Young interns and business hopefuls were inspired by Niagara business owners and entrepreneurs at a networking event on the evening of March 22 at the Rodman Hall Art Center. The event, titled Connect Networking, was hosted by This Is My Niagara, an organization part of Brock University’s department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film. This Is My Niagara aims to reveal what’s going on in Niagara’s business scene, and they want to get fresh, young talent connected with these businesses.
Two owners and founders of small to medium sized businesses in Niagara came to share their knowledge and experience with students and other business owners, with a focus on why their business is in the Niagara Region.
Reece Fisher, founder of Instillment, grew up in Niagara and during his second week at Brock, Fisher got involved with video production with Brock Sports Teams. From there, his talent and experience grew into jobs that took him around the world and led him to start his own business. He discussed an exercise he did during a BioLinc program, where he was asked to think of 30 words to describe his business, and then narrow this list to one word. The word he was left with was “inspire,” and this is the drive and motivation that influences his business decisions.
From his beginnings at Brock and even high school, Fisher’s opportunities took him around the world, but he chose to return to Niagara for the “small, tight knit community” in which he found “genuine help” and mentorship. He found inspiration in a community “growing together,” and he found that was represented most in Niagara.
“You can only live the life you create for yourself,” he said as he closed his presentation.
The second owners were Janice and Robin Digital Communications, which is a storyboarding company that aids other businesses in branding themselves and their products. Robin spoke at the event, offering insights into the challenges of moving a business as well as working with clients who don’t always share the same vision. They too chose to move to Niagara from Toronto, a transition that wasn’t easy. However, their motivation to do so was rooted in the sense of community as well. Robin discussed the importance of being involved in a community, saying, “Businesses investing in our community makes people better.”
Those who attended were also given opportunities to network themselves and get connected with businesses who might be looking for interns, fresh talent, and young inspiration. Business representatives spoke to the benefit that they as a business receive from these events, as they are a great way to meet the young talent that’s out there, looking for opportunities. Connect Networking was a win-win situation for students and business owners.