Canadian children’s program wins top honours in worldwide entrepreneur competition

A Canadian children’s education program is setting itself as the standard for inspiring kids to be creators.

Toronto-based MakerKids, which provides after-school programs and play spaces dedicated to empowering kids through technology, has won the 2017 NextGen Franchising Global Competition, a worldwide program that engages young entrepreneurs seeking careers and business opportunities in the franchising industry.

Designed and created by tech industry professionals, MakerKids is the third Canadian company to win the title in consecutive years. Last year, Carmelo Marsala, founder of Spray-Net, took home top prize for his innovative exterior spray painting company. MakerKids was also named Best Kids’ Workshops by Toronto Life Magazine in August 2016.

In a press release from Feb. 2, CEO Jennifer Turliuk says she is “happy and grateful” to have won the competition and hopes it will inspire others to follow.

“I am proud to have made this a ‘hat trick’ for Canada (the past two winners were also Canadian),” she adds. “I look forward to using the learnings from this experience to grow our brand and expand the Canadian economy.”

With a focus on effective and positive digital education, MakerKids aims to “cultivate minds that feel empowered by our digital contexts” and assist in supporting the dreams of the “leaders of tomorrow.” It offers programs on coding, robotics and even building game Minecraft in after-school, weekend and birthday party programs.

Carlos Contreras, director of education at Intel, says “I think that MakerKids is doing some outstanding things for kids. Let’s get more kids into making.”

The company wants to share its innovative curriculum and teaching philosophy across the world and hopes to open international MakerKids locations to reach even more children sometime in the near future.

MakerKids is currently at the International Franchise Association’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas, where it is part of an exclusive training and business accelerator program.

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Mandy Kovacs
Mandy Kovacs
Mandy is a lineup editor at CTV News. A former staffer at IT World Canada, she's now contributing as a part-time podcast host on Hashtag Trending. She is a Carleton University journalism graduate with extensive experience in the B2B market. When not writing about tech, you can find her active on Twitter following political news and sports, and preparing for her future as a cat lady.

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