July 5, 2017 - The fourth 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 and 29 start and run their own businesses over the summer months. This year, there are 17 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, Program 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."

For the first time, Partners in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE) was introduced as a sponsor, allowing the Entrepreneur Centre to distribute grants to four additional students. 

"It is partnerships like this that allow us access to some of the great resources out there for students today," said PIE Coordinator Alyson MacKay. "Summer Company is an excellent program that lets students gain exposure to the world of entrepreneurship and show others that success in running your own business can be achieved."

The annual event first started in Thunder Bay but is now a province-wide initiative between Staples Canada and Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs). "It is in our company's culture to support and promote entrepreneurship," said Staples Manager Pasquale Coccimiglio. "We are especially proud to have started this event and it's great to see other Staples stores partner with SBECs to have similar tradeshows all across 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.

2017 Summer Company Participants:
Owen Bai
Owen's Math and Piano
Math and piano tutoring

Sierra Boire
Rose River
Pesticide and GMO free succulent plants in upcycled pots

Grace Francis
Constructive Multimedia

Caleb Garrow-Ledoux
Caleb's Lawn Care
Lawn and yard maintenance

Jordan Kelly
Kelly Construction
Landscaping and construction

Matthew O'Reilly
O'Reilly Fine Arts
Ceramic and painting

Erik Tillberg and Andrew Austin
Ride sharing application

Tyler Lesschaeve
True View Property Services
Lawn and window cleaning services 

Cameron Murray
Murray's Eco-Friendly Yard Maintenance
Lawn and yard services 

Robert Haynes
Blue Truck Pizza
Mobile Pizza Stand

Justin Nadon
Justicks Thunder Bay
Refurbishing and restoring hockey sticks

Marco Palermo
Marco's Mowing
Lawn and yard services

Thomas Veneruz
Grass Master
Lawncare and yard services

Keander Smith
Keanders Custom Carpentry
Building and selling custom furniture 

Madison Steadwell
Tribal Change
Eco friendly and ethical t-shirts

Carly Schultz
Luminary heART
Original artwork through painted canvas 

Brandon Rodeghiero
Royal Wizards Production


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

About 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 to 29) start and run their own summer businesses. Participants keep all profits generated by their business.  Summer Company is funded by the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG) with support from Partners in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE). For more information, visit www.ontario.ca/summercompany.