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Future Business Leaders Rewarded


August 27, 2008 – The Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre proudly announced the winners of the 2008 Secondary School Business Plan Competition and introduced students who participated in the Summer Company program at an event held at the new offices of Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission today.

The Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services (MSBE), in partnership with the network of Small Business Enterprise Centres, has celebrated the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Ontario's high school students with the Ontario Secondary School Business Plan Competition. The competition is open to all secondary school students in Ontario. Our local competition encompasses the City of Thunder Bay as well as, the areas of Atikokan to Manitouwadge and HWY 11 to Longlac.

Ben Fox, winner for the 2008 Secondary School Business Plan Competition, earned $750. Ben is in the International Business program at Churchill High School. Ben's business "Yard Services, You Name It, We Do It!" is a service-based business that targeted the Shuniah township area offering everything from lawn care to wood splitting. Ben will advance to the Regional and Provincial Competition.

Second place winner, Joel Popoff of Schreiber, earned $500. Joel's business "Desiderio Clothing Corporation" is a merchandising retail company that sells high quality fashion clothing.

"Summer Company is a fantastic opportunity for young enterprising students who have a feasible idea and need support to get their business started," said Karen Honan, Development Officer for Small Business - Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre.

Summer Company is a grant program funded by the MSBE through the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre. The program is designed to help enterprising young people, between the ages of 15 and 29, start and run their own summer business while continuing their education.

2008 Summer Company participants:

  • Kyle Nesbitt – Forza Lawn Care Services
  • Paul Wilken – IDS- Independent Design Services (Graphic Design)
  • Jared Wood (Atikokan) – Northern Exposure (Guiding Service)
  • Myles Ball – Moonlight Landscaping
  • Tyler Belanger (Atikokan) – Tyler's Lawn Maintenance
  • Elizabeth Boyes – Slate River Valley Veggies
  • Corrie Debenham – Edgar's Ink (book keeping service)
  • Ben Fox – Yard Services, You Name It, We Do It!
  • Adrian Lesey-Fleury – Gable Valley Roofing
  • Trevor Matthews – Superior Yard Works
  • Mitchell McKillop – Kamview Aerators
  • Deanne Morrison – Ab-Original Apparel and Custom Sewing


Summer Company applicants can earn up to $1,500 to assist with their business start-up costs and up to an additional $1,500 in the fall for completing the program.  Each business owner is required to comply with provincial regulations for Small Business. Mentoring by the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre is ongoing throughout the program.

The Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre provides free workshops, seminars and confidential business counselling services to both new and existing small businesses.

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Contact: Karen Honan, Development Officer – Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, 807.625.3972 or EntrepreneurCentre@ThunderBay.ca