This Friday, nine young entrepreneurs are setting up shop in Northgate Shopping Center to showcase their businesses to the community. They will be there from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM and can be found in the open area where the corridors meet near Urban Planet.
The one-day event is organized by the Nipissing Parry Sound Business Center (TBC), a non-profit organization that supports business startups and expansion in the region. The Pop-Up Shop is part of the TBC company’s summer program, which is financed by the Province through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
Canador College also sponsors the program, which is designed to help young entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 29 start and run a business over the summer. Each participant is a student, and part of the requirement is that they will return to the classroom this fall. These jobs are designed to run during the summer months.
Rebecca Foisy, program coordinator for TBC, noted that nine people were selected for the program, which also includes training and mentoring of local business owners. Natasha Snoddon from Northern Spark Marketing presented on the importance of quality branding, business coach Hoss Notarkesh provided information on entrepreneurship and Karen Jones from Karen Jones Consulting presented sales, networking, referrals and pitching ideas to the group. It was also presented by Chris Bevan from Kenney Insurance, who introduced the attendees to the importance of liability insurance.
And now, after so much help honing their business acumen, tomorrow’s event “gives them an opportunity to reach out to the public and the local community,” Foisy said. “They’re all brand new businesses, so this will help get the word out.”
Participants were also asked to create business plans for their new ventures, including their start-up costs. Once approved, each of the nine was awarded $1,500 – courtesy of the Department of Economic Development – to help start new businesses.
TBC also keeps records of entrepreneurs’ working hours and cash flow charts “to make sure the business is sustainable,” Foisy said, adding that the main goal is “for them to make money” after starting up with the help of the program. “I want them to have a successful business and leave with a profit at the end of the summer.”
Foisy noted that it will be nice to see everything “finally come to life this Friday” when the businesses launch to the public, after the students “put in so much hard work” to make their business dreams come true.
David Briggs is a reporter for the Local Journalism Initiative working out of BayToday, a Village Media publication. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.