Operation Entrepreneur gives business skills to current and former military
REGINA – A program helping current and former members of the military transition into the business world is being held at the University of Regina this week.
“I think the discipline and the attention to detail that you learn in the military is a definite asset for going into business afterwards,” said Lawrence Pringle, a participant of the Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur program.
Pringle is one of 19 participants taking the Based in Business boot camp.
“One of the most important things that I’m teaching is that it doesn’t have to be scary; accounting doesn’t have to be scary. It can be quite simple to keep track of,” said Shelley Lukasewich and assistant professor of accounting at the university.
Lukasewich taught the class “Accounting and Small Business Financials” Tuesday morning, the third day of the week-long program.
Participants will also learn about legal issues and marketing workforce management.
Pringle, spent over seven years with the military before a back injury released him from duty. The former bombardier has since traded in firing howitzers for firing up an oven; he’s now looking to sell gluten-free products in supermarkets.
“I like to believe mine are delicious and you’re actually unable to tell the difference between these gluten-free products and a traditional baked good,” said Pringle.
Other business ventures include selling imported bags, selling real estate, and, in Rian Turner’s case, setting up an inn in Whitehorse.
“I just decided that when I retire I’m going to do something completely different,” said the medical technician, who is retiring in November.
Turner sees untapped opportunities in the Yukon’s hospitality sector. “As our team progressed through all of these different parts of the business model, it kind of became solidified, in my mind, too, that this is, actually, a really great idea, and it is feasible,” she said.
Not all students in the program have such lofty goals, but Turner said that combining their new found business skills with military expertise is a worthy venture.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the great things that come because I just think it’s unstoppable with those two things together. Completely unstoppable,” she said.