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The new RBC co-op program will be open to students from all faculties at the U of O. Photo: Tommy Nguyen.

RBC to invest $450,000 to help students through new apprenticeship opportunity

The University of Ottawa has recently formed a three-year partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to implement a new entrepreneurship-based co-operative education program for students.

The program will host Luc Lalonde, executive director of the Entrepreneurship Hub, along with the rest his team, which will allow students to experiment with their ideas and network with fellow student-entrepreneurs.

Marc-André Daoust, assistant director of the co-operative education program at the U of O, told the Fulcrum that this new project is something that the university is proud of.

”The University of Ottawa wants to push students to have more leadership and to develop their skills as future entrepreneurs.”

Daoust also said that “students who are in co-op from any faculties and programs can apply, as well as international students.”

Students wishing to participate in the program have three options of doing so—they can either create their own original business model, they can participate in an entrepreneurial apprenticeship, or they can be matched with a start-up business.

Daoust also explained that RBC will be investing $450,000 into the project as a means of assisting students who do not have the opportunity to work otherwise. As well, one student participating in the program will receive $10,000 to support themselves during the internship. The student is also eligible to receive another $5,000 to continue working on their business venture following the end of their co-op term.

Diyyinah Jamora, a fourth-year political science and communications student at the U of O said she was excited to hear about the new initiative and how it will assist young entrepreneurs.

“Between work, school, and extracurriculars, life can be very hectic and the idea of working on a business idea on your own as a side project can be very daunting.”

However, Daoust noted that the program will be more likely to choose students who do not already run their own start-up businesses, as a way to assist other students interested in learning about entrepreneurship.

A competitive aspect to the application process for the program is the limited availability, with only four or five spots remaining for the 2017 slot.   

Despite the competition, Daoust hopes to engage more students interested in applying to the program.

“We are holding an event on Nov. 24 to promote this new co-op. But as of now, we have many students who contacted us and shared their interest, so we have high hopes for this.”

Diyyinah Jamora is a staff contributor at the Fulcrum.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that RBC would be donating $45,000 towards this new initiative, when they will actually be contributing $450,000 to the co-op program. The article has been updated to reflect this change. The Fulcrum sincerely regrets this error.