The award was announced during the WFCPs annual World Congress in Melbourne, Australia.
Bow Valley said the awards seek to distinguish WFCP member institutions, whose exceptional initiatives are strengthening applied learning and research outcomes. Bow Valley College and Elias were recognized for demonstrating excellence in integrating community entrepreneurship into academic curriculum and/or implemented innovative entrepreneurial activities.
Tristan Cole, the school’s international development officer, said Elias was nominated for his passion for entrepreneurship and his ability to focus on community engagement – for his contributions building entrepreneurial learning.
“His work at Bow Valley College has enabled our aspiring entrepreneurs to be exposed to actual entrepreneurs, discuss their own stories and pathways of entrepreneurship, and put into practice what they have learned through competitions and real-life entrepreneurship scenarios,” said Cole.
Elias has been with the college since February 2014. Last year, he created an Alberta-wide initiative, 150 Startups, that works with 25 Alberta colleges and universities to help additional post-secondary school students to become first-time entrepreneurs.
He also developed VentureQuest, a social entrepreneurship learning opportunity that provides Bow Valley College learners the chance to innovate, collaborate, network, develop their business ideas and receive the support they need to launch their business plans successfully, said the college.
“I’m excited to help so many learners act on their aspirations of owning a business,” said Elias. “Receiving this award highlights how learners from any background at Bow Valley College can have confidence in their innovative thinking and make a living while solving real-world challenges.”
Bow Valley College is Calgary and region’s only comprehensive community college, with more than 15,000 full- and part-time students. It’s a leader in business and health career training, community studies, creative technologies, adult upgrading and English language Learning.
Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.