Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre Celebrate Success of the 2013 Summer Company Program
by Scott A. Sumner
Summer Company is a grant program funded by the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Research and Innovation through the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre. The program is designed to help enterprising young people between the ages of 15 and 29 start and run their own summer business while continuing their education.
“ The students get a grant at the start of the summer of $1500 and another $1500 at the end of the summer. We had 11 businesses start in areas from graphic design to lawn care to jewellery and helping people
with their computers. They all have come through this with bright eyes
and a lot of excitement for being their own boss,” said Stacia Kean,
Development Officer, Thunder Bay CEDC Entrepreneur Centre. “ They had to apply to the program and that process included writing a business plan so that was a commitment to go through the process. At the end of the summer the students presented their successes and challenges.”
Lakehead University student, Mehdi Syed would like to be in entrepreneurship as a career so started Dark Heron Graphic Design Studio. “ I can’t see myself working for a company my whole life as I am more of an independent type of guy and would like to see where I can take myself. My older brother started out at age 19 in graphic design and I saw he followed his dreams. My grandfather was an architect and my father is a computer analyst. Everyone has his or her own path and I will be a creative artist. I can help with the branding of companies. The experience with the CEDC was excellent and directed me in the right direction and guided me to Dark Heron.”
Lynne Buzzi is a grade 12 student at Westgate. “ My mom recommended the program and I wanted to buy more material and go to more fairs where I sell my jewellery. I have been designing jewellery since I was 11 and am now 17. I thought doing a business plan was really awesome and
working on projected sales was good. I went a little bit over my sales
forecast in July and a little under in August. We had a booth at fairs
and the Dragon Boat festival. My jewellery sells from 50 cents to
$60.00. I will continue to do events like the Valhalla etc this fall.
After high school I haven’t really decided between taking business or
engineering at university.”
Nathaniel Stonehouse, age 16, created Nate’s Custom Graphic Designs of Atikokan. He will be in Grade 12 this year. “ My cousin in Alberta does the same work and he showed me last winter when I was on a trip there with some friends. It interested me right away and I starting doing research on the business. I was at the artisans tent at the Atikokan Bass Classic and did shirts and created interest for decals for boats and truck.”
“ I use Adobe Illustrator on Windows, convert to a vector image and import to Cut Studio and then send it the vinyl cutter with an 24 inch roll. It can be different colours and can be overlade. We sell t-shirts for $19.00, which is a very reasonable cost for custom. A decal can be $10 to $60.
I want to finish high school and then continue to run the business and expand by getting people to know and support you.”