Summer Company 2011: 16 young entrepreneurs work for themselves this summer

Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of young entrepreneurs who are participating in this year’s provincially funded Summer Company program External Link. Our Small Business Centre is working with these 16 young people to help them start and grow their own businesses this summer.

Entrepreneurship is a powerful force – it powers innovation and productivity, creates jobs and helps our economy grow. That’s why programs such as Summer Company are so important. Summer Company gives young entrepreneurs the chance to start their businesses off on the right foot, with business coaching, training and mentoring to support them along the way. The goal of the program is to support students interested in entrepreneurship as a possible career goal.

Chair Carr met with a group of Summer Company 2011 participants during a briefing session held at the Regional Administrative Building on July 6, 2011.

Top left to right:

  • Milan Stojev
  • Andrew Oliver
  • Amen Ogbeifun
  • Natalie Eldershaw
  • Thomas Jarvis

Bottom left to right:

  • Tom Zheng
  • Elizabeth Hirst
  • Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr
  • Carolyn Horbaczyk
  • Umai Hani

Summer Company students receive cash awards of up to $1500 from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to help pay for start-up costs. They may also receive an additional $1500 at the end of summer as an award for completing the program.

I was very impressed by this year’s participants, who were selected from over 90 applicants from the Halton area. Their businesses include everything from photography, music and publishing services to dog walking, cleaning and yard services, cupcakes and more. Take a look at what 2011 Summer Company students have created. You can also follow Halton’s Summer Company Facebook page External Link for information, updates, links, photos and more.

In addition to the cash awards, students receive business training and mentoring from volunteers in our local business community.

This year, students received training and mentoring from:

Many thanks to our mentors for volunteering their time and expertise and good luck to this year’s Summer Company participants.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”