Summer Company in Bruce County 2012 held its Wrap-Up last week in Port Elgin in the Rotary Hall in the Plex. With friends and family and mentor, the students mixed and mingled and sat down to some tasty food prepared by Harrigan’s 100 Mile Food Market . Corrina of Serda Digital Marketing was unfortunately unable to attend.
After eating, Jill Roote, Program Manager, thanked the mentors and the family and friends who supported the young entrepreneurs. The mentors all spoke about their own personal enjoyment of helping younger people overcome new challenges. Jill then went on to ask a series of questions to each of the students, pertaining to their achievements and challenges.
Devan, of Dynamic Dance and Fitness Studio, felt her greatest achievement was taking all the lessons she learn in college and applying them in the real world. She was proud that she focused on ensuring each client made progress towards their fitness goals. In doing things differently, she would ensure that she had her marketing tasks complete before she ran her courses. “I tried to do everything at once and it was too rushed”, she said.
Derrick, of Derrick’s Smoked Fish, said he can now fillet a fish like a top chef. His big achievement was raking it in at the Pow Wow. His biggest challenge was transportation. He did not have reliable transportation to make it to the various markets in Bruce County. However, he felt he did pretty good selling his product only at Cape Croker.
Laura, of Fabulous Fish, felt that she gained a lot of self-confidence and independence from her mom. “This was my first job other than babysitting. As I only have a G1 license, I needed my mom to come to the markets with me, and she would help me out. But through the course of the summer, I found it easier to put myself out there and sell my fish by myself.”
Luke, of Forever Deck Company, was very proud of creating a company that can last. “It took some time to get going, but I feel that this is something I could do next summer.” He felt that his biggest mistake was not paying attention to his marketing soon enough. “I really didn’t get all my marketing material soon enough. I was relying on the trade-show too much. I should have printed my flyers earlier”
Tyce, of Lavalley t’s, was happy that he learned how to get his art on t-shirts. Jill made note that of all the kids, Tyce had to work hard to re-adjust his business plan, because his found a cheaper method of imprinting the shirts himself, compared to his original concept of out-sourcing the imprinting.
Connor, of the Computer Shoppe and Repair, was happy to develop his communications skills. “I really had to work hard to talk to customers in their own language, and at their level of technical skills.” He wished that he met the mentors before he went through his start-up stage.
When asked who is considering entrepreneurship as a career, Connor and Devan have plans to keep their company going at a limited capacity while away at school. Tyce wants to keep his momentum by learning how to do silk screening, instead of iron on patches. Luke is planning on running his company in summer, even after he lands a teaching job. While Derrick sees entrepreneurship in his future, his summer company definitely must end with summer– he needs fresh leaves to naturally smoke his fish. “Oh, and I don’t think I can bring the smoker to business college.”, he said with a grin.
Only Laura felt that maybe entrepreneurship was not for her. While she enjoyed the experience, there is a lot of things to do and plan. Also, she worked much more than 35 hours a week. Jill admitted that it is common amongst entrepreneurs too put in more hours than employed people. Devan said she did too, but she enjoyed the freedom of making her own decisions and reaping the rewards of her hard work. Laura rebutted “with all those hours, I didn’t even make 5 bucks an hour”. Connor with his long hours in his downtown store quipped “I wish I had made that much per hour”.
And this is what Summer Company is meant to be, a chance to experience of all the highs and lows of building a company out of an idea. Although program has a lot of educational aspect, it is still giving these students the opportunity to experience the real world of business. There is no magic formula for financial success, but at the end of the program, all young entrepreneurs agreed that they learned a lot and enjoyed the entire experience.
Filed under: Business, Education, Entrepreneurs, Start Up, Summer Company | Tagged: aboriginal, business owners, entrepreneur, SSBEC, start business, students, Summer Company, summer jobs, youth | Leave a Comment »