Summer Company gives students the opportunity to BE Their Own BOSS!



PORT ELGIN – Thanks to Summer Company, six Bruce County students were able to utilize their talents and make money by starting their own summer business. Summer Company is a unique program which assists young entrepreneurs with starting and running their own eight to 12-week business over the summer.

The Saugeen Shores Business Enterprise Centre is the local service provider, the first line of the selection process and

coordinator of the program for the County of Bruce. The program provides practical hands-on business training, mentoring and the essential business skills the students need to thrive. Not only do students learn what it takes to own their business, but they also meet several times over the summer to cover topics such as marketing and basic record keeping presented by local experts in their fields.

Jill Roote, Manager of the SSBEC, is enthusiastic about the program. “It’s a great program,” she said. “The backbone of Ontario’s economy is small business. This program gives students the tools and training to run successful summer
businesses. The experience often leads students to a future in entrepreneurship. It has happened in the past.”

The Bruce County students’ business ventures are as varied as their locations.

  • Madison Bonderud, 15, In the Green Lawn Care, Paisley

  • Andrew Clappison, 17, Cyberweb Development, Red Bay

  • Malcolm Cormack, 16, Malcolm’s Fruit and Vegetable Market, Cargill

  • Jonathan Peppler, 17, JP’s Media, Elmwood

  • Marlin Gingerich, 19, Audio Conversion, Lion’s Head

  • Sarah Szabo, 17, Helping Hand, Port Elgin

Applications and business plans were submitted during the spring, reviewed by the Saugeen Shores Business Enterprise Centre and approved by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The six students started in late June and they will continue to operate until they return to school following Labour Day. The Summer Company program gives these students, and hundreds across the province, the chance to run their own business with limited risk and the potential to earn and learn more than they would at another summer job. Local business people volunteer to act as mentors to the students, sharing
the benefits of their experience with the students in both group situations and one-on-one. Key elements of the Summer Company program are:

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- Students between the ages of 15 and 29 are qualified to apply, and must be currently a student and returning to school in the fall of 2009
- Students can receive up to $1,500 at the start, and up to an additional $1,500 on successful completion of the program              - Students receive a minimum of 12 hours of hands-on business training from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade program providers, plus a mentor to offer advice on running the business
- In 2008, a record number of 368 students completed the program

Summer Company is coordinated and delivered through Ontario’s network of 57 Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) and five non-profit organizations across the province for the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

Summer Company is part of the government's Youth Opportunities Ontario. For information on other youth programs, visit Youth Opportunities Ontario. Or contact the Saugeen Shores Business Enterprise Centre at 519-832-2082 or visit the
website at

Madison Bonderud, 15, In the Green Lawn Care, Paisley

Sarah Szabo, 17, Helping Hand, Port Elgin

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