PTBOCanada Featured Post: The Summer Company Program For Young Entrepreneurs

Attention aspiring young entrepreneurs, the Summer Company program is back. The Summer Company program is a youth entrepreneurship program offered by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade, & Employment. Peterborough Economic Development has been proudly administrating the program in the Peterborough region for over a decade.

The program provides students aged 15 to 29 with the opportunity to open and operate their own summer business. Students are provided with funding, business training, and mentorship throughout the summer.

With respect to funding, successful applicants receive up to $1,500 to start their summer businesses. They are also eligible for up to a $1,500 award upon completion of the program. The business training portion of the program is provided through a series of workshops throughout the summer. Past workshop topics include: mastering social media; marketing and sales; managing business risk; networking; and taxation. The workshops are facilitated by local business professionals who are experts in their respective fields.

Students are also assigned volunteer mentors from within the community to provide them with support and guidance as they run their summer businesses. The mentors are business owners and professionals who understand the unique stresses and challenges that accompany running a small business. Students are often matched with a mentor in a similar industry. For example, past pairings include: a fire spinner with a full-time magician; a boat cleaner with one of the top 100 boat dealers in North America; as well as a promotional videographer with a media and marketing specialist.

In addition to funding, business training, and mentorship, the Summer Company program offers students several other competitive advantages. Firstly, students participate in the annual Summer Company Program Celebration otherwise known as Media Day. Media Day is an opportunity for the students to interact with local media and dignitaries and to promote their businesses. Several media outlets, including CHEX, Peterborough This Week, and the Peterborough Examiner, are invited to cover the event. Secondly, an article on each student and his/her business is featured on the Peterborough Economic Development website. Thirdly, Summer Company students have the opportunity to connect with other program participants and alumni. The annual Summer Company Training Day brings together participants from several different regions for a day of learning and networking.

Several students have been recommended for the program thus far. For example, Christina Kylie of Stellar Pixels plans to provide website design, re-design, and update services to small businesses in the community. Christina has noticed that many business owners allow their websites to go dormant by failing to regularly update their web content and security.

Christina was initially interested in the program because she is considering entrepreneurship as a career path and she wanted to gain practical work experience. Christina’s business is well aligned with her educational objectives. She is currently attending Durham College for web design. Christina can be reached at (705) 313-5563,, or @StellarPxStudio.

Students interested in the program can apply online here.

As part of their applications, students must complete a business plan, start-up budget, and cash flow forecast. The deadline for applications is May 23rd, 2014. However, students are strongly encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible as viable business plan are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Summer Company Coordinator Carrington Hickey is more than happy to answer any questions students may have and to walk students through the application process.

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For more info on the program, contact Carrington Hickey, Summer Company Coordinator, at Peterborough Economic Development:
Phone: 705.743-0777, ext. 2124
Twitter: @PtboEcDev

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