Four businesses developed by young entrepreneurs will benefit from a financial boost
June 6, 2021 7:03 am
Four young entrepreneurs each receive a grant and advice to help their business succeed.
The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP) said the four entrepreneurs chosen for the 2021 Summer Company program have demonstrated their ability to operate a business during the COVID-19 pandemic, using e-commerce solutions and executives without touching.
âThese young entrepreneurs are demonstrating innovation that will be of great value to our local economy, and we are proud to offer this program to help them get started on the right foot,â said Stephen Thompson, CEO of SLEP.
SLEP Development Coordinator Chantelle Core said this year’s program received a large number of applications.
âLast year we had a record number of interest in the program and I think this year we have again seen quite a few students looking for other opportunities to learn, grow and do. the experience of entrepreneurship throughout the summer, âshe said.
The Summer Company program has existed for 22 years in Sarnia-Lambton as a joint initiative between SLEP and the Department of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
“[Itâs] a great opportunity for students to experience entrepreneurship while they are still in school so that in the future they will have the confidence and knowledge to start and launch a successful business â, Core said.
The program is offered to students aged 15 to 29.
The youngest entrepreneur selected this year is a Grade 10 student at St. Patrick’s Catholic High School who started Hillcrest Heritage Home Goods. Jayme McCully’s business produces and sells natural, cruelty-free cleaning products and soaps.
âThis year the program had a pretty wide age range,â Core said.
A few post-secondary students were also selected for the summer program. Matt Mueller started Mueller Tennis Services to offer tennis lessons and stringing services for racquet maintenance. Muller is a business student studying through Huron at Western University.
Meanwhile, Wilfrid Laurier University business student Jack Vrolyk was selected after starting Jack’s Grass Cutting. Vrolyk provides lawn care services to residents of Sarnia and Point Edward and currently has over 30 clients.
Anthony Clark was also selected for this year’s program because of his company, ASHR Media. Clark provides web design, graphic design and business consulting services through his company. Clark recently graduated from Lambton College.
Core said that in addition to receiving a $ 3,000 grant, each of the four recipients will be able to participate in a 12-week mentorship and training program over the summer.
One of this year’s mentors will be program graduate Jared Waller. He completed the Summer Company program in 2018 and put his skills to good use during the pandemic by providing 3D printed personal protective equipment.
âHe was hired as a former Summer Company alum to act as a small business intern and Summer Company coach for the four students we have this year,â Core said.
She also said that it was common to see graduates of the program continue and develop them over the years.
âIt’s a trend we’ve seen over the past few years. Originally the program did not allow students to continue running their business as a student, but that changed several years ago, âshe said.
The Summer Company program typically starts accepting applications in January and February. Core said that SLEP also works with students before the admission period to develop a solid business plan. Interested future candidates can email [email protected] or call (519) 332-1820.