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Wellington County youths showcase entrepreneurial spirit with Summer Company

by Olivia Rutt

WELLINGTON CTY. - Seven Wellington County youths are skipping the part-time job this summer to become their own bosses.

The young entrepreneurs were awarded Summer Company grants from the Ontario government. The program gives students aged 15 to 29 the opportunity to turn ideas into a business.

Summer Company awards students with grants up to $3,000 as well as hands-on business training and mentorship from the Business Centre Guelph-Wellington (BCGW).

“It is a very nice way for students that are interested in self employment or entrepreneurship to try something within a very short time span to see if the results are what they want,” said Marios Matsias, executive director of BCGW.

He explained the program allows the youth to explore the validitiy of their idea and their work ethic as entrepreneurs.

“We help them work and build a business plan that talks about how (they’re) going to roll out a business. at the same time, it teaches A student, ‘how do I budget my time and my resources so I can actually make money doing what I’m doing.’” said Matsais.

The seven Wellington students along with 10 Guelph students officially launched their Summer Company businesses at St. George’s Market Square in Guelph.

Whisk Confectioneries by Katie

Katie Lloyd, 18, of Fergus, is a graduate of Centre Wellington High School who makes homemade baked goods.

“Pretty much everything I do is a family recipe or a recipe I have developed myself or through mentors,” she said. Her love of baking made her want to pursue her business, Whisk Confectioneries by Katie.

She also bakes allergy sensitive confectionaries as well, including gluten-free and dairy-free.

Lloyd heard of the Summer Company grant through the BCGW.

“I find that Summer Company has generated a lot of business for me. I’ve only been doing it for a couple of weeks and I’m already super busy,” she said.

To find out more about Lloyd’s business, email katie_lloyd@outlook.com.

KP Pottery

Katie Plume, a 20-year-old from Mount Forest, is making hand-built pottery for her business KP Pottery.

A graduate of the ceramics program at Fleming College in Peterborough, she doesn’t use a wheel to create unique, handmade products.

“You can really see that it’s handmade. You can see fingerprints and everything in it,” she said.

Plume makes mugs that are sold in a couple of stores in Wellington County, as well as planters, wall hangers and other vessels.

She said she was excited to be accepted into the Summer Company program.

“I definitely need the money for so many things,” she said.

“There’s so many things you don’t think of that you are going to need money for, a lot of start up.”

She added, “Before you start making money, you have to spend it.”

Plume said she is looking forward to see how her business will grow over the summer.  

“Before this program I felt like I was kind of stuck,” she said.

To find out more about Plume’s business, email kp.pottery@hotmail.com.

Cross Custom Knives

Samuel Cross, 16, of Puslinch, started his business Cross Custom Knives from his hobby.

The Centennial Collegiate Vocational Institute student got into the craft after building his own camping knife.

“I just got hooked,” he said.

“So I started investing my money in tools and all the rest.”

He starts with a bar of steel and forges it into shape. The process from steel to the finished product takes Cross about three to five hours.  

Cross said he was eager for the Summer Company to start.

“I wanted to take (my business) to the next step, this gave me a great opportunity to expand my business, fund my website and tools and all that,” he said

To find out more about Cross’ business, email crosscustomknives@gmail.com.

Camilla B. Photography and Brand Design

Camilla Brenchley is merging her schooling with her love of photography to create Camilla B. Photography and Brand Design.

The 21-year-old Arkell resident is studying business and marketing of the University of Guelph.

“I always kind of thought I’d be able to eventually merge to two together, my passion and what I’m taking in school, and when I learned about this summer company program, I figured I might as well try to specialize my business now while I have the chance to do this and have this opportunity,” she said.

Brenchley specializes in taking commercial photographs for small businesses and is working with many in downtown Guelph.

“A small business would hire me ... I take photos of their products as well as some creative photos for them to use on their Instagram and pictures of them. Not just corporate headshots, but creative fun headshots that show a little more personality,” she said.

The photos are used in branding the business on websites and social media.

She said Summer Company was what she needed to take the next step.

“It was very exciting, because there was a bunch of things I was hoping to get one day to take my business to the next level, which I knew I would be able to do now that I got accepted into this program,” she said.

“It feels so exciting to officially start my company.”

Find out more about Brenchley’s business by emailing cami.brenchley@gmail.com.

Big and Small Grass Cutting

Ben Vanderstam, 18, of  Guelph-Eramosa, saw a business opportunity when his neighbour needed help with his lawn care.

“He happened to own a bunch of properties … he was happy with the work I did around his house so he asked me if I could cut all the other properties he owned,” said the Wilfrid Laurier University student.

This summer he will take his business, Big and Small Grass Cutting, to a wider audience offering lawn care and maintenance in the Guelph and Kitchener areas.

Vanderstam said Summer Company  will help him with start up costs as well as giving support and mentorship through the summer.

“It’s really costly at the start; that’s basically the biggest barrier getting into the grass cutting business, is buying all this equipment,” he said.

“Hopefully it helps me understand how to run a business properly, and I can learn a lot along the way through the summer.”

To find out more about Vanderstam’s business, email ben.vanderstam@outlook.com.

Two Strapping Lads

Clayton Harvey, 17, of Guelph-Eramosa, wanted to find a new idea to earn income this summer.

Harvey, an Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School student, developed Two Strapping Lads, a lawn care and moving business.

“We do lawn care, grass cutting, we help people with small moves, as well as junk removal, trips to the dump, stuff like that,” he explained.

Harvey said he heard of the grant program and thought it would be a good summer job.

“It was the grant, also the chance to meet new people, like other young entrepreneurs and that kind of thing,” he said of why he joined the program.

He will be putting the grant money towards start-up costs.

To find out more about Harvey’s business, call 519-993-3727.

CB Music Productions

Cameron Baguley, a 17-year-old Centre Wellington District High School student from Ariss, wants to make a career out of his passion for music.

He created CB Music Productions to start him on that goal.

“I do music productions for artists and background of videos and stuff,” he explained.

“I just love music, so making it is kind of fitting.”

Baguley said the Summer Company program is an exciting way to spend the summer.

“Just expanding my business and working with other people, the mentorship especially,” he said.

To find out more about Baguley’s business, email cbaguleyproductions@gmail.com.

July 14, 2017

 
 

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