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Cambrian College helps students take reins of businesses

Sudbury college inks partnership for Be Your Own Boss program to match grads and alumni with existing businesses
Cambrian College in Sudbury has partnered to help students and alumni take the reins of existing businesses.

Cambrian College is giving students and alumni another career option upon graduation: pick up an existing business and run it.

The college has partnered with the firm SuccessionMatching, and has joined its Be Your Own Boss program. It is one of seven post-secondary institutions in Canada to sign up.

The Be Your Own Boss program engages post-secondary students and alumni to consider purchasing an existing business instead of starting their own. Under the program, SuccessionMatching links post-secondary students and graduates with private entrepreneurs and businesses owners who are considering selling their companies, and are looking for suitable successors who can take over the business.

"There are many potential benefits for the existing business owners and the incoming entrepreneurs, but those benefits apply to others as well,” said Alison Anderson, CEO and founder of SuccessionMatching. “Employees of the business can continue their work, customers and suppliers don’t experience any interruption in service, and the community in general benefits from a prospering local economy.”

Assuming control of an existing business presents a number of advantages, including brand recognition, existing cash flow, trained and experienced staff, and mentorship.

A recent Canadian study showed that 49 per cent of all new businesses fail. New businesses have to raise capital, create brand recognition, and develop new relationships with suppliers, customers, and employees. None of this is easy, even for a seasoned entrepreneur.

“For our students and alumni who want to be entrepreneurs, this gives them a head start that few had the opportunity to have before this program,” said Bill Best, Cambrian College president. “In Sudbury, we’re already known as a resourceful group with so many diverse and dynamic small businesses already succeeding. We’re hoping this program expands that growing network.”