The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect students at Seneca: seventy-nine per cent are experiencing financial hardship, three out of four have their employment affected, and 90 per cent are feeling anxiety and uncertainty about their future plans.
Additionally, student entrepreneurs have been facing business hardships with delays in getting their products and services to market leading to an accumulation of debt.
Through these challenging times, HELIX, Seneca’s business incubator and accelerator, has been extending a helping hand through the emergency relief funds, continued mentorship, coaching, and working space to help student-entrepreneurs who require the assistance to sustain and pivot their business to support their livelihood.
Seneca thanks long-term partner Vretta for their continued support throughout the pandemic, including their financial contribution, Entrepreneurial Numeracy Skills platform and strategic advising to HELIXers.
Vretta’s financial assistance provides cross-disciplinary, entrepreneurial supports to more than 250 aspiring entrepreneurs, allowing them to build, launch and scale ventures. The Entrepreneurial Numeracy Skills platform will help HELIXers recognize the importance of crucial financial numeracy skills required to start and run a business, such as managing cash flow, credit and loan management, interest rates and taxes. The platform will also help identify skills gaps and suggest opportunities for students to upgrade their skills through Seneca’s Faculty of Continuing Education.
“I've noticed that the most successful entrepreneurs in the world are the givers, not the takers,” said Vretta President Anand Karat, who has been leading community initiatives to support students-in-need. “They are always looking for innovative ways to resolve challenges and provide affordable and efficient solutions that have a long-lasting positive impact to humanity.”
Vretta also continues to support Seneca students through their mathematics rewards, which are presented to those who have demonstrated exceptional skills and abilities in business and finance mathematics. Students receive cash prizes and a certificate from Vretta for their academic achievement.
“By strengthening our collaboration with supporters and donors like Vretta, we are creating a supportive ecosystem,” said Chris Dudley, Director of Entrepreneurship at Seneca. “We are also shaping a new way of work-integrated learning, so Seneca students are fully prepared to succeed in an evolving world of work.”