Media Release

Seneca and Humber partner to improve youth employment in Maldives

Business incubator to support employment and entrepreneurial opportunities

Toronto, Nov. 18, 2020 — Seneca and Humber College are partnering with Global Innovation & Skills Development Canada (GISDC) to develop an entrepreneurship incubation hub in Maldives that will increase employment and earning opportunities for local youth.

The Maldives Enhancing Employability and Resilience of Youth (MEERY) project is a national initiative from the Government of Maldives and is funded by the World Bank. MEERY will improve female labour force participation and nurture entrepreneurship and innovation across the country, while promoting youth employment in priority sectors, including tourism and information communications technology.

As part of MEERY, the incubation hub will provide opportunities to access coaching, mentorship and business expertise. It will also play a key role in increasing competitiveness by supporting new venture development, improving talent retention and developing an entrepreneurial mindset across the country – specifically among youth and females.

This incubation hub is the first international project between Humber and Seneca as part of the Humber-Seneca Polytechnic Partnership (HSPP), a collaboration promoting cooperation and collaboration between the two institutions to enhance and expand learning opportunities as students begin, continue or complete their post-secondary education.

“Seneca is delighted to support entrepreneurial learning opportunities and supports for youth in Maldives,” said Seneca President David Agnew. “This incubation hub is a great example of how the HSPP showcases the strengths of each of our institutions as we collaborate on important initiatives that create opportunities for youth in Canada and internationally.”

The incubation hub consultancy team is led by Chris Dudley, Seneca’s Director of Entrepreneurship and includes GISDC experts in system development and project management. The Seneca consultancy team is also setting up the strategic direction, policies and procedures and operational framework for the hub. Zaiba Mian, a professor in Humber’s Interior Design program, designed the incubation space, along with two Humber Bachelor of Interior Design students who took part as an experiential learning opportunity. Work on the space is complete.

“Humber is focused on the future and that means increasing access to learning opportunities for youth and equipping them for success,” said Chris Whitaker, president and CEO, Humber College. “We are proud of this HSPP initiative that leverages our respective expertise to help foster entrepreneurship, employment and earning potential for youth in Maldives.”

MEERY and the development of the new entrepreneurship incubator is an example of how international projects continue amidst the global pandemic. All meetings are held online at times to account for a nine-hour time difference and the incubator space is being designed to be a safe, flexible space that accounts for physical distancing.

About Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning and Seneca College

With campuses in Toronto, York Region, Peterborough, and Orangeville, together Humber and Seneca offer 46 honours bachelor degrees, 91 graduate certificates and 55 advanced diplomas, in addition to many diploma, certificate and apprenticeship opportunities in hundreds of programs to more than 150,000 full- and part-time students annually.

In the evolution of Ontario’s postsecondary system, Humber and Seneca are pioneers in programs, credentials and pedagogy. The two share a strong belief in the value of polytechnic education as a distinct third choice in higher education, offering an applied education that combines rigorous academics with sophisticated hands-on learning. Polytechnics are large, urban post-secondary institutions characterized by having significant degree and graduate certificate activity among a broad credential mix at the undergraduate and graduate levels, strong industry and applied research partnerships and leading approaches to scholarship, skills development and corporate training.

For more information please contact:

Caroline Grech 416.491.5050 ext. 77948 media.relations@senecacollege.ca

External Relations and Public Affairs, Seneca

Nadia Araujo 416.675.6622 ext. 5479 nadia.araujo@humber.ca

Media Relations and External Communications Specialist, Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning