Student Entrepreneurs Offered Summer Company Grants

SARNIA, ON: Students in the Sarnia-Lambton area have the opportunity to apply for $3,000 grants to start and run their own business this summer through the Ontario Summer Company Program.

The Summer Company Program is a competitive program with limited spaces, which accepts and considers applications as they are submitted, and provides approved participants with a $1,500 grant to launch a business as well as mentoring and training in various aspects of entrepreneurship over the course of the summer. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to receive another $1,500 for a $3,000 total.

This program is a joint initiative between the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade and has been providing students in Ontario with entrepreneurial experience for 22 consecutive years.

“The Summer Company Program is an initiative we are proud to continue offering to aspiring student entrepreneurs in the region. This offering has had positive impact on the lives of many local youth and has lead to the creation of small businesses that continue to grow after the program has completed.” said Stephen Thompson, CEO of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership.

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, student businesses should minimize direct interaction with customers and have the ability to adjust operations based upon evolving provincial regulations and public health guidance. Examples of businesses able to operate under these parameters may include on-line products, lawn care with electronic payment, etc.

“Through Summer Company, our team has worked with students in a variety of sectors, ranging from in-demand seasonal businesses such as landscaping to 3D printing businesses serving the local fabrication industry. In 2020, we saw an increase in students focusing on sustainability and shop local initiatives” Thompson added. “We had a number of students who identified opportunities for new and creative products and services in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2020 Summer Company students demonstrated their adaptability and understanding of digital technology to provide safe socially distanced interactions with their customers. We’re looking forward to hearing new and innovative ideas from students again this spring as we begin the competitive intake process.”

In 2020, Blue Coast Bundles was launched as an e-commerce business to encourage support of local businesses struggling with the ramifications of the public health restrictions. Blue Coast Bundles has continued her business of creating themed boxes of local goods and delivering them directly to customers.

Jared Waller, the owner of Radiant 3D Printing, completed the 2019 Summer Company Program and made headlines in 2020 by using his 3D printer to help manufacture medical-grade protective masks for frontline staff at Bluewater Health fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program is open to students between the ages of 15 and 29 who are returning to school in the fall and have not received a Summer Company Grant in the past.

Interested students are encouraged to attend the March 16th, 2021 information session at 4:00pm and can register by visiting www.sarnialambton.on.ca/summercompany. For more information visit www.ontario.ca/summercompany and contact Chantelle at chantelle@sarnialambton.on.ca.

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Program Contact:
Chantelle Core
Development Coordinator
Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership
519-332-1820

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