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HomeBusinessDurham College's FastStart: Empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs

Durham College’s FastStart: Empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs

Durham College is home to FastStart, an incubator designed to support entrepreneurs in building their businesses, particularly the youth.

The incubator offers a foundational platform for those dreaming of starting and managing their own businesses.

For aspiring entrepreneurs, FastStart offers a space where innovative and business plans take shape. Whether starting from scratch with just an idea or seeking to refine an existing business, Fast Start is equipped to assist.

Brianna Duff, a work study student at Durham College praises FastStart for its inspiring environment. An entrepreneur herself, Duff says she draws inspiration from witnessing the success of fellow entrepreneurs. She says there many success stories at FastStart and these successes inspire her as a business owner.

Sundar Manku, FastStart manager, outlines the process for young entrepreneurs eager to bring their business ideas to life.

“There is a form to fill out and from there we meet with them and hear what ideas that they have,” Manku said.

For those who already have businesses, Manku says, the process is the same, but with a focus on in-depth discussions to ensure they are on the right path

Manku emphasizes the value FastStart provides. He says the incubator offers an immediate support system for newcomers in the business world, which can be a critical factor for their success.

He advises students to approach the centre. “Just come in and we can see what actions to take next,” Manku said.

Katie Sampson, FastStart’s business service specialist, reflects on the importance of having an opportunity for students to start their businesses.

“I just think that having a place especially at the college has been really valuable and important,” Sampson said. “Not just to people who are starting from scratch but for people who may be in the process of starting their business and need the extra hand.”

Duff and Sampson both commend the collaborative spirit fostered by Fast Start, which not only advances businesses but also cultivates invaluable interpersonal skills.

Looking ahead, FastStart aims to expand its reach to the Whitby Campus, broadening its support for entrepreneurs across the region.