Through a unique program between St. Lawrence College’s (SLC) faculty of Marketing and Canadian commerce giant, Shopify, a Kingston woman’s charity is getting a major boost which will have a positive impact on women in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Teams of second year marketing students are using the Shopify platform to create an e-commerce store for Cathy Cleary’s Courage with the Democratic Republic of Congo project, specifically the Tchukudu Women’s Training Centre. The training centre is a safe place for women fleeing the ongoing conflict in their villages where they develop the income generating skills needed to support themselves and their families.
The student-run online store will sell products sewn by the women at the centre. The store will also sell items generously donated by Kingston artists Heather Haynes and Richard Armstrong, and lava bead bracelets assembled by Enactus SLC students. Proceeds from the store will go directly to supporting the Tchukudu Project.
The teams of second-year marketing students competed to create the best platform and conducted a simulation of their website. The winning team of Sarah Lanteigne, Nathan Wilkinson, and Nick Belmont created the best Shopify site, which will form the basis for a real Shopify store launching November 12 at www.couragecongo.com. Products from the store will also be available at a student-run pop-up shop on the Kingston campus.
"Working with a real client and Shopify has opened up new career opportunities for me; I now feel empowered and capable to work in e-commerce,” said Jadon Hook, a business marketing student.
This project is part of a wider program between SLC and Shopify, which also includes the piloting of a new digital badging program. SLC students have the opportunity to earn Shopify Basics, Shopify Seller, and Shopify Live badges, which will add significantly to their experiential learning and job skills while at SLC. Thirty-six students participated in the first round, with 22 awarded their first badges.
“It has been a thrill to work with St Lawrence College on the badging element of Shopify’s new Open Learning program,” said Toby Shannan, SVP of Support, Shopify. “These badges provide clear evidence to future employers of the skill set acquired by entrepreneurs using the Shopify platform.”
Click here for more information on SLC’s Business Administration Marketing program on the Kingston campus.