July 21, 2024

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Abby Rose was in good company at the civic complex main concourse level late on Thursday morning.

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Her Rose Arts & Design display was at one of the tables, one of seven young entrepreneurs and small businesses being featured at the Summer Company launch.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Rose, 15 – and about to embark on her first-ever summer job.

Let the record show that her first employment experience is through her own small business, bolstered by Summer Company, for youth and adults age 15-29, and who apply for funding from the Government of Ontario. Rose, a student at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School, is an accomplished young artist, and, soon, she’ll be able to monetize her skills.

“Well, I’m anticipating my first sale soon – hopefully,” Rose said.

Across the hall was Abdul Khan’s setup for his entrepreneurial venture, Arks Cards, which features Pokemon cards and sports cards. Khan, 17, just finished Grade 11 at Holy Trinity and explained he’s been a collector going way back to Grade 5.

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Summer Company launch
Abdul Khan, a 17-year-old entrepreneur at the Summer Company launch event. Photo on Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Cornwall, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network Photo by Todd Hambleton /Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder

“With Summer Company funding it’s an opportunity for growth and to go to more high-end cards,” Khan said.

Sydney Smith, programs administrator with the Cornwall SDG Business Enterprise Centre, said Summer Company help students with startup money to kick off a new summer business, and that the program includes advice and mentorship from the centre and local business leaders.

Students who are accepted into the program will receive up to $1,500 up front to help with startup costs. An additional $1,500 will be available for participants who successfully complete the program requirements by the end of the summer. In total, successful Summer Company participants will receive up to $3,000 in grant awards.

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Summer Company launch
Young entrepreneur Dolev Klein Harari speaks with Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry MP Eric Duncan and SDSG MPP Nolan Quinn at the Summer Company launch event. Photo on Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Cornwall, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network Photo by Todd Hambleton /Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder

At the unveiling Thursday, visitors included Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry MP Eric Duncan, SDSG MPP Nolan Quinn and other dignitaries.

“I think (the program) is extremely valuable and important,” said Quinn, owner of the Dairy Queen in Cornwall. “I started by working (at DQ) and I knew at a young age I wanted to own the business. . . so to see these kids here, the excitement on their faces because they’re starting a small business – it warms my heart.”

Quinn’s advice? Understand and embrace the fact small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and be aware of the tremendous benefits of small-business ownership, but also the sacrifices that go into a company being successful.

“It’s hard work, and some days will be better than others,” Quinn said. “But especially for students, at this age, running a business, they’ll learn so much.”

Summer Company launch
Young entrepreneurs with dignitaries Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry MP Eric Duncan (left) and SDSG MPP Nolan Quinn (right) at the Summer Company launch event. Photo on Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Cornwall, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network Photo by Todd Hambleton /Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder

Other businesses showcased Thursday are as follows: Pasrel Clean Services (Pascale Wabo Nana); The Button Gallery (Lillian Reid); lowKey Tech (Dolev Klein Harari); Basketeria (Fajr Shamshad Gondal); and, CultiveAide (Nicolle Delgado).

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