I really wanted to give an insider's perspective on how you can participate in Summer Company, as it gives the highest amount of start-up money that I have found for new businesses (trust me, I have researched a lot after the program). It is perfect for those who have a business idea that can be implemented in a short time. You can find the Summer Company online application here.
It all began in career's class when the teacher essentially forced us to sign up.
But first, a little bit about Summer Company.
It is a program created by the government of Ontario and hosted by another institution. I picked Ryerson Univerity because that was the one my career's teacher recommended. You can find the entire list here. Unfortunately, it is only for students ages 15-29 and you must be a returning student in the fall. If you don't fall into that age group, please share this post with someone who does. It is a great summer job option for high school students, undergrads and even graduate students. You can read a more in-depth description of the program on the government of Ontario's website. To sum it all up, if you qualify and are accepted into the program, you get $3000 in total.
Well, here is what I did to get in.
1. I completed the eligibility checklist, which I've already linked above as the online application.
2. I completed a business plan. Now, it is not as daunting as it seems. If you want, here is a resource I've used in the past to formulate mine. This is essentially the bones of your business. It is also the application to see if your business is viable and can be implemented for the duration of the program. Please, please do some research. The business plan requires you to think about your target market, the price as well as a budget and cash flow.
3. I found a name that wasn't taken, that summed up my business and that I liked. Fun fact: The original name for Thoughtfully Handmade was Traditionally Handmade! I wanted a name that had handmade in it and an adverb that accurately described how I made it. "Traditionally" seemed to fit at the time because I wasn't embossing anything or using die cuts (and I still don't). However, "thoughtfully" better describes my business and I made the switch last year.
4. I competed in Make Your Pitch, another contest for young entrepreneurs, which helped because it forced me to have a coherent idea for what I wanted to do. Do not complete the Summer Company application unless you have a solid base to build upon.
5. I submitted my application early. This allowed the assessors to read over my application and advise me on which areas of my business plan needed improvement. This was integral to my successful application. Since I got feedback, I was able to improve my application and in the end, create a strong foundation to build my business upon. If I did not get this feedback, I am certain that I wouldn't have gotten in, as I had never written a business plan before this!
Now that you've read how I got in, I thought I'd put a bit of bonus advice for the program.
Tip #1: Take advantage
Truly learn from the workshops provided and implement what they teach into your business. After all, that's why they're there!
Tip #2: Take it seriously
I regret not taking it seriously in 2016. I thought after that summer, I would never continue my business. Well, I was definitely wrong! I fell in love with the idea of being my own boss and paying myself. So my plea to you: don't blow all the money on an iPad or something frivolous. Be smart with the money you are given because once you do the program, you can't do it again.
Well, that about wraps it up! Please share this with anyone that would be interested in participating or pin it using the buttons on the right! Summer Company has been a great addition to my life and my résumé. I'm sure it can also add value to your life.
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