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Entrepreneurship program for youth with mental health challenges returns to Victoria

Victoria News - 2/2/2020

Amongst those with disabilities, people with mental health issues face the highest degree of stigma in the workplace and the greatest barriers to employment, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

That's why a Victoria non-profit is hosting its second entrepreneurship training program for youth with mental health challenges.

Community Micro Lending partnered with Rise Asset Development to put on Enterprising Youth +, a free program that helps young people with mental health conditions achieve financial independence through self-employment or small business ownership.

"Last summer we partnered with Rise to run the first ever B.C. cohort of the EY+ program and were so impressed with the participants and the ideas they brought to life," said a statement from Elysia Glover, executive director of Community Micro Lending. "When Rise invited us to partner with them for another cohort, we jumped at the opportunity."

Participants must self-identify as having challenges with mental health or addictions but no diagnosis is required.

The program lessons are delivered through an online platform and supplemented with in-person workshops and coaching sessions over seven weeks. At the end, graduate are eligible for a $300 start-up grant to support their efforts.

Enterprising Youth + is for youth between the ages of 16 and 29. It runs ever Tuesday evening between Feb. 11 and March 24.

The registration deadline is Feb. 7. For more information, email info@communitymicrolending or call 250-216-2605.