The Kivalliq Trade Show Society has announced the virtual delivery of its Kivalliq Entrepreneur program on Monday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 until 8 p.m.

The delivery will begin this coming Monday, Sept. 28, and continue until Dec. 23. The program is usually held during the week of the Kivalliq Trade Show in Rankin Inlet, which has been cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

Rankin Inlet entrepreneur Joeffrey Kaludjak is well on his way to running his own business, KAL-SHOT, on a full-time basis even though he was only dreaming of that when he manned his firearm booth at the Kivalliq Trade Show in Rankin Inlet on Sept. 25, 2018.
NNSL file photo

The Kivalliq Trade Show Society’s vice-president, Robert Connelly, said the program initially began as a youth-orientated initiative but, during the past couple of years, it became open to all entrepreneurs, not necessarily youth under a certain age.

He said the in-person trade show had to be cancelled this year, as is, but the Kivalliq Trade Show Society decided to move forward with a virtual event.

“One of the things included in the virtual event is the delivery of the Kivalliq Entrepreneur program using an online meeting platform,” said Connelly.

“The Kivalliq Trade Show Society has, obviously, an elected executive committee and there are a variety of subcommittees that organize each aspect of the trade show.

“There is a Kivalliq Entrepreneur program subcommittee, and its members talked about options because the great thing about this program is that it’s not hundreds of people, but, rather, during an average year it would be roughly 10 to 14 participants.

“The biggest challenge in delivering the program virtually is Internet access but, other than that, what it boils down to is whether there’s sufficient interest.”

Connelly said the trade show society actually put out a survey of past-and-potential participants to see if there would be enough interest and there was.

He said that made the decision to give the virtual program a try an easy one to make.

“Essentially, it’s the same content. It’s just delivered online rather than in person.

“From day one there’s been an entrepreneurial program delivered through the Kivalliq Trade Show, which has evolved over the years.

“In the first few years it was a little more ad hoc and directly tied to the event, but, over the years, it became more formalized into our program and, in recent years, it’s become much more structured with a curriculum, an instructor, a variety of presenters and specific topics that are covered.

“The Kivalliq Trade Show celebrated its 10th anniversary this past year, so this would be year 11 for both the trade show and the entrepreneurial program.”

Connelly said both the trade show society, itself, and the program committee continuously try to improve the entrepreneur program, which has been fortunate enough to receive very broad support over the years.

And, he said, probably no one has done more to support the program than Agnico Eagle Mines, which invested significantly in, or provided a significant contribution to, the Kivalliq Entrepreneur program this past year.

“Also, the Kivalliq Inuit Association has supported the program since day one with program investments to help with things like participant travel, instructor costs and program-development costs.

“We have a lot of established businesses here that have, over the years, approached the Kivalliq Trade Show wanting to have a mechanism or forum to share their knowledge and experience with new-and-upcoming entrepreneurs, but we had to figure out a way to create a forum that would allow existing businesses to potentially link and share their experiences with up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

“So, really, the Kivalliq Entrepreneur program was, kind of, born out of that.”

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