The pressure is on for youth businesses
Summer Company gives Huron teens kick start
Story and photo by Casey Lessard
It’s not easy getting a small business off the ground – and keeping it going – but Huron County youth are getting a hand with the Summer Company program. The entrepreneurship program run by the Huron Business Enterprise Centre and funded by the Ontario government’s Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship gives a $1,500 grant for startup expenses for youth aged 15-29, and another $1,500 upon completion of the program.
Exeter resident Dave Geoffrey, 18, is finishing high school this month, and decided to apply for the program after a representative of the small business centre visited South Huron District High School.
“It kind of stuck in my head,” he says, noting he made a business plan after the visit. “I’ve been doing pressure washing for a couple of years now on the side. I had some experience with my dad’s construction company and thought I’d go solo.”
His business South Huron Pressure Washing offers pressure washing services for homes, decks, driveways, fences, storefronts and industrial spaces, etc. His first job was last month, and he has done three jobs since. He currently has eight jobs on his schedule.
“You make your own hours,” he says of the benefits of working for himself. “I can work as much as I want to and go out with my friends when I want.
“A lot of kids take on low-end jobs, so it’s different to have a high-end job where you’re running your own business like an adult.
The business part is where he leans on the help of the business centre.
“Maintaining a budget, making sure my financial stuff is in place. It’s kind of like doing homework for school. It’s a bit challenging, but it’s fun.”
Plus, the government funding helps.
“I got a lot of stuff paid for through this program. And they’re always there to help you if you need it.”
To learn more about Summer Company, visit www.smallbusinesshuron.ca.
Exeter teen Brad Keys also received funding from the program. To learn more about his 3D video games, visit www.retralevolution.com.
South Huron Pressure Washing owner Dave Geoffrey can be contacted at 519-235-0558.