BC entrepreneurs Bill Roche and Charles Chang have a vision to make Canada more competitive by nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit in young people.
For almost 20 years, Bill Roche has specialized in designing K-12 curriculum-based resources related to financial literacy, entrepreneurship and social responsibility. He regularly speaks at conferences and special events such as TEDx promoting the importance of helping young people develop an entrepreneurial mindset . Bill works with policy makers, school districts and business leaders to create community partnerships that are scalable and have impact. He is also a member of Rideau Hall Foundation’s Innovation for Education Partners Group.
After leading the 2015 sale of his iconic nutritional brand Vega to White Wave Foods for $550 million, Charles Chang was ready to take on new challenges. He established his own personal investment fund, Lyra Growth Partners, to support the next generation of visionary entrepreneurs in Canada. In 2016, Charles donated $10 million to Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business to establish the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship. He supports a variety of educational initiatives through the Charles and Eve Chang Foundation.
Bill created PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs to help young people cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit needed to thrive in our rapidly changing world. Based on the premise that authentic learning involves exploring and trying out new skills in a meaningful real-world context, the program helps students develop an entrepreneurial toolkit by creating and running their own real business ventures.
Upon meeting in 2016, Charles and Bill immediately recognized an alignment in their common drive to accelerate positive social change through entrepreneurship. They decided to combine Bill’s educational know-how with Charles’ financial support and strategic expertise in organization building to start a movement that could have large-scale impact throughout Canada.
In 2017, the two entrepreneurs launched a non-profit organization (charitable status is pending) that operates under the name PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs. Sarah Lubik joined the Board of Directors and helps set the strategic direction for the organization. The Charles and Eve Chang Foundation has generously provided funding to help support this initiative.
Dr. Sarah Lubik is Simon Fraser University's first Director of Entrepreneurship and co-Champion of the Technology Entrepreneurship@SFU program. She is a lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Beedie School of Business and the co-founder and marketing director of a high-tech startup. Sarah’s research on topics that include entrepreneurship education and innovation ecosystems has been published in leading journals. She has been named one of Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 under 40 and an Innovation Leader by the Government of Canada.