Canada’s youth (those aged 15-24) face significant employment challenges despite their skills and education. During December 2015, Ontario’s youth unemployment rate held at approximately 13%,more than double the unemployment rate of adults (those aged 25 to 54) and seniors (those aged 55 and older). To earn money and build skills, youth in Ontario are now beginning to turn to entrepreneurship opportunities to circumvent the pressures of finding traditional work placements.
Through the Government of Ontario’s Summer Company program, current students may receive up to $3,000 in Ontario government funding, as well as mentorship to assist startup and operating fees. Entrepreneurial youth in Ontario should leverage these funds and expert guidance as a way to provide themselves with a strong foundation for building a business model that can be sustained into the future.
Related Blog: Youth Entrepreneurship Rates Increasing: GEM Report – Youth are beginning to seek entrepreneurship opportunities ahead of traditional employment. Across the world, a shift towards youth entrepreneurship is having ripple effects which will change the business landscape.
Summer Company: Student Business Funding Details
Summer Company is a program uniquely designed to provide funding and other startup assistance for Ontario’s next generation of innovative entrepreneurs. By helping tomorrow’s leaders gain hands-on experience, the province is working towards a diverse and successful economy that supports youth employment. Summer Company provides up to $3,000 in funding support, in addition to matching young entrepreneurs with mentors in the community. Students can expect to learn about all functions of running their own business – from financial management, to marketing, sales, and relationship management. After the summer, students have the ability to continue operating their business (while also attending classes) or close the business.
Youth Entrepreneurs Eligible for Summer Company Small Business Funding
Youth may be eligible to apply for the Summer Company program if they:
- Attend high school or post-secondary institution;
- Reside in Ontario;
- Maintain Canadian citizenship;
- Are 15-29 years old;
- Have not participated in Summer Company before;
- Are not currently operating a business;
- Are not employed or in class for more than 12 hours per week during summer; and
- Have plans to return to school upon program completion.
Are You Eligible for Summer Company? The Government of Ontario has a free online eligibility checklist to help youth determine if Summer Company is the right program for them. If you’re considering application for Summer Company, please use the tool to ensure yout eligibility.
Business Types Eligible for Summer Company Startup Grants
Almost all types of businesses will be deemed eligible through Summer Company. In order to receive funding and other support from this program, entrepreneurs must ensure that their business is:
- A sole proprietorship or corporation (entrepreneur must be the majority shareholder);
- Independent from any other business – cannot be an existing or family business;
- Operating full-time in Ontario; and
- Maintaining all government rules and laws for operating a business.
Apply for Summer Company Ontario Government Funding
Eligible students who are interested in applying to the Summer Company program may apply to the program online from January 25, 2016 to May 6, 2016.
To apply for the Summer Company program, interested students must:
- Ensure their eligibility for the program via Ontario’s online checklist;
- Complete the Summer Company online application inquiry;
- Select their local service provider;
- Assign a password to their online account; and
- Submit the application inquiry with their service provider information.