Close-up shot of a female learner typing on a laptop keyboard. © Can Stock Photo / pressmasterClose-up shot of a female learner typing on a laptop keyboard. © Can Stock Photo / pressmaster

Application process open for Summer Company program

Lambton County students who would like to start their own business are being encouraged to apply for the Summer Company program.

The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP) and Business Enterprise Centre of Sarnia-Lambton will accept applications until May 1.

The program offers up to $3,000 in total funding for students, between the ages of 15 and 29, to launch their summer start-ups.

Small Business Enterprise Centre Manager at SLEP Alison Minato said in addition to financial support, successful applicants will receive mentoring sessions.

"Students really appreciate that there's a little bit of a safety net, with some coaches available to help them as they run into the inevitable different challenges and situations that come up in the course of starting and running their business," she said.

Four students were successful during last year's initiative. Their businesses focused on landscaping, lawn care, and sports equipment rental services.

However, applicants can choose to start almost any type of business as long as it's new, independent, operates full-time, and follows government rules.

"I have heard [the program] provided a great opportunity for kids to explore owning their own business, explore entrepreneurship, and help them identify where their strengths may lie so that they can help chart their future career path," Minato said.

Her advice for applicants is to carefully read the provided template to help build their business plan and to take a holistic view of their start-up.

"Think about all of the different aspects, about health and safety, about the risks, about their competitors, and make sure they have some basic research to make sure they understand those things and can communicate that in their business plan," she said.

Further details about eligibility criteria can be found on SLEP's website.

Minato said they expect to announce successful applicants shortly after the May 1 deadline.

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