“Wow, the services you offer at the Halton Region Small Business Centre are amazing!” We often hear that comment from our clients during our first meeting. The one-on-one consultation services we offer help entrepreneurs with first steps, resources and research so they can gain confidence and knowledge through the first steps of start up. They know they are no longer alone. Opening a business can be overwhelming and a life changing experience. It is a journey that is well worth taking, but only if you have prepared for the journey and can survive against the elements that will stand in your way. Planning and support will definitely help you work towards starting and running a successful business.
What a lot of people don’t know is that the Halton Region Small Business Centre also offers services designed specifically for young entrepreneurs. In January we were invited by Krista LoCicero, Business Teacher at Abbey ParkHigh School, to participate in the Venture Showcase. The students worked for several months to perfect their business plans. At the trade show they displayed their plans along with marketing materials and even products. The whole process was amazing. As invited judges, it was our task to speak to each student and ask questions about their business. The school provided us with iPads to collect our comments so that they could be shared with the students. It was truly amazing to watch the students answer the questions with confidence and professionalism. During the day I could not help but be proud and honoured to be part of the event. The whole process teaches students about future options and helps to develop an awareness of our economy and how important small business is to our future.
Here’s an overview of the young entrepreneur programs offered by the Halton Region Small Business Centre:
Secondary School Business Plan Competition
The Business Plan Competition gives Halton secondary school students an excellent opportunity to explore the world of entrepreneurship. Students can submit a business plan for a real business they intend to start or just an idea for one. Entries can be submitted by individual students or a group with a maximum of 3 students. The entries will be judged by a panel of program sponsors and business leaders. Each school can enter a maximum of five business plans. An award evening takes place in June with the winning business plans being awarded with cash prizes.
Applications for Summer Company 2012 are now being accepted with an application deadline of May 7, 2012, or sooner if the program reaches capacity. The program provides hands-on business training and mentoring to help enterprising students between the ages of 15-29 start and run their own summer business. Successful applicants receive up to $1,500 in the spring to help with business start-up costs, and up to $1,500 in the fall upon successful completion of their Summer Company experience.
The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national charity providing pre-launch coaching, business resources, start up financing and mentoring to help young entrepreneurs start a successful business. Aimed at young people who are 18 to 34 and have a business idea, CYBF is dedicated to supporting young entrepreneurs throughout their entrepreneurial journey. They provide start-up financing of up to $15,000 and additional financing is available through other CYBF services for a total of up to $45,000.
The Halton Region Small Business Centre is here to help. Learn more about our programs for young entrepreneurs. If you would like us to be a part of your event or make a presentation please give us a call. Also, check out our schedule of upcoming seminars. Contact us at 1-866-442-5866, www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @haltonecdev and Facebook at www.facebook.com/HaltonSBEC.