Business owner heads to Japan summit

Kurtis Fox, owner of Rise Athletics and Wellness will travel to the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit in Fukuoka, Japan. (SUPPLIED IMAGE)

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A Winkler business owner will be travelling to Japan in May to help advance youth entrepreneurship globally.
Kurtis Fox, owner of Rise Athletics and Wellness will attend the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA) Summit in Fukuoka, Japan. The G20 YEA is a collective of organizations across the jurisdictions of the G20 that promotes youth entrepreneurship as a driver of economic renewal, job creation, innovation and social change.
Fox said he got the opportunity through his involvement with Futurpreneur Canada, an organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39.
“I used them when I first started, just for some mentoring and different resources that they have,” he said.
A year ago, they reached out to Fox and asked him to deliver a keynote address at a Winkler event. Fox did that and was promptly given another opportunity to get involved.
“They reached out shortly after that and asked if I would be interested in being a member,” he said. “I kind of looked at the mentors I’ve had, formally and informally as well, and it’s been a massive help.”
Fox said both the mentor and the mentored can benefit from the relationship.
“I’ve always been of the mind set that anybody you interact with, you can probably pull something out of them that can help you and provide something to them that can help them,” he said.
Fox was initially skeptical about applying to become a delegate despite the request by Futurpreneur Canada.
“I thought no way,” he admitted. “I looked at the application process and it was very lengthy.”
It involved plenty of paperwork and shooting a video of the applicant debating various topics.
But Fox said, in the end he chose to apply in part because it was something new. “I want to find ways to continually stretch the comfort zone so I’ll do the application process,” he said he concluded at the time. “They’ll never select me and that will be it.”
That wasn’t it though, and Fox is now involved in delegate training days preparing for the summit in Japan.
The theme of the summit is Imagination Economy for a Sustainable Future. Fox said he and other entrepreneurs will be looking at initiatives that could be done globally to benefit all G20 countries.
“As Canadian delegates we’ll come back and advocate on behalf of the different policies that are drafted and the communique they put out,” he said.
The G20 YEA puts together the communique to advance youth entrepreneurship with the goal of those recommendations being incorporated into the official G20 leaders communique.
Fox said it’s an exciting time for entrepreneurs.
“We’re at a time and place where there’s really no limit in what you can make a business out of or into,” he said. “There’s just so many opportunities.”
As the only Manitoban in the Canadian delegation, Fox expects he’ll be busy sharing the end results with various government officials.
“I think I’m just excited to have the opportunity,” he said.