Building VFC
Learning Design

Learning Design

Evolving Curriculum (2015-2023)

Originally focused on shaping "traditional" entrepreneurs, our curriculum has evolved.

Today, it prepares participants for entrepreneurial sectors AND instills an entrepreneurial mindset for life. Success is defined by arming them with skills to excel wherever they choose. Influenced by the significance of Social Emotional Skills and "soft skills," our approach adapts to today's needs.

One of our biggest evolutions in terms of "how we teach" has been transitioning to "learning by doing." We provide program participants with as many opportunities as possible to practise the skills of entry-level startup positions.

We've also begun embedding the principles of Truth and Reconciliation into our educational ethos, ensuring our learning environment reflects our commitments.

Our Education Model

Teach entrepreneurial skills and mindset in the community context, with professional opportunities to practise.

Skills are never taught in isolation. They are taught with peer support and real-life opportunities to practice and learn from their application. Skills are taught and applied in a professional context with the support of a peer community that is also learning and trying new things.

“What makes my experience with VFC special is the dynamic community of passionate individuals, the staff that works behind the scenes, who are always so welcoming and kind, and the diverse projects that provide endless growth opportunities. The people, projects, and learning experiences all contribute to a fulfilling journey that keeps me coming back for more.”

Humairah Motala
2023 Intrapreneur

Learning Design Priorities

  • Participant Choice: We offer a broad mix of self-paced and live materials, allowing students to steer their own learning journey. While none of the content is mandatory, we keep things engaging by gamifying the experience. Students can earn points as they learn, and in some programs, they’ll need to reach a minimum to advance.
  • Interactivity: This could be group conversation, hands-on learning, playing, 1:1 discussion, substantial Q&A periods, group work, presentations, and more.
  • "Whole Person" Learning: We prioritize and value each participant's unique experience and stories and help them uncover the value in prior experiences to generate the confidence and material needed to reach their professional goals.
  • "Just in Time" > "Just in Case." We know that learning sticks when it can be immediately applied, whether a tangible skill or a new mindset. When designing learning experiences, we avoid hypothetical learning and focus on what is immediately in front of our participants.

“I chose to sail with VFC more than once because every time I went back, I walked away with a new skill, knowledge of an industry I didn't have before or made connections I'm grateful for. This program always had something to offer me and being a student of life, there's nothing more appealing to me than that!”

Raj Patel
Raj Patel
2022 Intern, 2021-23 Intrapreneur

Learning from failure

Our Internship Program, originally packed with a live 3-day Training Camp, encountered a hitch when shifted online: engagement dropped.

As the program grew, we learned that virtual, live sessions were not the right way to receive content for the thousands of interns participating. Offering diverse learning experiences for participants with different learning styles and paces instead of aiming for a universal ideal has been instructive and effective.

“Venture for Canada is a great resource for small companies. The ability to hire a student for the summer and get to know them, train them, test them before offering them a job is gold to a small company.”
Kathy Janzen
Vice President, Wilson Analytical Services Inc