North Forge is proud to announce the two recipients for the Indigenous Entrepreneur Scholarship: Kristopher Blacklaw and Colan Ross! This scholarship submerges recipients in a creative environment where they will be given the training and the tools, they need to create whatever product may come to mind. With the help of creative thinkers at the North Forge Fabrication Lab, the two recipients of this scholarship will be surrounded by like-minded individuals who can help them take their ideas from paper to product.
Over the course of this year, Kristopher and Colan will have access to a 1-year membership to the North Forge Fabrication Lab, where they will be encouraged to create whatever product prototype may come to mind. They will also have exclusive access to a vast network of local business owners and mentors at the Fabrication Lab.
Kristopher Blacklaw, a recent Gordon Bell High School, is looking forward to using the access to the Fabrication Lab and its resources to hone in on his pre-existing skills as a stagehand at NASCO, while also picking up new skills along the way. “I am hoping to learn how to build the things I will need in the future, so I can support my family as well as myself. I hope to do this by learning a couple of trades through this scholarship,” says Kristopher.
While Colan Ross, a recent graduate, is looking forward to the mentorship that this program will provide. “I am interested in receiving the scholarship for the mentorship from North Forge. It would be a pleasure to get lifelong employability skills and training from them,” says Colan.
This unique learning opportunity would not be possible without the help of North Forge’s partnership with Community Futures Manitoba, who delivers the Indigenous Business Development Services project on behalf of Western Economic Diversification Canada.
“Our goal for providing these scholarships for Colan and Kristopher is to show them what can be accomplished if given access to the tools, mentorship, and resources they may not otherwise have had access to,” says Marney Stapley, Vice-President of North Forge. “We always have had the desire to provide young, Indigenous entrepreneurs with the tools, mentorship and resources to excel. Once the financial barrier surrounding the creation and execution of prototypes are eliminated, these young people are one step closer to successful innovation and entrepreneurship.”