The young entrepreneurial spirit is alive in the region. Eleven local students are taking part in the province’s annual Summer Company program – a chance for them to run their own summer business.
Greg Davis visited Staples where they introduced their businesses to the public:
Ever since he was a kid, Nolan Fluke has had a keen interest in knives.
Nolan: “When I was around 9 or 10 years old my best friend and I made knives out of rail road spikes so that was my hook that got me into it.”
The Grade 11 student from Norwood has sharpened his skills and launched Backwood Blades – a summer business offering handcrafted custom knives, wooden handles and cutting edge services.
Nolan: “Even when I was young I was coming up with little businesses so this was an opportunity for me to do that. I really enjoy it. Ienjoy the business aspect of things.”
So too does Akasha Greenham. Her Elven Enchantments offers homemade colorful liquids as visual healing and calming aids.
Akasha: “I’m making these and having a lot of fun and just knowing I’m helping people is just so wonderful.”
Summer Company provides students ages 15 to 29 with elements to run their own summer business. In the city and county the program is provided through the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Business Advisory Centre.
Cara Walsh: The program offers three components – training, mentoring and up to 3,000 thousand dollars in funding…it’s a great opportunity and it eliminates the risk element for students.
It was the boost Peterborough’s TJ Williamson needed to bring his World Tea Podcast to the airwaves – highlighting cafés, tea shops and industry trends while selling tea-related products.
TJ: We get some really good conversations but not only reviews. We go into some of the technologies, what’s coming down the supply chain. whats’ going to hit the market, maybe some tea wear, tumblers or cups coming out.
From photography, to disc jockey sounds to lawn maintenance, to home made jewelry – Summer Company gives students the change to learn the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
TJ: We’ve had tonnes of mentorship programs, workshops. community leaders and successful entrepreneurs come down and you get some really great face to face value there.
The Business Advisory Centre also offers funding through its Starter Company program.