Building Programs
Intrapreneurship Program

Intrapreneurship Program

Where it began

From our first cohort in 2021 of 88 placements, to over 5000 placements by 2023, the mission has remained the same–help level the playing field by offering real-work experience opportunities to underserved communities.

Thanks to funding from the Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative, we've been able to expand access to Canada’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We now offer hundreds of students–many of whom may not have the flexibility or privilege to commit to a traditional four-month, full-time internship–the chance to participate in paid, part-time and 100% virtual projects with startups while still in school.

Unlike traditional Co-Ops, where employers control the hiring process, we empower students to choose their own projects, bypassing typical hiring biases and ensuring fair compensation by paying students directly for their work.


intrapreneurships funded from 2021-2023
students placed from 2021-2023
companies hired intrapreneurs from 2021-2023

“Personally, I never thought that I had this entrepreneurial sense in me, and VFC is the first one who really unlocked that passion in me. That's why I keep coming back while pursuing my studies; it excites me, and I believe it's only a matter of time until I pinpoint my own niche.”

Polina Yankovich
Polina Yankovich
2022 Intrapreneur


The Intrapreneurship Program thrives on agility and is continuously evolving through various innovations:

  • Feedback-Driven Iteration: We're always listening. Through focus groups, coffee chats, office hours, and interviews, we regularly gather data to improve program effectiveness and implement changes.
  • Breaking Down Barriers: In 2022, we raised the student wage to $22/hour and introduced bursaries and stipends, making it easier for students from diverse backgrounds to participate.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure: In 2023, we shifted from matching students to projects to empowering students to select those that resonate with their interests. The result? Happier, more engaged students and increased satisfaction rates from employers.
  • Time Tracking: Students now submit weekly time tracking reports, with employers verifying completed hours for better accountability.
  • Accessibility: To streamline the experience for our students, we’ve organized our content into an easily navigable resource library, making it straightforward to access all learning and skill-building resources.
“A great initiative that seeks to equip both employers and learners with hands-on experience. The art of cross-generational collaboration is vital and something I would encourage any entrepreneur considering VFC to invest time in to. We learned as did our intrapreneurs which in my mind is a win-win!”
Roman Kumar
Founder, Verus

2023: at a glance

Total placements
students placed
Employers partnered
93% of companies said that this work placement has benefitted their organization

Lessons Learned

Over the past three years, we’ve learned a lot from designing and delivering our I-WIL program.

Managing Demand

One big takeaway is that our program fills a significant need, but with limited placements, demand has skyrocketed.

To address this, we’ve refined our entry criteria to better reflect VFC’s values, ensuring that we select candidates who will benefit most from the program while keeping the application process straightforward and inclusive.

Right-sized Projects

We've learned that coaching employers to design meaningful yet manageable projects for students is essential.

Given the short 7-week timeline, projects should add value without being mission-critical. Initially, we encountered challenges with projects that were either too ambitious in scope or overly critical, leading to complications when students could not fulfill their tasks.

Dynamic + Responsive Teams

Quick timeline programs require teams that can pivot rapidly.

Every step in the process, from application forms and orientation days to payment processing timelines, must be executed swiftly and efficiently. Our team's ability to adapt quickly has been crucial to our success.

“The opportunity to grow and mentor young Canadians looking to build relevant work experience for a better career [is what keeps us coming back for more VFC]. We are extremely delighted each time our students contact us for job references. It makes us feel that we have been part of their career success. We [also] enjoy students' curiosity in learning about our entrepreneurial journey, and it is always an opportunity to share, coach, and inspire them for a better future. We also enjoy being their references for new jobs. It makes us feel that we definitely impacted them and that is why they want our reference.”
Chuk Onwughalu
CEO & Co-Founder, Jenik Fright