Read our full feature at: https://novascotiabusiness.com/articles/enpoint-aiming-change-1-million-lives-through-mentorship
Cousins Chantal Brine and Julia Brine know the value of mentorship, and they want to bring it to the world through their business, EnPoint, whose mission is to change one million people’s lives.
Chantal is CEO and Founder of EnPoint, while Julia’s role is Client Success and Communications. Both believe mentorship is critical for workers and employers who are investing in reskilling and upskilling. Reskilling requires workers to learn new skills to equip them to move to another job area, industry or specialty. Upskilling focuses on helping employees become more skilled and relevant at their current position or to advance within their organization.
EnPoint creates mentorship programs for employers, not-for-profits, and post-secondary institutions. It also provides specialized software for managing the programs.
“Being able to go national is amazing for us. It allows us to spread the word on a whole other level. Having NSBI’s support makes a huge difference.” Julia Brine, EnPoint
“There’s value in mentorship for both mentees and mentors to continuously refresh and enhance their own skills,” Chantal says. “What were previously known as soft skills are becoming core skills in any industry. Mentorship can serve as a vehicle to practice or upskill communication skills, relationship management, time management, adaptability, and more, within the context of an increasingly digital world of work.”
“Mentorship can also help to foster diversity and inclusion, and it can help a business to retain staff and create a more cohesive and productive team,” she says.
Originally from Bermuda, Chantal came to Nova Scotia to study. Participating in a co-op program led to her decision to call Nova Scotia home. Co-op programming also helped Julia, born and raised in Nova Scotia, to clarify her career goals.
A series of conversations made Chantal realize her situation of trying to figure out what she wanted to do wasn't unique. Meanwhile, the provincial government was looking for ways to keep more international students in Nova Scotia after graduation.
“To a former international student who didn't plan to stay but did because of opportunity and connections, it became a happy marriage of the right opportunity provincially,” Chantal says.
For the past six years, EnPoint has worked with EduNova’s Study and Stay program and the Atlantic Canada Study and Stay program, supporting international students in their final year of study to stay in the Atlantic Canada provinces. With the help of Nova Scotia Business Inc.’s (NSBI) Digital Market Asset Development Program (DMADP), EnPoint created a video featuring two participants in the Study and Stay program, highlighting the value of their mentorship experience as they navigated entry to the workforce in Nova Scotia.
EnPoint has also partnered with the Skills For Hire program run by Digital Nova Scotia, which helps individuals build the skills necessary to find work in the tech industry. The EnPoint Career Kickstarter mentorship program helped participants articulate their career target and create a strategy to work towards realizing that target, complete with goals, timelines, and resources needed to achieve those goals. EnPoint also provided one-to-one support with a dedicated career strategist.
Organizations that want to scale a local mentorship program to the national level could be looking at several hundred employees, Julia points out. “We’re able to offer them a software as well as design and mentor/mentee services to enable them to do that and build an impactful, legacy contribution to their organization.”
Their software, EnPoint Mentorship, enables organizations to create and manage mentorship programs that support their people effectively, and to evaluate those programs.
Support for growth
Chantal and Julia credit NSBI with helping EnPoint succeed and grow. In addition to the DMAD program, EnPoint has used NSBI programming to help create the current version of its software.
“That technology does not come cheap,” Chantal says. “It takes time, and it is a significant investment, so that was a pivotal turning point for us. We have hired our first in-house software developer.”
Other NSBI programming has been used for sales and marketing. “You can't grow a business if you don't have customers. And you can't get customers if people don't know who you are and that you're solving a problem for them,” Chantal says. “NSBI has been one of our longest-standing funding partners that has allowed us to go through the stages of growing the business. We have a big vision, one million people's live changed forever. That happens over a period of time, with consistency of message and tools and infrastructure. Having access to funding and expertise has allowed us to grow more quickly.”
“Being able to go national is amazing for us,” Julia adds. “It allows us to grow and scale, and then be able to spread the word on a whole other level. Having NSBI’s support makes a huge difference.”
Interested in learning more about how Nova Scotia Business Inc. could help your business? Connect with your Regional Business Development Advisor today.