Program Supports Young Entrepreneurs Start Their First Business

Kingston, Ontario – March 12, 2024 – Kingston Economic Development is inviting students aged 15 to 29 to embark on their entrepreneurial journey by starting and managing their own businesses this summer by applying for the Summer Company program.

“Summer Company is a program that gives us the opportunity to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in our community. We identify these students who are interested in entrepreneurship, who want to explore and find out if there is a potential career opportunity for them in the future as entrepreneurs. This is why we love this program. And this is what drives us every day to come and work to support this next generation of founders,” says Norman Musengimana, Business Development Manager – Start-ups & Entrepreneurship, Kingston Economic Development.

Successful candidates will receive funding of up to $3,000, along with practical business training and guidance from local business leaders, facilitating the transformation of their entrepreneurial aspirations into tangible ventures. Applications for the Summer Company program are currently being accepted until May 17. Early intake applications for post-secondary students are due on April 1, 2024.

“The Summer Company program has taught my son powerful business, life and leadership skills that are not taught in school. The program encouraged him to dream, to develop a vision, to plan it out, and to bring that vision to life. He has built a revenue-generating business from just an idea he hatched eight months ago. Through Summer Company, he has gained firsthand experience in business planning, importing, construction, zoning, insurance, digital marketing, customer service, and most importantly, investing in himself, all before reaching the age of 18. Overwhelmingly positive customer feedback has given him a new sense of self-confidence and motivation that will continue to drive him in the future. Thanks to Summer Company and its mentors, my son can look back and point to a successful personal accomplishment. What a great way to support young entrepreneurs in our community,” says Cal Bowry, Father of a 2023 Summer Company Participant.

Throughout the summer, participants of the Summer Company program will receive coaching and training from experienced business mentors, participate in meetings with local business leaders and complete all program requirements for establishing and operating their business.

“During the business bootcamp, I had the privilege to connect with young entrepreneurs and learn about their unique businesses,” says Mason Rice, Founder of Rice Photography and 2023 Summer Company Participant. “Interacting with them was valuable, as it broadened my perspective and allowed room for future collaboration. Additionally, I gained practical sales skills and marketing strategies that I plan on implementing soon. I am excited to apply my knowledge and take my photography business to the next level!”

Kingston Economic Development is hosting a virtual information session on March 21 and an in-person information session on April 11 to support students with the application process as well as answer any questions they might have.

‘’Summer Company is designed to be a stepping stone to an entrepreneurial career. It provides an environment to try at entrepreneurship, with the protection of a safety net. Through my experience coordinating the program, the bonds made between the participants and their mentors last forever. With the Summer Company program, the funding is the least of what you get out of it. I wish I knew about the program when I was in high school.’’ Simon Denford, Business Programs & Community Outreach Coordinator, Kingston Economic Development.

For more information on how to apply, learn about past participants and to register for the information sessions, visit

Media Contact
Nour Mazloum
Marketing & Communications Manager
Kingston Economic Development Corporation