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Summer Company

Training, Mentoring &

Funding Opportunity

A training program designed to guide students aged 15-29
in starting their own summer business with grant assistance.

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Registration for the Summer Company Program

is now open for the 2024!

Deadline to apply is May 17, 2024. Apply now, here.

Are you interested in applying for the Summer Company Program but not sure what your business could be? Checkout these business ideas!

Recent Grant Award Recipients

2023 Poster of Summer Company Participants


Congratulations to Daniel Pomery of 3D Directions, Chalk River (3D printing), Grace Ding of Aster’s Boutique, Deep River (wire wrap jewelry and sewing repairs), Arden Miller of Arden Miller Studios, Deep River (custom paintings and hand painted accessories), Amber Gilchrist of Charms and Trinkets, Pembroke (pottery) and Logan Stuart of Viking Metal Works, Eganville

(Junior blacksmith). All Summer Company participants are high school students returning to school in the fall.


"Because of Summer Company's assistance, I have a valuable head start in the career that I want to pursue in the future - becoming a professional artist.”

- Arden 

“Starting a business without fear of high start-up costs has allowed me to run a shop without the risks I would have faced. Through the Summer Company Program, I have been able to turn my passions into my job.”

- Grace

"My experience with the program has been great, mainly because of the networking. I've been able to meet more business people in the area."

- Dorian

Program Details

How it works

Through the Summer Company program, participants receive:

  • start-up money to kick-off a new summer business

  • advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running

Learning how to run your own student business is one of the best summer jobs you can have. You get to be your own boss while learning what it takes to manage a business. Sales, marketing, bookkeeping, customer relationship management and networking are just a few of the highly useful skills you’ll develop.


You could be eligible, if you:

  • attend high school, college or university

  • live in Ontario

  • are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

  • are between 15-29 years old (if under 18: a parent or guardian must sign the agreement for the applicant)

  • are not already running a registered business

  • are not working at another job or going to school for more than 12 hours a week during the program

  • are returning to school after the program ends

You cannot apply again, if you have received a Summer Company grant in the past.

Award amount

Maximum award: $3,000
Successful Summer Company applicants get:

  • up to $1,500 up front to help with start-up costs

  • up to $1,500 when you successfully complete the program requirements

Date & hours

Start date: usually June or July, depending on when the semester ends.
End date: Labour Day (but you can choose to keep running your summer business while in school).

Over the summer program period, you must be prepared to commit:

  • a minimum of 280 hours for high school students

  • a minimum of 420 hours for post-secondary students

What kind of business

You can choose to start almost any type of business, as long as it:

  • is a sole proprietorship or corporation (where you are the majority shareholder)

  • is an independent business venture (not a part of an existing or family business)

  • qualifies as “self-employed” for income tax purposes

  • operates in Ontario on a full-time basis

  • follows government rules for operating a business

Learn more about self-employed workers (Canada Revenue Agency).

How you're approved

  1. Your selected program provider will contact you and will ask you to submit an application, which includes a business plan and cash flow. Your program provider will help you with your application, if required.

  2. Your program provider will review your application.

  3. If your application meets the program’s requirements, your program provider will invite you for an interview.

  4. After the interview, your program provider will let you know if you’ve been approved to participate in the program.

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Summer Company

Many dedicated youth entrepreneurs have participated in Summer Company training and earned grants over the 25 years ERC has been serving the region! 

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