WELLINGTON COUNTY – The Summer Company program at the Guelph-Wellington Business Centre (GWBC) is back in full swing this year.
“It’s really amazing the courage the young people have,” said GWBC business advisor Olga George-Cosh.
Summer Company is a Government of Ontario program that helps young people aged 15 to 29 run their own summer business by providing up to $3,000 in funding, as well as business advice.
Students will have an in-person, market-style launch for their companies on July 20 – the first in-person launch since the pandemic.
The program has kept going during lockdowns and pandemic restrictions, with the program running online and students operating virtually.
While meetings still tend to be online for convenience, there are in-person site visits running this year, explained George-Cosh.
“It’s a great opportunity to see students face-to-face,” she said, adding she’s already done a few on-site visits with students.
Typically there is a mix of students from university, college and high school in the program. George-Cosh noted this year there is just one high school student in the program.
Puslinch resident Matteo Furfaro is a summer company student with GWBC.
He runs Casa Deep Dish Pizza, cooking pizzas to order at a shared kitchen in Guelph.
It runs 5 to 9pm Thursday to Saturday, and 5 to 7pm on Sunday.
The Puslinch resident first heard of the summer company program in Ottawa, where he is enrolled in the entrepreneurship program at Algonquin College.
His professor mentioned there were no good places in Ottawa for deep dish pizza, so Furfaro took this as a challenge to try his hand at preparing the pie.
Once his professor tried the pizza, he told Furfaro he should start a business.
Not having luck finding a location for his company in Ottawa, Furfaro applied to the GWBC program, being closer to home.
Furfaro officially opened Casa Deep Dish Pizza on June 16, after taking some time to learn from the program and set up his business.
Furfaro said his pizza is a family affair, as he uses his grandmother’s recipe for the sauce, his mother’s for the dough, and his grandfather’s for the sausage. To learn more visit casadeepdishpizza.ca.
Fergus resident Adam Pronk runs his company, Pressure Washing Solutions, in the Centre Wellington area. The 21-year-old is going into his fourth year at the University of Guelph.
“I was looking for a unique summer experience … and to challenge myself,” he said.
He first heard of the summer company program several years ago, when his sister participated in it, and thought it would be a good fit for him as well.
Pronk started his business in early May, participating in the business centre’s program at the same time.
“It was an out-of-the-blue idea,” said Pronk on doing pressure washing as his summer company.
He heard a few people in town mention they were looking for this service, and felt there may be a need.
Work has been steady, and full time for Pronk.
“Mainly, it’s a summer project,” he said, though he anticipates completing some smaller jobs during the school year part time.
For more information visit facebook.com/pressurewashingsolutions22.