Empowering Youth in Northern B.C.
YELL North supports rural and remote communities throughout Northern B.C. Our team advocates youth talent retention, economic diversification and sustainable growth through youth involvement and equal opportunity to access entrepreneurial skills development.
Rural Community Impact
Often the picture is painted that innovation happens only in big cities, but in reality it can happen anywhere. We actively support our students to become part of the next generation of entrepreneurs, creatives and technologists by developing their entrepreneurial and growth mindset. A mindset that can pivot when you get stuck, see challenge as your friend, develop your curiosity on how you can impact the world, and be able to present your idea – even if you are an introvert.
We create a network of school district alumni with successful business ventures and an entrepreneurial mindset to inspire and support students as mentors. With “motive brings energy” as a guiding theme, we continue to create accessibility for youth in rural and remote communities similar to that in bigger B.C. centres so rural communities can flourish and retain young talent.
Let YELL open the door to opportunities!
YELL Entrepreneurship 12 is designed to help students explore career paths, build connections to the business community and hear from diverse perspectives. Our curriculum is more than just building businesses, it is about sparking creative and innovative thinking and developing the growth mindset in Northern BC youth. Our students walk away from our course with more self-confidence, the ability to present their ideas and collaborate well with others. Currently, YELL is offered in Vanderhoof, Terrace, Quesnel, and Fort St John.
The iCUBED (Invention, Innovation & Integration) Summit is an annual event that kickstarts and exposes Northern BC youth to innovative businesses and helps grow their entrepreneurial mindset. iCUBED brings in all available resources and innovation into the centre of Northern BC in the shape of speakers from government, First Nations leaders, post secondary institutions and local industries and businesses. It also showcases business pitches from our YELL North classes, exhibits of BC Innovation, and career advancement, networking and scholarship opportunities.
The annual event spreads enthusiasm for the entrepreneurship mindset and challenges students to think differently about their career possibilities. By nurturing the next generation to pursue business opportunities and new ideas in B.C.’s North, local businesses can help keep youth in the community and grow its long-term sustainable economic future.
Our playlist from our Burns Lake students on what they loved about the course:
YELL TEAM – NORTH
Born and raised in India, Sagar’s passion for international business led him to pursue graduate studies from Cardiff University in the U.K. After completing his MBA in 2009, Sagar returned to India and began Caravan O Herbs, an agriculture based company with the vision of combatting unethical business practices and unreliable supply chains through corporate social responsibility. Eventually Caravan O Herbs carved a niche for itself within India, Europe and the United States. In 2014, Sagar shifted with his family to Canada and shortly thereafter joined the University of Northern British Columbia’s Research Office, focusing on partnerships and new initiatives. In 2016, Sagar began a career with School District 91 as their first Partnerships Officer. In 2020, Sagar joined YELL Canada as the Director of Programs and Operations for Northern B.C. While promoting and nurturing new strategic alliances, Sagar is committed to exploring new models of sustainable economic growth within the remote communities of northern British Columbia.
During his years in Northern B.C., Sagar has initiated several programs which continue to generate large funding, drive economic development and create accessible opportunities for rural communities and its youth. Within the last 4 years, two of his self-initiated projects were showcased by the B.C. Government. Sagar is also an early stage Angel Investor, strategic adviser to multiple startup companies and an Executive in Residence for Hub Space in Prince George.In 2018, Sagar was selected as a Top 40 under 40 by the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Sagar plays an active role in many boards and organizations throughout British Columbia; Board member of Women’s Enterprise Centre, Advisory board of Our Satya Foundation, Representative of BC India Business Network, Business Development Advisor for a Venture Capital fund in B.C.
Shauna Harper is the Programs Manager for the Yell North team. She has been a full-time entrepreneur for 20+ years; previously owning a manufacturing company and currently as a marketing and communications contractor for a number of social impact organizations in BC. She is a strong advocate for women entrepreneurs and youth leadership development. Shauna was recognized as one of BC’s Most Influential Women in 2017 (Mentors Edition) by BC Business Magazine for her mentorship roles as founder and lead for Startup Prince George. More recently in 2019, she was appointed to the Federal Government’s expert panel advising on the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy in Canada.
Matt has 25 years of experience in advising businesses, non-profits and First Nations. His expertise focuses on building and using financial systems and reporting to enable better planning, financial management and decision-making by organizations. His work with clients often includes elements of business strategy and growth.
In addition to running his own consulting practice and a few other entrepreneurial ventures, Matt has had plenty of involvement in programs and organizations which support entrepreneurs, both in staff and volunteer roles. Matt was the CEO of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce for nearly three years before his move to British Columbia in 2014. In Prince George, Matt served as the Executive Director for Innovation Central Society, a regional technology accelerator, from April 2016 to the end of 2017.
On a volunteer basis, Matt has been involved as an advisor to the Enactus chapter at St. Lawrence College and the AIESEC chapter at Queen’s University. He held national and international leadership positions with Junior Chamber International (JCI) and is currently on the Board of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce.
Belen O’Neill-Plouffe is the Operations Coordinator for the Yell North Team and supports the team with logistics, event planning, data collection, social media and communications. Originally from Ecuador, Belen moved to BC after obtaining the Emerging Leaders of the Americas Scholarship from the Government of Canada. With a degree in Business Administrations and background in Marketing, Art, and Interior Design, she has experience creating courses and events to promote and elevate the education and network activities in the construction industry in Northern BC. She is also an entrepreneur and the principal designer at Belen Interiors, a firm that specializes in creating beautiful, modern, and sophisticated spaces. In her spare time, she volunteers at community organizations, like Connect PG where she forms part of the Board of Directors since 2016.
Heidi Booth is the Community Engagement Officer for the YELL North Team. She has gained experience with entrepreneurs of various company stages through her role as Business Strategy Intern and Economic Research Officer at Hubspace, Economic Development Intern at NDIT, and her participation in UNBC JDCWest’s Entrepreneurship and International Business teams. Heidi acquired her Red Seal in Welding in 2015 and is a strong supporter of women in industry and business. She is always eager to network, is passionate about connecting people to new skills and opportunities and is elated to be working with today’s youth – the business leaders of tomorrow.
It takes a community to raise a generation of innovators, see our partners below.
Are you interested in YELL?
If you are a student who’s interested in enrolling in the YELL program, a passionate school district or teacher who’d like to bring the program to your school, or from the local community and interested in getting involved with YELL, please get in touch with our Northern BC Team to learn more.