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Summer Company

Anja Pink’s - Leaping Beaver BeveragesSummer Company

Summer Company is a great opportunity for enterprising young people who want to start and run their own summer businesses. The program provides hands-on business coaching and mentoring from local community business leaders who will work with students to make their Summer Company a reality.

Ontario - Job1 Ontario - Ready. Set. Work.

Students- Start a Summer Company!

How it works

Through a program called Summer Company, you can get two things:

  • start-up money to kick-off a new summer business
  • advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running

Learning how to run your own student business is one of the best summer jobs you can have. You get to be your own boss while learning what it takes to manage a business. Sales, marketing, invoicing, bookkeeping, customer relationship, management — these are just a few of the highly useful skills you will develop.

Who is eligible

You could be eligible, if you:

  • go to high school, college or university in Ontario
  • live in Ontario
  • are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • are between 15-29 years old (if under 18: a parent needs to sign the application)
  • are not already running a business
  • are not working more than 12 hours week at another job during the program
  • are returning to school after the program ends

You cannot apply again, if you have received a Summer Company grant in the past.

If you are on social assistance (Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program) you can still apply to Summer Company. Payments from the program may be exempt as income and assets under social assistance, so your monthly social assistance payment may not be affected.

Call your local Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program office for more information.

Grant amount

Maximum grant: $3,000

Successful applicants get:

  • up to $1,500 up front to help with start-up costs
  • up to $1,500 when you successfully complete the program requirements

When money flows

It takes a minimum of 15 business days to process your first payment after we approve your application and you meet all the requirements.

Dates and hours

Start date: usually June or July.
End date: Labour Day (but you can choose to keep running your business while in school).

You must be prepared to commit:

  • an average of 35 hours per week
  • a minimum of 8 weeks in a row for high school students
  • a minimum of 12 weeks in a row for post-secondary students

What kind of business

You can choose to start almost any type of business, as long as it:

  • is a  sole proprietorship or corporation (where you are the majority shareholder)
  • is an independent business venture (not a part of an existing or family business)
  • qualifies as “self-employed” for income tax purposes
  • operates in Ontario on a full-time basis
  • follows government rules for operating a business

How to apply

The program is NOW OPEN. To prepare your application:

  1. Check to see if you are eligible for the program
  2. Contact a business consultant to assist with business planning, support and guidance throughout the application process: 519-371-3232 or email

There may be an earlier deadline for:

  • Some local program providers. Students will be informed by their program provider when preparing their application.
  • Specialist High Skills Major co-op students, who must submit their full application by April 30, 2017.

Check eligibility
Log-in to continue with an existing application

Your local program provider will notify you of your application status over the next few weeks.

Selection process

  • Step 1: the program provider reviews the application, which includes your business plan and cash flow statement
  • Step 2: program provider interviews selected candidates and submits the application to the Ministry
  • Step 3: the program provider contacts successful applicants

Processing time

After receiving an application from the program provider:

  • Within 1 business day: we will confirm we have received the application
  • Within 5 business days: we will confirm the application is complete
  • Within 15 business days: we will make a decision on the application
  • After at least 30 business days:  we will allocate the first payment

After you’re accepted

You will need to:

  • sign an agreement with the government
  • agree to follow program guidelines
  • verify you’ve registered the business name
  • provide any other required licensing documents
  • open a separate bank account for the business
  • agree to at least one site visit from your business mentor
  • meet your local business mentor every two weeks, with at least 4 structured meetings, over an 8-week period

Guides and resources

Sample: business plan
Full Guide: Summer Company program guidelines
Resource: 2015 Success Stories & Yearbook

Check out Summer Company 2016

Summer Company is a great opportunity for enterprising young people who want to start and run their own summer businesses.
The program provides hands-on business coaching and mentoring from local community business leaders who will work with students to make their Summer Company a reality.

Summer Company Group Photo

From left to right are students Chris Sager, Cai MacDonald, Seamus Furness, Evan Lougheed, Bronwyn Berry, Josh McArthur, Kayla Smith, Kyle Fraser, Logan Wolfe, Madison Broadbent.

Bronwyn Berry

Bronwyn Berry offers one-of-a-kind, hand-painted longboards and skateboards in her business Cold Water Decks. Bronwyn can paint from one of your images or you can choose from one of her original designs.

Phone: 226-974-0438 | Email:

Facebook: Cold Water Decks | Twitter and Instagram: @coldwaterdecks 







Madison Broadbent

Madison Broadbent’s business Feathers and Paws showcases original paintings and drawings of animals native to the Bruce Peninsula. Sold as greeting cards and other gift items, Madison’s artwork is the perfect gift for your friends and family visiting the area! Starting in July, you can find her on Fridays at the Farmers’ Market in Wiarton, and Saturdays at the Farmers’ Market in Lion’s Head.

Phone: 519-534-1316 | Email:

Facebook: Feathers and Paws





Kyle Fraser

Kyle Fraser shoots sport and commercial photography with his business; Kyle Fraser Photography. Whether you want a photo of your child’s next soccer game, an action shot out at the skatepark, or need new photos for your website, give Kyle a call.

Phone: 519-387-0262 | Facebook: Kyle Fraser Photography






Seamus Furness

Stop in and visit Seamus Furness for some delicious ice cream from Moose Scoops. Moose Scoops is located inside Grey Roots along Grey Road 18 just outside Owen Sound. Moose Scoops will be open for business at the end of June.

Facebook: Moose Scoops | Instagram: @moose_scoops 






Evan Lougheed

Evan Lougheed’s business Greenwood Turnings creates unique and custom wooden products. Select from handmade bowls, knitting spools, baby rattles and more. Evan uses high quality, food grade materials so your products can be used for decoration or dinner. Starting in July, you can find Evan on Fridays at the Farmers’ Markets in Wiarton and on Saturdays at the Farmers’ Market in Owen Sound.

Phone: 519-372-1404 | Email:





Cai MacDonald

Cai MacDonald is offering fresh pesticide-free vegetables through Cai’s Country Foods. Cai’s business also includes raising grass-fed pigs that will be available in the Fall. You can find Cai’s produce at Lawson’s in Owen Sound from late June until August.

Email: | Instagram: @caiscountryfoods 






Josh McArthur

Josh McArthur recycles wooden pallets into home décor and furniture with his business Skiddazzle Pallet Designs. You can find Josh every Tuesday at the Keady Market.

Phone: 519-375-6258 | Email:

Facebook and Pinterest: Skiddazzle Pallet Designs






Chris Sager

Chris Sager’s business, Heretic Skateboards manufactures and sells hand-made skateboards using Canadian maple, and finished with original artwork and designs. Apparel is also available.

Email: | Website:

Facebook: Heretic Skateboards | Instagram: @hereticskateboards





Kayla Smith

Tired of cleaning out your vehicle? Kayla Smith has you covered with her business, Kayla’s Mobile Car Care. Kayla’s services will be available by appointment or drop-in at golf courses and business offices in and around Teeswater, Wingham, Kincardine, Walkerton, and Hanover.

Phone: 519-392-6041 | Email:

Facebook: Kayla’s Mobile Car Care





Logan Wolfe

Logan Wolfe’s business, Logan’s Lawncare is offering affordable lawn maintenance and grass cutting services serving Kincardine and area. For exceptional services and a quality cut give Logan a call.

Phone: 226-930-0411

Facebook: Logan’s Lawn Care





For more information about any student businesses or the Summer Company program please contact The Business Enterprise Centre - Owen Sound & Area at 519-371-3232 or

Check out Summer Company 2015

Summer Company is a great opportunity for enterprising young people who want to start and run their own summer businesses.
The program provides hands-on business coaching and mentoring from local community business leaders who will work with students to make their Summer Company a reality.

From left to right are students Charlee Johnston and Chris Polselli; mentors Tyler Beckett, Harley Eden and Candice Newmaster; Business Enterprise Centre employee Jennifer Black, student Kat Healey, mentor Jane Gallagher, student Adela Bezemer-Cleverley, and Business Enterprise Centre Manager Jane Phillips.

Missing are students Keiran Mclay and Zac Coulter, along with mentors Katie Carscadden and Cliff Bilyea.

Kat Healy’s Pasta Made Perfect creates a variety of delicious, fresh handmade pasta. You can find her Saturday’s at the Owen Sound Farmer’s Market, or feel free to contact her at 226 668 4597 or email





Keiran McLay’s business Kones Ice Cream Keiran McLay’s business Kones Ice Cream 10 flavours of London Ice Cream. Bring your whole family to try this tasty, high treat. Kones Ice Cream is located at 556 Bereford Street in Wiarton, at the Farmer’s market. You can contact Keiran at 519-477-0984 or






Charlee Johnston and her business NakdBasics Charlee Johnston and her business NakdBasics offers a collection of massage oils and body sprays. Made with natural ingredients, and in a variety of scents, you’re to sure to find something you’ll love! You can contact Charlee through several convenient ways. Find her on Facebook at, onTwitter at @NakdBasics, through her website:, or by email:




Chris Polselli’s business Christopher’s Creations Chris Polselli’s business Christopher’s Creations creates unique and custom wooden bowls. Select from handmade poplar, maple and oak bowls, or work with him to create your own custom piece! Chris uses high quality, food grade materials, so your bowls can be used for decoration or dinner. You can contact Chris at 519 370 0289 or





Zac Coulter’s business, Top Corner Training – Shooting and Skills Zac Coulter’s business, Top Corner Training – Shooting and Skills offers hockey enthusiasts the opportunity to develop their skills in the summertime season. Zac teaches lessons on a special synthetic ice pad in the former Strathcona school - 1185 4th Ave E, Owen Sound, ON. You can contact Zac at 226 668 6759 and  or follow him @TopCTraining on twitter and @TopCornerTraining on Instagram.




Adela Bezemer-Cleverley’s  business, Morning Flower Designs Adela Bezemer-Cleverley’s  business, Morning Flower Designs creates intricate and beautiful stationary. Whether you need a custom card, or a beautiful journal, Adela can help! You will soon be able to find Adela on Etsy, and can contact her at 226-668-8293 or






Summer Company Participants 2015














Summer Company 2015 participants Keiran McLay, CJ Polselli, Zac Coulter, Kat Healy,
Adela Bezemer-Cleverly and Charlee Johnston.




Summer Company Yearbook




2015 Summer Company Yearbook

The 2015 yearbook celebrates the entrepreneurial commitment to resourcefulness and hard work displayed by each student. The stories showcase a cross-section of the businesses created and highlight the experience of two of the many local mentors who coached and counselled the program participants.

View the Yearbook Online


Business Enterprise Centre

The Business Enterprise Centre173 8th Street East
Owen Sound, Ontario
N4K 1K9
Tel: 519-371-3232
Fax: 519-371-2060

Website by the City of Owen Sound | Website Policy