The fifth annual Summer Company Staples Youth Entrepreneurship Day tradeshow took place at Staples Thunder Bay today, showcasing the innovative work of young entrepreneurs.

The event highlighted this year’s participants of Summer Company – Ontario’s flagship youth entrepreneurship program, 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 12 students taking part in Summer Company.

“The students learn a lot from the hands-on experience and mentoring provided by Summer Company,” said Lexie Penko, 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 began in Thunder Bay and is now a provincewide 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 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.


Contact:     Lexie Penko, Programs Coordinator – Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) and Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre, 807-625-3286 or

2018 Summer Company Participants:

Jordyn Calderon

Calderon Baking

Desserts made to order

Jesse Leach

C-Clear Window and Exterior Cleaning

Window cleaning and building maintenance services

Ian Campbell
Film Converters

Film and photograph digitization

Aidan Marchant

River Forge

Handmade forged metal works

Andrew Faulkner

ISO Studios

High-quality corporate video and photography services

Jenna Mayor

Superior Show Jumping

Coaching riders and horses for the sport of competitive show jumping

Brianna Fiddler

OnyxBri Art

Mixed-media artwork

Nicole Mighton
Fabulously Creative Customs
Upcycled and refurbished furniture

Krishna Jani

Superior Marketing

Digital and traditional marketing services

Eraj Rehman


Organic and eco-friendly bath bombs

Jacob Luczak

Jacob Luczak Wrestling Coach

Wrestling classes, technical instruction and high-intensity training

Paw’leh Shan

Clean Paws

Building and residential indoor cleaning services

The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (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

The Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre, located within the CEDC’s administrative office, provides free and confidential counselling, information and resources to new and existing small businesses. Visit to learn more.

About Summer Company
Summer Company is Ontario’s flagship youth entrepreneurship program. It 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. For more information, visit