The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP) celebrated the completion of the 2019 Summer Company Program on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
A joint initiative between the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, the Summer Company Program provided the four 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 program. Upon successful completion of the program, the students were also eligible to receive another $1,500 for a total of $3,000.
On hand to celebrate the achievements of the students were Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership Board Chair, Alex Palimaka, and Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership Development Coordinator, Chantelle Core, who presented the students with certificates of completion at the ceremony.
Open to students in high school, college, or university, between the ages of 15 and 29, the 2019 Summer Company Program marked the 20th consecutive year that the program was offered by SLEP and was participated in by four Sarnia-Lambton area high school students who operated businesses in Brooke-Alvinston, St. Clair Township, and Sarnia.
This summer’s four businesses included a web development company, an esthetician studio, a lawn care company, and a cleaning service.
Guided through the program by Student Entrepreneur Coach, Daniel DiFederico, a second year business student at Wilfrid Laurier University, the four students learned business planning, bookkeeping, and marketing, and approached the summer with a willingness to learn and desire to take full advantage of what they were being taught.
Chair of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership’s Board of Directors, Alex Palimaka, said that the learning opportunities provided these four students will only pay dividends down the road.
“The skills and experiences that these four students have learned over the course of this program cannot be overstated,” Palimaka said.
He added that “with the knowledge and confidence these students have gained this summer, the doors to a lifetime of entrepreneurship have been opened.”
With the wide range in businesses and locations of those businesses spread across the County of Lambton, Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership CEO, Stephen Thompson, said that not only does the program provide excellent learning opportunities for the participants, but it also helps foster business throughout the Sarnia-Lambton area.
“With the goal of making the Sarnia-Lambton area recognized as a premier place to live and work, these students and everyone they come in contact with are able to see the opportunities available in our community,” Thompson said.
“Speaking as someone who has encouraged entrepreneurship most of my career, these types of opportunities spark the next generation and we encourage all students to keep the Summer Company in mind for next year and moving forward,” he added.
A full list of 2019 Summer Company participants and their businesses can be found below, while applicants interested in the 2020 Program can find out more at https://www.ontario.ca/page/start-summer-company-students or by contacting Chantelle Core at email@example.com.
Kember Web Development – Ethan Kember
Lush Lashes by Colleen Van Damme – Colleen Van Damme
Curb Appeal – Logan Forbes
Brooke Clean ‘n’ Stuff – Brooke Lauwers