Founded by Ryan Holmes, the CEO of Hootsuite, in 2007, the League of Innovators is a charity in Canada that works towards empowering young people in choosing a life where they are their own bosses. Until now, the League of Innovators has helped around 500 Canadian youths between the ages of 15 and 20 in realizing their business endeavors.
Offering an accessible blend of education that focuses both on education and entrepreneurship, LOI helps young and future entrepreneurs recognize their potential by building upon the required skills. Additionally, the League of Innovators also provides tools and other important resources that a young entrepreneur might need to scale new heights.
The Vision and Mission
As per League of Innovator’s official website, the vision is “to bring youth out-of-the-box experiences that will build and sharpen their entrepreneurial skills. Building their confidence, empowering them to create and take charge of their future, and recognize the power that they hold as innovators and entrepreneurs in our ever-evolving economy. Ultimately our goal is to amplify the impact of future innovators and entrepreneurs while shortening their path to success.”
LOI’s mission is to deliver game-changing resources and tools to young people despite where they come from or what their socioeconomic status is. “We empower youth and youth-led businesses. We develop entrepreneurial acumen at scale and across regions. We champion the dynamic contribution and forward-thinking of young entrepreneurs. We build future-proof skills through an entrepreneurial mindset and a social purpose.”
One of the LOI success stories is that of the Founder and CEO of Smart Sweets, Tara Bosch. In 2015, while experimenting around Tara created a gummy bear that was not just free of artificial ingredients but also had 79-92% less sugar! In her quest to take her invention to the next level, she got support from the folks at the League of Innovators.
Tara stated, “The training, mentorship, and support LOI offered was so relevant to where I was in scaling my business. It made a tremendous impact on my business and its success.” In 2019, SmartSweets surpassed $50 million in sales and has been successful in kicking off about 2.4 billion grams of sugar since its inception. All this would not have been possible without the initial help, support, and guidance from the League of Innovators.
LOI and Black Entrepreneurs and Businesses of Canada Society
Recently LOI partnered with the Black Entrepreneurs and Businesses of Canada Society (BEBC) to bring equal opportunity to black youth who aspire to become entrepreneurs one day. The Black Youth Entrepreneurs Growth Program is a 12-week virtual course that will arm young men and women of color with the knowledge they need to start their own businesses. Students will have access to workshops, exclusive content, coaching opportunities, among others.
Joanna Buczkowska-McCumber, the Executive Director of LOI stated, “Because our focus is sector-agnostic, we reach and impact youth across gender, ethnic, racial, socioeconomic, and geographic divides. Working with the BEBC will enable us to support Black youth founders in a deeply meaningful way to ensure long-term outcomes that meet the needs of Black founders.”
Our content acknowledges the strength of the ardent entrepreneurs and their lifelong experiences of the marketplace that help them build successful business empires. Our belief in productive learning and providing inclusive content is why we have plans for a wide spectrum of activities that incorporate everything from reading to prolific networking.
Summing It Up
The youths are the future of the country and the world. They are intelligent minds who bring some very distinct and amazing yet sustainable ideas to the table. With proper business coaching, at an early age, the League of Innovators wants to give these future entrepreneurs all the tools they need to succeed for a better tomorrow. If you wish to learn more about the same, subscribe to the CandianSME Small Business Magazine.