Embracing Equity in Law and Entrepreneurship
L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic visits Balmoral Hall students
On March 9, students from the L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic visited Balmoral Hall School to talk to students about business law fundamentals and entrepreneurship. This was the Clinic’s third return to Balmoral Hall since the rise of the pandemic.
The all-girls school offers a grade nine entrepreneurship class as well as an introductory law class to grade 10 students. The classes consist of young women who are interested in business and law, who apply their own creative ideas to develop entrepreneurial skills and learn how to market products that they create. The students learn about the intersection of business, the law, community and the power of working together.
Third-year law students Isanne Goldberg, Johanna Thiessen, and Samantha Harvey began the presentation by sharing their own stories and the paths that led them to law school. They explained their own unique reasons to participate in the Business Law Clinic, which provides information and legal services to those in Manitoba who do not have a lawyer and cannot afford legal services.
Case manager Samantha Harvey emphasizes the purpose behind educating the next generation of entrepreneurs.
“It’s nice to see students being encouraged so young to create businesses and work on building important relationships within their communities,” says Harvey. “It is a great experience for us as law students to provide important information that will help students as they build their business networks or even encourage them to pursue a career in law.”
The Clinic’s presentation centered around copyright law, trademarks, patents, and the difference between partnerships, corporations, and sole proprietorship. Third-year student Johanna Thiessen highlights the opportunity to engage with young women as she reflects on her own introduction to business practice.
“I am thrilled to speak to these young entrepreneurs at Balmoral Hall. In grade nine, I also took an entrepreneurship class,” says Thiessen. “I remember being inspired by the freedom of entrepreneurship as well as the strategic business planning that is required for a business to succeed.”
Kirstan Osborne teaches the grade nine entrepreneurship class called Venture Development at Balmoral Hall School. She says that the students have already started to make profits from their products and have learned how to understand the financial basis of commerce.
The school itself hosts an online e-commerce store called Balmoral Hall Makers Market. The website showcases community-made artwork and products of students, staff, and alumnae that are available for the public to purchase.
Osborne says her hope is to inspire students to see themselves in the future of entrepreneurship. By introducing opportunities for young students, she hopes to see an increase in their confidence and self-worth in the realm of business practice.
“I’d like to think that in a small way, we are chipping away at the imposter syndrome that prevents so many women from exploring entrepreneurship,” says Osborne. “By setting small incremental goals, the girls gain more confidence and self-belief. It is my hope that our students can see there is a place for them in the field of entrepreneurship.”
Third-year student and case manager Isanne Goldberg, hopes that the Clinic’s presentation has made an impact, specifically on future female leaders.
“It is great to see such a strong group of young women kickstarting their futures in innovation, business, and law. I hope that our presentation has given them a new perspective on the legal aspects to entrepreneurship,” says Goldberg.
On March 8, 2023, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity, with a focus on embracing equal opportunities and developing an inclusive world. This theme welcomes everyone to challenge gender stereotypes and have more discussions around gender biases.
Students from the L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic also wish to celebrate the inspiring women in our communities. It is the women around us that show the purpose behind grasping opportune moments to be exceptional, creative, kind, and innovative.
Johanna Thiessen remarks on her personal journey and what it means to embrace challenging projects in educational and professional landscapes.
“Something I have learned throughout my years is to take chances and any opportunities that come your way,” says Thiessen. “Although they may be challenging, you will grow from them.”