June 29, 2016 - The third annual Summer Company-Staples Youth Entrepreneurship Day took place this afternoon at Staples Thunder Bay. The tradeshow showcased this year's participants of Summer Company - Ontario's Flagship Youth Entrepreneurship Program which is administered through the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre every summer. The Program is designed to help enterprising students between the ages of 15 - 29 start and run their own businesses over the summer months. This year, there are 14 students taking part in Summer Company.

"The students greatly benefit from the education, hands-on experience and mentoring provided by Summer Company," said Tess Ahola, Youth Programs Coordinator for the Entrepreneur Centre. "It gives young people a taste of entrepreneurship with little risk involved. Many Summer Company participants continue their businesses after the program has ended and eventually develop into full-time entrepreneurs."

The annual event first started in Thunder Bay but is now a province-wide initiative between Staples Canada and Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) across Ontario. Staples Manager Pasquale Coccimiglio says, "It is in our company's culture to support and promote entrepreneurship. We are especially proud to be supporting the Summer Company program through the Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC). This tradeshow is an idea that started right here in Thunder Bay that has caught on across the province, and this year Staples is having similar events in over 60 of our stores in Ontario."

Summer Company participants can earn up to $1,500 to assist with their business start-up costs and up to an additional $1,500 for completing the program. Each entrepreneur is required to comply with provincial Small Business regulations and attend training workshops. Mentoring by local business and community leaders is also provided as part of the program.

About the Thunder Bay CEDC and Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre (EC)

The CEDC is responsible for business development, retention and expansion, entrepreneurial support, opportunity promotion, and the collection and assessment of key business data. The CEDC receives formal proposals for projects that will contribute to economic development. It responds quickly to new opportunities and initiatives to attract direct financial involvement from government and private sectors. For more information, visit www.ThunderBayCEDC.ca

Located within the CEDC's administrative office, the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre provides free and confidential counseling, information, and resources to new and existing small businesses. Visit www.EntrepreneurCentre.ca to learn more.

About Summer Company

Summer Company provides hands-on business training and mentoring, and up to $3,000 in awards to help students (aged 15 - 29) start and run their own summer businesses. Participants keep all profits generated by their business. For more information, visit www.ontario.ca/summercompany  

2016 Summer Company Participants:

Tracy Barry
The Nest Studio
Created works of art

Jordan Bellinger
Superior Northshore Designs
Custom 3-D carving

Mary Black
Northern Wildflowers
Handmade Quilts

Stevie Anne Clark
Full Plate Prep
Health meal preparation

Marc Degagne
Degagne Lawn Care
Lawncare (Schreiber)

Christina Foresto
Clean Sweep
Professional home organization

Robert Haynes
Mad Maximus Furious Pizza
Mobile pizza stand

Christopher Krasnichuk
Innovative Circuit Development
Idea and circuit concept development

Aja Mayor
Upcycle Furniture
Furniture refurbishing

Dustin Miller
Dustin's Lawncare Service

Lahama Naeem
Henna Harmony
Henna tattooing

Adam Poulter
Superior Student Lawn & Home
Lawn and homecare services

Kyle Salmon
Salmon Summer Lawn Care Service
Lawncare (Nipigon, Red Rock, and Lake Helen)

Ashley Whistle
Ashley's Little Rabbitry
Rabbit petting zoo


Contact:       Tess Ahola, Youth Programs Coordinator - Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) and Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre, 807-625-3286 or tahola@thunderbay.ca