About Summer Company
The Summer Company program, funded by the Ontario government, has been helping students, aged 15 to 29, start and run their own businesses since 2001. As a Summer Company entrepreneur, participants receive hands-on business mentoring from local business leaders and up to $3,000 to make their dream job a reality.
If you’ve got a winning idea for starting a new business and are a student who is not afraid of hard work, you should consider applying to the Summer Company program – a great opportunity for enterprising young people who want to be their own BOSS! The program provides hands-on business coaching and mentoring from local community business leaders who will work with you to make your Summer Company a reality.
If your application is accepted, you will be eligible to receive an upfront award of up to $1,500 to put toward start-up costs and up to $1,500 upon successful completion of the program. Successful completion requires that you:
· Implement your project substantially in accordance with the business plan;
· Participate in coaching and training;
· Meet with local business mentors as specified;
· Provide documents related to the experience and business operations as required in the guidelines, and
· Meet all program requirements for establishing and operating the business
Intake is currently closed!
You’re eligible to participate if you’re:
· A student between 15 and 29 years old as of April 30, 2022 (a parent or guardian must sign the application for applicants under 18)
· Starting a new business (if you’re unsure, contact your program provider)
· Attending school and returning to school in the fall (this includes full-time, part-time, homeschooling, e-learning, distance learning, apprenticeships, trade schools, etc.)
· A resident of Ontario
· A Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
· Not working at another job or attending school for more than 12 hours per week during the duration of the program
· Following the Canada Revenue Agency definition of being self-employed
· Able to work over the summer program period:
· A minimum of 280 hours if you’re a high school student
· A minimum of 420 hours if you’re a post-secondary student
· We may approve exceptions
· You must meet all of the above requirements
· You’re not eligible if you’ve received funding from Summer Company in the past
Almost any type of business is eligible, as long as it:
· Is a sole proprietorship or a corporation where you (the applicant) will be the majority shareholder
· Is an independent business venture
· Is a new business, not previously registered or operated on an on-going basis
· Operates at arm’s length from family business ventures
· Operates in Ontario
· Operates full-time as defined in the business plan
· Follows government rules and regulations for operating a business
· Businesses must meet all of the above requirements
These types of businesses are not eligible for funding:
· Incorporated businesses that are controlled directly or indirectly by a person who would not be eligible for a Summer Company award
· Business ventures that are subsidiaries or divisions of an existing business
· Business ventures that are continuations of existing commercial endeavours
· Commissioned sales
· Multi-level marketing ventures
· Single events such as a theatrical production, a DJ gig, a music concert, a dance/party event, a fundraiser, a sporting tournament, etc.
· Businesses that are strictly pay-per-click
· 1-900 businesses
The program gives students the full experience of running their own business. Note that:
· The program provider may, at its discretion, determine that a particular business is ineligible for the Summer Company program
· Online businesses are acceptable, but there must be face-to-face opportunities to market and sell your product
· App and tech businesses must be market ready and must generate sales by the end of the summer
· If you plan to run a business that requires certification, you’ll need to show proof to your program provider. If you’re unsure about certification obligations, ask your program provider. Certification examples include:
· Food handling certification for businesses that produce and/or sell food
· National Life Saving certification for businesses that offer swimming lessons
· Canada Professional Fitness Certification (CanFitPro) for businesses that offer personal fitness training
· Licences for businesses that specialize in drone photography
Once approved, you’ll be required to:
· Sign a Letter of Agreement with the program provider describing each party’s rights and responsibilities (a parent or guardian Must sign the agreement for applicants under 18)
· Sign a Release and Consent form (a parent or guardian must sign the form for participants under 18)
· Show your business name registration and any required licensing documents to your program provider for verification
· Open and operate a bank account for the business
· Spend your first payment within the first 30 days
· Operate your business over the summer program period, according to your business plan and cash flow, for:
· a minimum of 280 hours if you are a high school student
· a minimum of 420 hours if you are a post-secondary student
· Meet with your local program provider and mentors for a minimum of four meetings to review and track your progress
· Agree to one site visit by the program provider
· Maintain appropriate business records of income and expenditures including receipts
· Participate in business training with your program provider
To receive the second payment (up to $1,500), you need to:
· Meet your requirements to participate (listed above)
· Participate in an exit interview at the end of the summer
· Provide the following to your program provider for review, in a professional and business-like format:
· a cash flow record of your business operations
· copies of all your bank statements
· copies of all business receipts and invoices organized to show that you used the first payment for start-up costs
· Submit a signed confirmation that you’re returning to school
· Complete the anonymous online participant survey
If you don’t successfully complete the program, you will not receive the second payment and you may be asked to reimburse the first payment.
If you met all the requirements to complete the program but did not spend the full first payment within 30 days, the difference will be deducted from your second payment.
You may decide to start and/or continue your business while you’re in school, but for the purpose of the program’s administration, business operations can start no earlier than April 1 and must end by Labour Day.
The award is taxable under the Canada and Ontario Income Tax Acts. A T4A slip will be issued to the recipient of the award.
Meet the 2022 Summer Company Participants
Amy Van Nest – Custom Creations by Amy
Custom Creations by Amy makes home décor and unique gifts for celebrating big occasions. Whether it’s a birth stat elephant, wedding hangers, ceramic coasters or wooden signs, Amy makes them by hand and individualized.
Ben Tripp – HulFlo
HulFlo is a boat dryer designed to dry out the inside of high-performance watercrafts such as rowing shells, sailboats and paddle boards to reduce internal humidity preventing material breakdown.
Claire Brackenbury – Heartfelt Cards
Heartfelt Cards creates whimsical felted designs made from colourful raw wool with the option to customize. 15% of sales go to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to help fund mental health research and support resources.
David Li – Riftium
Riftium is Kingston’s newest custom website company which implements and deploys modern websites for local businesses. Sites are coded from scratch, giving clients maximum flexibility for their site design.
Dax Tompkins – R&D Lawn Care
R&D Lawn Care provides lawn care, deck sanding/washing/staining and landscaping services to the Greater Kingston Area. Owned and operated by two local Queen’s students providing quality services locally.
Imogen Lawford-Wickham – FireScape
FireScape, programmed and developed by Imogen, is a mobile app designed to mitigate fires hazards and reduce their damage
Jake Moodie – Gigli Inc.
Gigli is an online marketplace platform that enables homeowners to easily hire a student to complete their on-demand household gigs. Post a gig that you need help with, accept your favourite offer and let the student handle the rest.
Kayleigh Treverton – Kayleigh Treverton
Kayleigh Treverton is Kingston’s newest marketing agent to help small businesses increase their digital presence. She specializes in digital content, videos, events and social media marketing.
Mike Pierce – OCT Tutorting Company
OCT Tutoring company is working towards making test preparation more affordable for students. Mike is ready to use his background as a teacher and medical student to help you in achieving your study goals.
Seham Kettaneh – Taita’s
Taita’s is a condiments company inspired by Canada’s multicultural mosaic. Taita’s hopes to give cultural generational recipes some well-deserved attention.