If you were about to venture out on a long, difficult journey across unfamiliar territory, which would you prefer? Packing your bags, rushing out the door, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best… or bringing a friend with a map who’s travelled the road before? A friend who has experienced the surprises around each corner. Someone who can help guide you through the ups and downs of your journey and point you in the right direction.
I think I know your answer.
The Raj Manek Mentorship Program does exactly that, pairing the young, up and coming Saskatchewan entrepreneur with the experienced, successful Saskatchewan business owner.
Over 20 years ago, Kanchen Manek created the Raj Manek Mentorship Program in honour of her late husband, Raj. Raj Manek was an insightful, compassionate man who embraced the business community of Saskatchewan and understood the importance of sharing his hard earned knowledge. Through business coaching, mentorship, courses and events, Raj’s legacy lives on and hundreds of businesses have this program to thank for their success.
I recently had an opportunity to sit down and chat with two incredible entrepreneurs: one mentor and one protégé. Paired together through the Raj Manek Program, these business owners talked about their first-hand experience and the benefits of the program.
Mentor: Curtis Olson, CEO and Founder of Shift Development
If you’ve recently spent any time in Saskatoon there is a good chance you’ve experienced Curtis’ work. His company, Shift Development, builds both residential and commercial structures. Shift Development has played a large part in the revitalization of the now bustling neighbourhood known as Riversdale. Shift Development believes that the spirit of community is the fundamental component to a great urban life. Spend an hour in Riversdale and you will experience that sense of community.
Protégé: Brian Johnson, Owner of Roots Rock Solar
When Brian realized that changing the lightbulbs in his house wasn’t going to have the environmental impact he wanted to see, he started to wonder what he could he do to make a difference. Then he had an idea: solar power. In 2011, Brian founded Roots Rock Solar with the vision of helping to create a sustainable energy future in Saskatchewan. His company sells and installs solar panels and, with help from his mentor Curtis, you will be seeing a lot of him and his company in the years to come.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Raj Manek Program or finding out more information, visit http://manekmentorship.sk.ca/