Introducing the Entrepreneur of the Month program at Mount Allison
For the past two years, Mount Allison University has welcomed an Entrepreneur in Residence to campus for the entire academic year. The program, generously funded by donors, aimed to promote entrepreneurship among students of all disciplines.
This year, the University is charting a new course to highlight a broader spectrum of entrepreneurial journeys and business types. Throughout the fall term, Experiential Learning and Career Development will be hosting an Entrepreneur of the Month.
“By having more than one entrepreneur on campus this term, we hope to enable students from equity-deserving groups to encounter positive role models they can relate to and emulate,” says Rebecca Leaman, Director of Experiential Learning and Career Development.
The first Entrepreneur of the Month in September was Jonathan Dunnett, Founder and CEO of Enable Leaders, a leadership company in Moncton, NB that specializes in solutions for executive coaches, leadership development firms, and growth-minded people who want to improve their own leadership.
Dunnett, who embarked on his own entrepreneurial journey at a young age, developed a fascination with leadership and human behaviour over the course of his career.
“I’ve always been passionate about leadership and related areas like decision-making and human behaviour,” he says. “I would always share these great resources, but three weeks later, I would go, ‘Who did I share that with? Where is it?’ So, Enable Leaders started as a way to bring what I was already doing to more people in a more scalable way.”
As a trained teacher, Dunnett always enjoyed sharing knowledge with others and he knew being an Entrepreneur in Residence at Mount Allison would be a great fit.
“I saw it as an opportunity to give back and to help the next generation, particularly in New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada,” he says. “We need more young entrepreneurs, because that’s what is going to be a catalyst for our economy, both now and in the generations to come.”
Before launching his business in 2020, Dunnett enjoyed a multifaceted career that exposed him to a wide range of founders, start-ups, and small to medium-sized enterprises. This diverse experience provided him with invaluable insights across various industry sectors and he believes that providing students with similar opportunities through the Entrepreneur of the Month program will be transformative.
“One of the biggest challenges in business is not knowing what you don’t know,” he says. “This initiative, bringing in different people with different perspectives, will expose students to a great cross-section of experiences and might help them realize what they don’t know yet.”
During his tenure as Entrepreneur in Residence, Dunnett offered a Masterclass in Market Research. This workshop was designed to help students understand the crucial role that research plays in decision-making.
“In business, you can’t copy and paste strategy. What might work well for you might not work at all for me. Without doing proper primary and secondary research and contextualizing it to your specific case, you can make significant missteps in business. That’s why I think market research is hyper important for all entrepreneurs.”
In addition to the workshop, Dunnett provided one-on-one coaching sessions to students, offering tailored advice and guidance, and enjoyed speaking with students about their varied business ventures — spanning everything from textiles to immigration services.
October’s Entrepreneur of the Month is Frances Schagen — a serial entrepreneur who has started 17 businesses in the areas of food production, computer sales, construction, landscaping, drafting, estimating, bookkeeping, author/training, and consulting. She has partnered with several local business support agencies to design and deliver training.
Schagen brought her engineering and science background to study her 100s of business clients to find out why some thrive and some struggle. She took what she learned and wrote Your Effortless Business, then developed the Small Business Operating System and The 6 Stages to Building Your Effortless Business within the Business Owners Success Club.
In early October, Schagen presented a Masterclass on Business Financials.
“Finance is the language of business,” she says. ”It tells you how you are doing, shows you opportunities, and gives you a crystal ball to look into the future. When you are confident with your finances, you make better decisions. Bonus: you sleep better.”
The final 2023 Entrepreneur of the Month will be announced soon and will be on campus during Entrepreneurship Week — Nov 13-17.