Thunder Bay CEDC Celebrates Successful 2023 Summer Company Program
August 31, 2023 – The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) extends its congratulations to the accomplished students of the 2023 Summer Company program. These dedicated participants courageously embarked on the path of launching and overseeing their own small enterprises during the summer, all made possible through the support of the Thunder Bay and District Entrepreneur Centre.
“The Summer Company program was extremely beneficial, and it taught me a wide variety of skills needed for opening a business.” says Sarah Kiiskila, owner of Mowing the Way. “Of the many workshops the CEDC coordinator organized, I especially enjoyed the customer service presentation as it provided me with excellent guidance and useful tips on how to communicate with my clients. I also found great value in working with my assigned mentor. Not only was she approachable, but her insights on how to manage a business were helpful. “
The Summer Company program began at the beginning of the May with the students receiving a $1,500 grant to cover the start-up cost for their new summer business. Throughout the summer, participants worked with a local mentor and attended workshops on customer service, marketing, and bookkeeping. Once all the program requirements were met, the participants were given another $1,500 grant to help with any incurred costs associated with their business. Since the inception of the program is 2012, the Entrepreneur Centre has supported 127 students through the program.
“The Summer Company program presents an excellent chance for students to gain practical insight into business operations,” said Jamie Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Thunder Bay CEDC. “Through the workshops, start-up funding, and mentorship, the program supports the cultivation vital business skills. The ultimate goal is to nurture these students into potential future entrepreneurs within the community. Notably, many past participants of the Summer Company program have extended their ventures beyond its duration, transforming them into sustainable year-round enterprises.”
The nine participating students for 2023 are as follows:
- Hope Bobyk-Goheen of Simply Aesthetics
- Mliss Turgeon of Mliss’ Makings
- Sarah Ribey of Sarah’s Personal Training
- Mariyah Poonawala of NAMA Candles
- Jase Pedlow of Jase’s Designs
- Sarah Kiiskila of Mowing the Way
- Rodrigo Cosio of Rancheros TBay
- Char Ailey of Superior Senses
- Avery Brodeur of Love for Dogs
Eight of the businesses operated in Thunder Bay, and one operated in Atikokan.