Local students can get hands-on entrepreneurship experience through the annual Summer Company Program.
The program assists students that are between 15 and 29 years of age, and is delivered through the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre.
Rob Clement with the WRSBC tells 570 News about the program.
“It’s actually a provincial program, and is offered in a larger scale across the province. We administrate it on behalf of the province for Waterloo Region. This is the 16th year for the program, and it’s purpose is to provide students with an opportunity to experience entrepreneurship in a hands-on way.”
Clement added that it opens up the world of entrepreneurship possibilities for anyone that participates, and offers a lot of experience and different skill-sets.
“We provide them with mentoring as well as business training. The vital part of it is, is that they get a little bit money to start off a business idea as well. There’s a number of different skill-sets that are touched on as part of the program, and most part-time summer jobs just don’t provide students with this same level of experience.”
The program delivers coaching from local business professionals, hands-on training for students starting their own businesses and $3,000 in funding.
Clement says that over the past 15 years, many successful businesses have been linked or graduated from the program.
“Michael Litt was a participant in the program with a video analytics company back in 2010, and he turned the lessons learned and the experiences from that summer as partnered up with his co-founder and launched Vidyard– which has been highly successful and just received another round of venture capital funding.”
He added that last year alone, one young entrepreneur started a lawn care business and accumulated over $21,000 in sales over the course of their summer break.
The program’s intake is limited and operates on a first-come first-serve basis, so students are encouraged to apply immediately.
“The sooner the applications are submitted, the better. I can accept students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Last year we had over 80 applications for 30 spots, and I expect to have more this year as we have 35 spots available.”
The deadline to send applications for this year’s program is May 6th.