NSCC entrepreneur builds on success

Ryan Joseph spreads entrepreneurial spirit throughout the college


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Ryan Joseph isn't your ordinary business owner. The creative director and owner of Famous Folks Creative Communications, he's well on his way to the top.

Joseph's business built and designed the brand for the Jay's Care Foundation. If that wasn't enough, Joseph and his team also designed an aboriginal gathering, the Mi'kmaq First Nations Pow-wow.

That event was held on the Halifax Common and brought in $2.5 million for the city. The event attracted more than 80,000 people and is nominated, along with the Vancouver Olympics, for 2010 tourism event of the year.

Joseph got his start at the Nova Scotia Community College. He graduated from the communications arts and graphic design program in 2003. He said he wasn't the best student, but he was good at what he did and ambition and hard work paved the way to success.

The entrepreneurship gap

Joseph said there was something missing from the program when he attended the college - entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur diploma was cancelled in 2001, leaving faculty wondering how they would keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive.

The Your Entrepreneurial Self program was the solution. The program began as a pilot initiative at the Kingstec campus in Kentville three years ago.

"A lot of people that come to the college want that applied learning, experience learning hands-on, roll up your sleeves and experience it," said Sheryl Stewart, provincial project manager for entrepreneurship for the college.

The program is offered to any interested student. It's incorporated into all programs offered at the college. The goal is to inspire every student, from trades to nursing, to think like an entrepreneur.

The program tries to involve everyone, from current students, professionals, staff and faculty to alumni. It offers interactive software designed to mimic a real business, seminars offering practical training and guest speakers.

The college has reached out to the program's alumni to speak as guests and offer their advice and experiences. Joseph says he jumped at the opportunity when he was asked to speak to students.

"The Y.E.S program is a necessity because they need to cultivate these people to think big, to know how to use their trade," he said.

"It doesn't mean they have to start their own business. They can keep that entrepreneurial spirit in their job or going up the corporate ladder."



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