Record Number of Student-Run Businesses

By Cathy Dobson, The Observer  www.theobserver.ca

Twenty-year-old Tiffany Prouty likes the look of her own name on a business card.

She likes the independence of being her own boss and she’s going to give it her best shot this summer.

Prouty is one of a dozen young entrepreneurs selected to receive the Ontario government’s Summer Company program grant in our region this summer.

She owns and operates “Clean Creations Soap Company” from her home in Courtright.

“My company makes unique soap with different colours, textures, shapes and scents,” Prouty said.” Making soap is pretty simple but you need to know a few tricks before it looks good enough to sell.”

She attended a seminar in Toronto to learn those tricks and is ready to go into production.

The government program provides each student with $1,500 in start-up costs and another $1,500 in September when the students return to school.

Each successful applicant came up with his or her own concept, wrote a business plan and had to demonstrate that the company was viable.

Prouty intends to sell her product at the Grand Bend flea market and is approaching local businesses throughout Sarnia-Lambton.

“I want to put my soap in local hotels,” she said.” Even if I have to donate some, it could be a good way for me to market it.”

Clean Creations is more pure than many store-bought soaps because it’s made with glycerin and no additives.

Chantelle Simard is the co-ordinator of the entrepreneurship programs at the Business Enterprise Centre of Sarnia-Lambton and hopes to find mentors for all 12 of the students. If interested, contact her at 519-332-1820.

Prouty was a Summer Company recipient along with:

* Lauren Branton of Udecide Web and Design (519-280-0833);

* Justin Bourassa of Justin Bourassa Tennis Lessons and Racket Stringing (519-332-1633);

* Lynden Evers of Heartwood Photography, photo greeting cards;

* Kera Otermanns of Tanks for the Flowers, flowerpots made from propane tanks (519-246-1114);

* Emily Dovbniak of Imagine That, computer based interior design;

* Cody Kongus of Cody Kongus Deck Stain and Restoration;

* John Deelstra of Deelstra Custom Carpentry, sheds, decks and fences (519-339-9663);

* Steve Soetemans of Green Acres Landscaping and Lawncare;

* Shay Brown of FeelFree, artistic clothing and jewelery;

* Zach Androschuk of Glistening Gutters, cleaning and small repairs (519-466-3365);

* Matt Stewardson of Arts by M’s CNC, engraved photos and art.

Not all phone numbers were available.

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