Helping student entrepreneurs start their own Summer Company

Youth_GroupEvery year, the Halton Region Small Business Centre coordinates and delivers the Summer Company Program on behalf of the Province of Ontario. The Summer Company Program provides youth from the ages of 15 – 29 that are enrolled in high school or post-secondary school an opportunity to experience what it is like to live the life of an entrepreneur and open their own business.

During the summer break, students that are accepted into the program receive up to $1,500 of financial support to help with start-up costs as well as 12 hours of training and mentoring with business centre staff and local business professionals. Upon successful completion of the program requirements, students are then eligible to receive an additional $1,500 award.

These supports give students an opportunity to experience entrepreneurship first hand as well as develop personal and professional business skills that will be beneficial throughout their careers.  Some students have continued to operate their businesses part-time during the school year and some have continued to develop their businesses into full time careers upon graduation.

This is the sixteenth year that the Halton Small Business Centre has delivered this successful program in partnership with the Provincial Government.  Over this period, the Summer Company Program has helped many students develop and launch successful summer businesses.

The application deadline for the program is Friday, May 6, 2016. To apply, please visit the Summer Company website to complete the online application process. There are a limited number of spaces for the program and it is recommended that you apply as early as possible.

For more information about Halton Region’s Small Business Centre resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, visiting us online at, by email at or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.


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Top things to consider when hiring your first employee

Composite image of rear view of businesswoman

If you are hiring your first employee congratulations!  This is a big step for your small business.   As a new employer you must become fully aware of all of your legal obligations to Revenue Canada and conform to Employment Standards legislation.

Legal obligations

Before you get started, it is good to learn about your legal obligations as an employer. We recommend that you review the information on the following websites and then meet with one of our business consultants to go over the information. 

  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

Payroll Number 1-800-959-5525 Continue reading

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National Volunteer Week – Thanking Our local professionals

National Volunteer Week.National Volunteer Week (April 10 – 16) is a time to recognize, celebrate and thank the millions of volunteers across Canada who generously donate their time and energy.  Volunteers are people from all walks of life with a common desire to make a difference in their community and personal life by giving their time and expertise.

The theme for National Volunteer Week 2016 is Volunteers are the Roots of Strong Communities.

Halton Region Small Business Centre would like to thank the many business professionals who volunteer in our Access to Professionals Program, offering guidance and support to new entrepreneurs and businesses in Halton.  Professionals in our group include lawyers and accountants, marketing, human resources, insurance, website, e-business experts and business coaches. Continue reading

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Getting ready for tax season – three steps to simplify filing your taxes

Tax return

The deadline for filing 2015 income tax is approaching quickly. Self-employed individuals will spend the coming weeks sorting through their paperwork to make sense of their profit and loss. Many will have kept great records using electronic tools or diligently in file folders; others will be sifting through the shoebox of papers vowing to do better next year.

We have put together three reminders to help you get started with preparing to report your self-employment income for 2015.

  1. What to declare?

The Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Revenue has published a helpful document this year to remind individuals that many forms of income count as self-employment income on their tax return. It lists sources including driving services (such as those in the sharing economy), cleaning service and renting space in a home, amongst others. Many of these types of income will also have related expenses. Continue reading

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Partnership considerations and the three partnership structures

Partnership consultation

When clients visit the SBEC, a common topic that comes up as a starting point is the various types of business structures. Another layer can be added to this question when discussing partnerships and the different types of partnership business structures. In Canada there are three types of business partnership structures.

This post will identify the three types of partnership structures and their possible applications.

  1. General partnership: 

This is the most basic partnership structure.  In its most basic form it is two or more individuals (sole proprietor’s) doing business under one trade name. All partners share business liabilities and are able to distribute profits based on an agreement. The General partnership structure has the same strengths and weaknesses of a Sole Proprietorship, only it has more than one individual participating. Learn more about general partnerships. Continue reading

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Developing a business idea: The importance of putting thoughts on paper

putting ideas on paper

Taking a business idea and turning it into reality can be a complicated task. When you are first starting to develop your idea, try putting your thoughts on paper. The Halton Small business Centre has developed a worksheet to help you to define your business idea by asking the following questions:

  • What is your vision?
    • Describe in detail the idea you wish to develop and be clear, specific and to the point. You should be able to clearly communicate your idea with others if the need arises.
  • Who will buy your product?
    • Define your target audience. Ask yourself, how old are they, where do they live, how much money do they make, what are their interests, how will they know you exist?
    • Do some research – make sure you can back up your findings with some facts.
  • How much money will you need to start the business?
    • It is important to look at the different costs associated with your business idea to determine whether or not the idea is even feasible. Be specific. If you can’t afford to start the business on your own, you may also want to determine how much additional money you need and the way in which you will obtain it.
  • How much money will you need to earn to meet your personal financial needs?
    • It is important to determine your business financial goals and compare them with your expenses. Ensure these goals are realistic. How much money will you need to earn in order to pay your business expenses and live comfortably?

Continue reading

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The Halton Region Small Business Centre celebrates International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day was Tuesday, March 8, 2016.  The Halton Region Small Business Centre celebrated by hosting an event on Wednesday, March 9, specifically directed to female entrepreneurs.

Connect, Teach, Inspire, the 2016 theme for our event, encouraged participants to network, build connections, share stories and meet other small business owners in the community. The event also featured inspiring guest speakers and an interactive workshop.

  • Opening speaker, Carolyne Rashford, a professional speaker and coach, spoke on the power of persistence and limitless thinking and how every decision makes a difference.
  • The event also included an interactive workshop – Invisible to Invincible by Suzanne Longstreet, which focused on coaching women entrepreneurs to discover their power and connect with their passion to succeed and prosper while working smarter, not harder.
  • The event also included two local spotlight stories from female clients of the Halton Region Small Business Centre and plenty of networking opportunity.

We have captured some photos from our event.

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Thank you to everyone who attended, presented and networked at our Women’s Day event.  We can’t wait until next year to do it all again!

For more information on all the services offered by the Halton Region Small Business Centre, please visit our website

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