In May, Braden Usher, 18, knew he had the summer to think about what he wanted to do after finishing high school.
Like thousands of other students in Ontario, he knew looking for a summer job wasnt going to be easy.
So, the recent Collingwood Collegiate Institute graduate created his own.
Usher had heard about the provincial government-funded Summer Company through a friend. And after contacting the office and applying through the South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre, he found his start.
I had a couple of business ideas, said Usher, but settled on a small personal delivery service.
This is when the Braden Usher Delivery (BUD.) service was born.
He admits the business started off slowly. He spent the first week distributing fliers to potential customers, but now its picking up.
He has done everything from quick fast food delivery runs to dropping off personal watercraft for his clients.
Im learning things here that I never heard of in high school, said Usher.
The self-employment program has had a fairly long and successful life.
We started offering the program to local youth in 2008 and have since helped to launch 52 Summer Company businesses, said South Georgian Bay SBEC co-ordinator Gillian Fairley.
The program is an opportunity for youth to look into entrepreneurship while being supported by training, mentorship and some seed funding.
Eight young entrepreneurs from the South Georgian Bay area were selected with businesses ranging from Ushers delivery service, to a fashion designer, services in culinary arts, media, music, cleaning, and maintenance.
For most this is their first time running a business. In fact, some students look just to see what service or skill they have that is marketable.
Jayden Walker took a different tact.
The 18-year-old University of Toronto student utilized her experience in videography, photography and social media to open up Vizable Consulting.
I had some experience producing work through a part-time job that I had, but this a really great learning experience, said Walker. Theres a lot more paper work involved when you start out I discovered, she said, but when I am working on my marketing strategy I can look back as see what I had planned and work with adapting that. Its really good to have that base.
When the students enter the project they have to develop a business plan with a rudimentary budget. Utilizing the mentors available to the program the young business people get to flesh out their operating procedures before they can set up shop. They are also given money to cover the cost of start-up including marketing materials and supplies.
The former Meaford area-high school student remembers seeing posters for the program when she was at school, but circumstances prevented her letting from taking advantage the chance to run her own business.
Starting a business can be complicated and a lot of hard work, but Walker thinks that her business is something that she can take with her when she goes back to university.
This is something that you get out what you put in, said Walker. If you just take it as a casual experience then thats what youre going to get.
The lesson then is work hard and you will be rewarded.
If you put the hard work in you are going to get something, either a successful business or a really good learning experience, Walker said.
2015 Summer Company Businesses
Braden Usher – Braden Usher Delivery
- Braden Usher Delivery (BUD.) offers personal delivery service for any product large or small. Visit www.budelivery.ca
Cameron Clegg GBMP Recording Studio
- GBMP (Georgian Bay Music Place) Recording Studio is a studio that offers professional, reasonable priced recording services. Www,gbmpstudio.com
Danielle Moloughney – Delectable Desserts by Danielle
- Delectable Desserts by Danielle is a business specializing in gluten-free and baked goods made with healthier ingredients. Visit her table at the Collingwood weekly Farmers Market. www.delectabledessertsbydanielle.com
Harriet Kitchen Hatta
- Fun, functional and fashionable hand-made headbands and neck warmers for sports enthusiasts. Check out the website www.howdoyouhatta.com.
Jayden Walker Vizible Consulting
- Vizible Consulting helps small businesses improve their websites and social media to promote their business more effectively and connect with their customers. www.vizibleconsulting.com
Alexandra Taggart Making it Shine
- Making it Shine provides friendly professional residential and commercial cleaning services. www.makingitshine.ca
Maks Andrejczuk – Main End
- Main End is a film and media production company dedicated to providing professional, creative and personable video services at affordable prices. firstname.lastname@example.org?
Andrew Liauba Lubas Maintenance
- Lubas Maintenance provides basic maintenance including pressure washing and staining decks, indoor cleaning and grass cutting. 705-725-2196