A recently-unveiled young entrepreneur program is making a splash in the community. Three up-and-coming businesses in Sault Ste. Marie are poised to grow and prosper thanks to Starter Company. The youth enterprise program provides training, mentoring and potential access to funding for people between the ages of 18 to 29, who are not returning to school, to open a business.
Funded by the Province of Ontario, Starter Company, which rolled out earlier this year, is administered in the region by the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC). Three young entrepreneurs are currently making their way through the program, and each has been successful at securing operating investments to help ensure long-term sustainability. Their businesses are:
Founded in 2013 by Jeff Greco, Cavera Inc. is a growing provider of creative and digital marketing solutions to businesses aiming to gain a competitive advantage in a digital economy. The company provides a number of services, including digital marketing strategy, multi-channel advertising, custom web development, mobile application development, social media management and search engine optimization. Starter Company investment received: $5,000.
Knight Legal Solutions
Knight Legal Solutions, a paralegal law firm, offers representation in Small Claims Court, Landlord and Tenant Board, Provincial Offences Court (including traffic tickets), and provides services for criminal pardon applications and the commissioning of oaths. The business opened in June 2014. Its owner, Nathan Chevalier, is a licensed paralegal and a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Starter Company investment received: $5,000.
Owner/operator Ashley Gilmar offers the newest technique of hair removal in the Sault for both men and women. Jax&Hail SugarBrig uses an all-natural product that is at room temperature so it will not burn or remove skin. With this process used, significantly less hair growth returns. Starter company investment received: $3,750.
“It’s fantastic to see new young entrepreneurs creating dynamic businesses within our community,” said Andrew Ross, General Manager of Enterprise Services for the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. “Programs like Starter Company will allow us to continue to help support area entrepreneurs and businesses in the years to come.”
Meanwhile, the SSMEDC also administers the Province’s Summer Company program, which provides mentoring and grants for youth, who are returning to school, to operate a seasonal business. Coupled with other enterprise initiatives, including the forthcoming Small Business Incubator, the SSMEDC is developing a continuum of services to help nurture entrepreneurs from the idea stage, to implementation, to growth and long-term prosperity.