Student entrepreneurs spawn new business

By Barbara Simpson, from   The Observer

CORUNNA – Lindsay Bulckaert can thank R2-D2 for inspiring her to start a summer business.

The 28-year-old Lambton College and University of Windsor student set an ambitious challenge for herself: if she could bake a cake version of the Star Wars robot for her son, she’d turn her hobby into a business. The three-dimensional R2-D2 required combining five cakes, but she let the baking force be with her.

“When I brought the cake into the car for (my son) to see, his face light up like crazy,” she said.

That’s when her business Cake Face was born.

Bulckaert, who will be studying education in the fall, was one of seven Sarnia-Lambton students picked for the Summer Company Program.

Successful student applicants aged 15 to 29 years old receive up to $1,500 in startup funding and 12 hours of business training. Once they complete the provincial program, they also receive up to $1,500 to return to school.

Bulckaert has invested her money into supplies. She purchased a stand mixer and rents the use of a Corunna kitchen.

“It’s going to a lot of ingredients and my fees for being a vendor at the Sarnia Bay Marina farmer’s market,” she said.

Bulckaert sells a variety of cupcakes – everything from the traditional chocolate and vanilla to strawberry banana and pineapple – at the Sunday market.

Her three young children – Lachlan, 6, Thea, 4, and Wyatt, 18 months – have proven to be great help with the business. They’ll suggest new flavours and sample product.

“I’ve been baking with the (older) two since they were old enough to stand on a chair,” Bulckaert said.

Other local student-run businesses funded include pavement and patio cleaning, IT repair, a clothing line, photography and professional recording.

The provincial program is provided locally by the Business Enterprise Centre of Sarnia-Lambton.

Chantelle Core, the centre’s entrepreneurship coordinator, said students gain skills through the program that can be applied to their own businesses or if they become employees of companies.

“We hope the community will support and encourage these student-run business startups and benefit from all they have to offer,” she said in a release.

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