Chinese business leaders want to inspire Windsor's young professionals

Thursday, January 19, 2017

CBC News/Lisa Xing

Group has helped young people start businesses like the Sandwich Post Cafe

Members of the Border Business Club, a group of Chinese entrepreneurs in Windsor, are trying to inspire young professionals to stay and work in the region.

The business club started in April 2014 with the goal of helping people establish new businesses and create jobs. Since opening, the group has provided mentoring and marketing advice to several people, including the owners of the new Sandwich Post Cafe.

This year, the Border Business Club is ramping up efforts to keep young talent in Windsor with the launch of the Young Entrepreneurs Innovation Corner. 

"A lot of people talk about Windsor as a retirement city," said Greg Zhang, chairman of the club. "If we want this city to grow...young people are our future. They have brilliant ideas, so many things they can do. If they can do that, they'll stay here. Otherwise, all of them are gone...to bigger cities."

Zhang says the Border Business Club has 56 registered members, and connects 170 businesspeople in Windsor and Detroit. Around 10 members are young professionals, but the group wants to see more. 

"The University [of Windsor] already attracts students," Zhang said. "After they graduate, where do they go? If we can provide some information and help to those young people to stay here, the city will get a lot of benefits."

The Border Business Club is celebrating Chinese New Year on Thursday night, when it will officially launch the Young Entrepreneurs Innovation Corner program.