbourhood Services
200 Chalkfarm Drive, Unit 106
Tel: 416-243-5480 ext. 22 or 416 710 5442 (Cell)