Since the beginning of the pandemic, Youth Fusion has sent a strong message to youth: Don't give up, persevere! On World Children's Day, we were proud to announce that the Desjardins Foundation was adding its voice to our mission by becoming the presenter of our entrepreneurship programming and investing $390,000 over 3 years!

With the current context, where the economy and business models are evolving and facing a fast-paced transformation, it is crucial to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of youth. Moreover, entrepreneurship is indeed a powerful pedagogical tool to contribute to student's perseverance. On the one hand, entrepreneurial activities enable youth to apply and strengthen their curriculum-related knowledge in mathematics, visual arts, history, French, English or technology, and, on the other hand, to develop fundamental skills.

"Our Entrepreneurship program allows students to develop skills such as creativity, organization, problem-solving, collaboration and teamwork. These skills will be useful to them in this rapidly changing world, and even more so in these uncertain times where the pandemic is affecting every aspect of our lives," said Gabriel Bran Lopez, Founding President of Youth Fusion.

"At the root of any business, there are people, ideas and a strong ambition to make a difference. Desjardins Foundation is pleased to partner with Youth Fusion to support teachers and provide students with the tools they need to turn ideas into actions. Whether they are in urban or rural areas, the youth of our communities are the ones who will shape the Quebec and the Ontario of tomorrow with their ideas! More than ever, we need to show solidarity and this is why, at Desjardins, we wish to support and to propel youth-driven innovation! We must not give up, we must persevere," stated Guy Cormier, Desjardins Group President and CEO and Chair of Desjardins Foundation.

The program, which lasts throughout the entire school year - and is part of the school curriculum - aims to introduce elementary and high school students to the entrepreneurship field by making them experience the day-to-day reality of a business. To create added value within their school or community, the youth carry out all the following steps:

  • Introduction to the project: discover the entrepreneurship world.
  • Project ideation: develop and present a solution to an identified need.
  • Market research: conduct surveys and sociodemographic studies that allow the youth to set up their service offer and find the necessary funding to do so.
  • Promotional plan: define the marketing strategy and its deployment.
  • Human resources and innovation: begin a reflection on the current state of the company's human resources, the organizational chart, and the ways of innovating daily.
  • Financial plan: manage an overall budget as well as expenses and incomes.
  • Opening and managing the business: master the "elevator/sales pitch," make decisions and manage unexpected events.
  • Final presentation: present the company to an expert panel during the end-of-year event. A very stimulating last step!

If you are a principal, teacher, parent, staff or community member and would like to collaborate with Youth Fusion, do not hesitate to contact us, and learn more on how we have adapted our programs to the constraints imposed by COVID-19. Throughout this unprecedented year, the activities will continue in-person or remotely even if schools must close, ensuring that students and teachers receive ongoing support despite the pandemic.

Don't give up, persevere!

About Youth Fusion

Youth Fusion is an award-winning charity that contributes to the perseverance, employability, and civic engagement of youth by implementing innovative experiential learning projects that create ongoing links between school systems and the community. Each week, we work with 12,700 students in more than 220 schools in rural, urban, and Indigenous communities. Our various programs are divided into four main areas: 1) Arts: Cinema, Media Production, Digital Arts, Dramatic Arts and Performing Arts. 2) Science and engineering: Science &Technology, Video Game Design, Robotics, Science of the Land and Artificial Intelligence. 3) Design: Fashion Design, Environmental Design, Exhibition design. 4) Leadership and Entrepreneurship.

For journalists only: Andréanne Tremblay, Communications and Partnerships Advisor, Desjardins Foundation
514-281-7000 ext. 5572337
andreanne.a.tremblay@desjardins.com