SBEC: Summer Company Program gives youth a head start in business

March 12, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Winter may still have us in its grip, but the warm days of June, July and August are not far off. Now is a good time for students to start thinking about how they will spend their summers and how they will earn some extra cash. For students with entrepreneurial mindsets, running their own businesses and being “the boss” can be a great alternative to a traditional summer job.

The Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC), in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, is once again delivering the popular Summer Company Program for area youth ages 15-29. Program participants can get start-up money to launch a new business and receive business-related training, advice and mentorship to help their businesses succeed.

Eligible students:

Attend high school, college or university

Live in Ontario

Are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

Are 15-29 years old (if under 18: a parent or guardian must sign the agreement for the applicant)

Are not already running a business

Are not working at another job or going to school for more than 12 hours a week during the program

Are returning to school after the program ends

Interested students are required to complete an online application which includes business plan, start-up budget and cash flow projections. Business Plan tools and templates are provided on the Summer Company website. Applicants also attend an interview with the Orangeville & Area SBEC. If accepted to the program, students receive up to $1,500 to help cover the costs associated with start-up, such as equipment, supplies, insurance, and marketing expenses. Over the summer, students build their businesses and receive guidance and support from business mentors. Participants keep all their profits and, at the end of the summer, students who have successfully completed all aspects of the program can receive an additional $1500 when they return to school.

Dozens of students from across the region have experienced the challenge and thrill of starting and running a small business. Many have continued to operate their businesses after leaving the program. Students from Dufferin County and its surrounding communities who would like to apply for the program can visit or contact the Orangeville & Area SBEC at 519-941-0440 Ext 2270 for more information and assistance.

Ellen Sinclair is the Co-ordinator of the Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre. She can be reached at or 519-941-0440 Ext. 2270. To sign up for notifications of SBEC programs and events visit

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