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EDC receives the CICan Entrepreneurship Award

March 16, 2015

CICan Entrepeurship Award

(Image left to right) Chantal Denis, CICan chair and general director of Cégep Saint-Jean sur Richelieu, Jon Sookocheff, manager of MHC's Entrepreneur Development Centre, Denise Amyot, president and CEO of CICan and Rina Marchand, director, content development and innovation at Fondation de L’entrepreneurship.

On March 9, 2015 at the Enabling Entrepreneurship Symposium in Quebec City, Medicine Hat College’s (MHC) Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC) received the College and Institutes Canada (CICan) Entrepreneurship Award in the Student Entrepreneurship category. Jon Sookocheff, manager of the EDC was in attendance to accept this national recognition.

“We are proud of the EDC and Jon’s work. The centre has become a leader in the development of student entrepreneurs and has truly made an impact on our community,” says Chuck Payne, interim vice-president, advancement and community relations.

This award recognizes institutions which are achieving excellence in promoting entrepreneurial values as a means of fostering innovation and contributing to the local economy. The EDC, in particular was celebrated for the ability to create industry partnerships that provide students and alumni the resources required to successfully start, manage and grow their entrepreneurial careers.

“Jon has been instrumental in putting entrepreneurship in the spotlight at MHC and showcasing it as a valued career option,” says Payne. “Through partnerships he has managed to develop cross-curriculum resources and leverage existing resources to provide education and training across the campus in particular in the trades and visual communications programs.”

Under Sookocheff’s leadership, and through partnerships with the RBC Foundation and JMH & Co., the EDC has initiated and led a number of successful student-focused programs including:

  • The Entrepreneurship in Residence Program. An initiative that has enabled successful entrepreneurs in our community to work with students and business on sharing skills, connections and fostering the development of new entrepreneurs. Students receive $30,000 of in-kind business planning and mentorship from a volunteer network.
  • Be Your Own Boss (BYOB) Seminar Series & Toolkit. BYOB is a four week seminar series and workbook presented to students at MHC in particular those enrolled in trades, massage therapy and visual communications. Through funding from RBC this project was able to expand to a modular curriculum that exposes students to small business basics and walks them through the process of starting a business.
  • The Summer Company Program and Scholarships. The program is funded by JMH & Co. and helps students start a business by offering coaching and mentorship, while also facilitating access to financial aid and support services. In the three years leading up to 2013, the program has launched nine companies, eight in which are still in operations.

Sookocheff explains that it is a great honour to be able to accept this national award on behalf of the faculty, staff and community partners that make entrepreneurship possible for students at MHC.

“Our students are leading by example to show that entrepreneurship is a viable and highly rewarding career for all young Canadians,” says Sookocheff.

To learn more about the EDC and the services available visit