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! 

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
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 to apply

Entrepreneurial co-op is available in all programs, but is most common for co-op students in business, engineering, computer science and math. Meet with your co-op coordinator if you're interested in developing an idea into an entrepreneurial work term. 

What's involved

Before your work term

Depending on your program area, your first steps may differ slightly:

Engineering, computer science and math students

  • The first step is to get in touch with your co-op coordinator to get your idea approved. 
  • Once approved, submit a ECSM LEAN Canvas to your co-op coordinator to outline your actionable and entrepreneur-focused business plan. 
  • If you choose to work with the CCSIC here at UVic, you will also submit the ECSM form above to staff at the centre. Talk to your co-op coordinator for more information.

Business students

  • The first step is to get in touch with your co-op coordinator to get your idea approved. 
  • Once approved, you will begin work on your LEAN Canvas. 
  • If you choose to work with the CCSIC here at UVic, you will also submit the LEAN Canvas to staff at the centre. Talk to your co-op coordinator for more information.

All other optional and professional programs

  • The first step is to get in touch with your co-op coordinator to get your idea approved. 
  • Once approved, you will begin work on your LEAN Canvas. 
  • If you choose to work with the CCSIC here at UVic, you will also submit the LEAN Canvas to staff at the centre. 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)
  • If interested, participate in the 9-week online work term discussion
  • Email journal entries once per week to co-op coordinator and mentor, detailing:
    • Actions taken or completed
    • Challenges
    • Strategies to move forward with
    • Lessons learned
  • 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 

After your work term

  • Submit your final competency assessment form
  • Complete one of the following: 
    • All journal entries in a report format
    • A regular work term report
    • Conclude the 9-week online discussion
  • Your mentor(s) submit their 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 

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!

Learning outcomes

By the end of your work term, you should be able to demonstrate achievement in the following learning outcomes:

  • Develop a research question/hypothesis 
  • Identify the appropriate method to explore the research question
  • Locate sources of information, critically read and evaluate these sources (e.g. primary and secondary sources) 
  • Reflect methods and best practices established by your discipline 
  • Connect research across disciplines and critically evaluate methods and theory 
  • Disseminate research—communicate research findings and future goals across a variety of audiences and disciplines, including through press releases, newsletters, conference papers, articles and workshops