Helping the next generation of entrepreneurs succeed

The small business community is the backbone of Halton Region’s strong economy, with 90 per cent of Halton’s private sector businesses having less than ten employees. While starting a small business may come easily to some, others have the idea but aren’t sure where to go from there. To help support these aspiring entrepreneurs, the Halton Region Small Business Centre, located at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville, offers programs, seminars, events and professional advice for new and existing small businesses.

An exciting new program that has already helped some young entrepreneurs launch their futures is the Starter Company program. This program, open to youth out of school between the ages of 18 and 29, provides training and business skills development to help young entrepreneurs develop a business plan and prepare them to run their own business.  Local business professionals and consultants also offer mentoring and guidance to help them along the way. Participants may also be eligible for a grant of up to $5,000 to help kick-start a new business or expand or buy an existing business.

The first new Halton “Starter Company” to receive a $5,000 grant, Alias Apps, headquartered in downtown Georgetown, is owned and operated by Michael Bertiean and David Nadeau, two recent Brock University graduates who wanted to turn their passion for technology into a career. Not only are they developing professionally coded apps at affordable prices, they are also contributing to our strong economy and have hired two staff.

Our second Halton “Starter Company” to receive $5,000 is young motivational speaker Molly Burke from Oakville.  Molly shares her experience of losing her sight, overcoming adversity and embracing diversity across Canada and the U.S. Molly educates, motivates and inspires others to find peace, happiness and achieve their goals, and we are very proud to support her spreading these positive messages to others.

You can see from our first two businesses the innovation and inspiration of today’s young entrepreneurs. The small business world has definitely grown and today’s youth are taking control of their futures like never before.  I’m proud that Halton can support young adults as they pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

With two sessions coming up in January, you can sign up now and help your idea grow into a successful business venture in 2015.  Best wishes to all our young entrepreneurs!

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “the Carr Report.”