The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP) celebrated the completion of its 2018 Summer Company Program earlier this week.
The program, a joint initiative between SLEP and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, provided the six participants with a $1,500 grant to launch a business, as well as mentoring and training in various aspects of entrepreneurship over the course of the program.
Upon successful completion of the program, the students were also eligible to receive another $1,500 for a total of $3,000.
On hand to celebrate the achievements of the students were Bill Warden, warden of Lambton County, and SLEP CEO Stephen Thompson, who presented the students with certificates of completion.
The Summer Company Program was open to students in high school, college, or university, between the ages of 15 and 29. This year marked the 19th consecutive season that SLEP has been involved.
This summer’s six businesses included a 3D printing specialist, custom made beehives, a multimedia and live event production company, a snack canteen at the Alvinston ballpark, and produce stands in Plympton-Wyoming, and in Brooke-Alvinston.
Weber said that the life lessons learned by the six participants will help them greatly as they work towards careers, whether that be in their own business or another field.
“I think this will be valuable for these students as they go forward in life,” he said. “Having the experience of operating their own business will help them in so many facets,”
Storm Astolfi served as a student entrepreneurship coach, providing advice on business planning, bookkeeping, and marketing.
“These students were highly motivated and eager to soak up all the information that we could give them to make their businesses a success,” Astolfi said. “We’re proud of what they were able to achieve and can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the future.”
With the wide range in businesses and locations of those businesses spread across the County of Lambton, SLEP’s Thompson said the program provided excellent learning opportunities for the participants, while helping foster business throughout the Sarnia-Lambton area.
“With the goal of making the Sarnia-Lambton area recognized as a premier place to live and work, these students and everyone they come in contact with are able to see the opportunities available here, and we encourage all students to keep the Summer Company in mind for next year and moving forward,” said Thompson.