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28 local students launching summer companies


A group of local students are trying their hand at entrepreneurship this summer, thanks to their hard work and the support of the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre and the Summer Company program.

The Summer Company program, delivered by the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre, will work with 28 students this year to turn their business ideas into a reality.  Summer Company is an Ontario government program for students between the ages 15 and 29 that helps them start their own business over the summer. The program provides hands-on training, mentorship and financial grants of up to $3000.

Brampton Councillor Jeff Bowman, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, has a special interest in the program. “I’ve been involved with Summer Company for more than 10 years, as a mentor to these growing entrepreneurs. I’ve always been impressed with the dedication and professionalism these young people bring to their businesses. Innovation and youth entrepreneurship are critical to securing a strong economic future for Brampton, and this is the kind of program that will nurture success.”

Student businesses for this year’s program include landscape maintenance, craft, technology services and artistic services. Along with mentoring and training sessions that are part of the Summer Company program, they are juggling their time meeting client needs and generating some initial business income.

Unique to the program this year is a trio of sisters, each launching their own business this summer. Candace, Natasha and Sabrina Pardo are running Candace Piano Magic, Natasha Solutions and Party Adventures respectively.

“I attended a seminar to help my sister Natasha decide if she should apply to the Entrepreneur Centre,” said Candace. “We were so thrilled we did- everyone there just made us believe in ourselves! I applied with the ideas I've had for a while to teach productive, quality group lessons.”

“I wasn't sure if my ideas were good enough to risk the finances and a lot of time, even though I had the support of my family,” added Sabrina. “My sisters came back from the entrepreneur seminar and I was encouraged to just apply. The Brampton Entrepreneur Centre has been such a support!”

This year’s participants were selected from a list of more than 120 applicants from Brampton and Caledon. Applications for this year’s program are closed, but for information about the Summer Company program and for updates to apply in 2016, please visit www.ontario.ca/summercompany  

For a list of participants and business profiles for the 2015 Summer Company program in Brampton, visit www.brampton.ca/bec