Entrepreneurial co-op

Interested in developing your own business venture as a co-op work term? Our entrepreneurial co-op option could be the perfect fit!

As part of an entrepreneurial co-op work term, Nick Birch and Tyler Rhodes merged their love for the forests of Vancouver Island with their passion for sustainable technologies by forming a company—Iota Enterprises—to build this prototype of a reforestation robot.

How the program works 

To fulfill the requirements of an entrepreneurial co-op term, you can choose to complete one of the following for a four-month period (starting in Sept, Jan or May):

  • Work for clients on a self-employed or contract basis
  • Develop a product of your own design or provide a service
  • Develop a business venture

How to apply

Entrepreneurial co-op is available in all programs. Meet with your co-op coordinator if you're interested in developing an idea into an entrepreneurial work term. You'll also need to complete the entrepreneurial work term proposal template.

What's involved

Before your work term

  1. The first step is to get in touch with your co-op coordinator to get your idea approved. 
  2. You must submit the Lean Canvas and Wage Subsidy application form to your co-op coordinator (you can also see the Lean Canvas Template for reference):
    • Engineering and Computer Science Co-op - Entrepreneurial Work Term Proposal
    • Business Co-op - Lean Canvas
    • All other co-op programs - Lean Canvas
Depending on your program area and concept, your idea may be approved by your program and you'll be formally registered in a work term, or you may need approval from the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre (CCSIC) before your work term can be accepted and registered. 

3. You must also sign the Entrepreneurial Co-op Agreement, outling the expectations of the program.
4. You can apply for funding before or during your work term using the SF-ELF Wage Subsidy Application for a chance at a $5,000 grant.

Talk to your co-op coordinator for more information.

During your work term

  • At the beginning of your work term, complete the learning objectives form in the Competency Assessment Module (in the Co-op and Career portal)
  • Complete the requirements specified by your faculty (contact your coordinator for details)
  • You can apply for funding before or during your workterm using the SF-ELF Wage Subsidy Application for a chance at a $5,000 grant.
  • Midway through your work term, submit your mid-term competency assessment form (in the
  • Co-op and Career portal)
  • Participate in a work site visit with your co-op coordinator 

Learning outcomes

By the end of your work term, you should be able to show that you can:

  • Develop a research question/hypothesis 
  • Identify the best way to explore this research question
  • Find, read and evaluate relevant information
  • Use the methods and best practices established by your program area
  • Connect research across disciplines and critically evaluate methods and theory 
  • Communicate your research findings and future goals

After your work term

  • Submit your final competency assessment form
  • Complete a regular work term report and any other requirements specific by your faculty
  • Ensure your mentor submits a final competency assessment form

Find support through CCSIC

The Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre (CCSIC) provides tools, expertise and a dedicated space on campus for entrepreneurs to develop business concepts from idea to incubator-ready. It's the place to start for anyone considering an entrepreneurial work term. Support is available to students in any program. CCSIC offers:

  • Designated staff available to answer questions and assist you in strengthening your business plan
  • A network of entrepreneurs-in-residence and mentors to connect with
  • Workshops, drop-ins and the Entrepreneurship Playground—an opportunity to connect with students from other disciplines 
  • Potential funding assistance 

Specific programs include:

PitchIt

PitchIt is UVic's elevator pitch competition, open to all UVic students, staff, faculty, recent alumni (within three years) and current Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre clients. You get 90 seconds (the length of a typical elevator ride) to describe your entrepreneurial or social business concept to a panel of experts. The top most viable business concepts win cash prizes!

PlanIt

Got a winning idea? Submit a business canvas and executive summary or a full business plan to PlanIt to win cash for your venture!