Support Young Entrepreneurs
JVS Toronto is holding its 13th Annual Strictly Business Premiere Event on May 27, 2015 to raise funds for programs like Summer Company. Event proceeds are directed to the agency’s highest priorities including supporting youth by uncovering their passions, teaching them hard and soft skills, and connecting them to mentors and their life lessons that lead to success.
To be successful, young entrepreneurs need access to the nuts and bolts of how to start a small business and the opportunity to tap into other professionals to learn from their life experiences. Luckily, there are a number of resources available in Ontario designed specifically for young entrepreneurs. Some focus on business funding, while others connect youth to mentors and other professional services. Resources for young entrepreneurs include the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, Youth Entrepreneurship Guide, Starter Company, Futurpreneur, and MaRS Entrepreneur Toolkit, to name just a few.
A unique offering through the Government of Ontario-funded for young entrepreneurs is called Summer Company. Touted as “one of the best summer jobs you can have”, Summer Company guides youth between the ages of 15 and 29 on what it takes to manage a business. Participants experience the full cycle of running a business including sales, marketing, invoicing, bookkeeping, customer relationships and general management. Run between June and Labour Day, attendees receive advice and mentoring from local business leaders, as well as a grant worth up to $3,000 to help offset start-up costs.
The difference with Summer Company is that the young entrepreneurs learn the ropes in a safe and supportive environment. Mentoring plays a big role in this by putting context around the business cycle by sharing tangible examples of their life and business lessons. Summer Company 2008 participant Daniel Clarke says this about his experience, “I ended up doing really well with that business and none of that would have been possible without Summer Company. I feel like I owe a lot of what I have been able to accomplish to the start that I got through Summer Company.”
Today, Daniel is the program lead for Summer Company at JVS Toronto at our Jane Finch and Scarborough locations.