The Brantford-Brant Business Resource Centre (BRC), a division of the City of Brantford’s Economic Development & Tourism Department, hosted their annual Youth Entrepreneurship Celebration August 17, 2017 at the Laurier Research & Academic Centre (150 Dalhousie St., Brantford). The Youth Entrepreneurship Celebration is hosted in partnership with Laurier LaunchPad and celebrates the success of local entrepreneurs and the programs in which they participated.
The celebratory evening consisted of greetings and speeches brought forth from dignitaries and program coordinators in addition to the presentation of certificates to program graduates. The Nike-sponsored, and long-time NBA Entertainer Q-Mack was the MC for the evening keeping things rolling with a long-list of jokes and tricks. Canadian Champion Beat Boxer, J-Box, joined him, dazzling the audience with jaw-dropping sounds and songs ranging from Elvis Presley to Michael Jackson.
Mae Legg, Senior Small Business Consultant and the Manager of the Business Resource Centre, welcomed everyone in attendance and explained the great deal of effort that goes into making a night like the Youth Entrepreneurship Celebration a success. From the hard work of the participants, to the constant support they receive from their consultant or advisor, it takes a lot of passion and committment from both sides to get to this point. Legg also thanks BRC staff member, Corrie Francis, for organizing the event and bringing all of the details together.
The celebration began with greetings brought from distinguished dignitaries: Mayor Charlie Luke, Norfolk County, Zach Gable, Economic Development, Haldimand County, and Phil Wood, Ministry of Economic Development & Growth.
Sarah Pick, Business Development Manager of Futurpreneur Canada, and Ramona Gallagher, Business Advisor for the Business Resource Centre both presented programming opportunities for entrepreneurs. Pick described Futurpreneur as “the logical next step for Starter Company participants seeking additional funding.” The program requires the submission of a written business and participation in their mentorship program. Eligible applicants, ages 18-39 can receive funding of up to $45,000 in an unsecured loan. Gallagher, the facilitator of the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth-funded Starter Company Plus, introduced the new program. Starter Company Plus is for eligible applicants 18+ who want to start, buy or expand their business. The business owner must be a Canadian citizen and Ontario resident, and the business must be a viable, legal business that is not a franchise and not based on commission sales. Eligible applicants can receive up to $5,000 in grant funding on the completion of 12 hours of in-class training, a written business plan, and a successful presentation to a local Grant Committee. The Business Resource Centre has disbursed four of the thirty-one allotted grants and the program is expected to run until March 31, 2019. For more information and to apply to the program, please contact Ramona Gallagher directly at email@example.com or 519-756-4269.
Kara Davey, former Youth Business Advisor for the Business Resource Centre, presented certificates to seven Starter Company grant recipients. The provincially-funded Starter Company Program began in January 2015 and finished on March 31, 2017. The Business Resource Centre distributed 27 grants of $5,000 each to entrepreneurial youth in the community to start their own business. In total, BRC staff trained over 130 young entrepreneurs and had over 80 business starts, resulting in the creation of 104 new jobs through the Starter Company Program. All of the recipients received grants in the last year and businesses included Norfolk’s first beer and wine tour, videography, an au pair placement agency and stone masonry company, to name a few.
Sue Loveless, Small Business Consultant, presented certificates to 24 Summer Company grant recipients, funded by the province of Ontario and the Ministry of Economic Development & Growth. The Summer Company Program runs from May to September every year, presenting youth with the opportunity to “be their own boss” for the summer as long as they are returning to school in September. They are awarded $1500 upon approval of a written business plan, and another $1500 is awarded upon successful completion of the program. Businesses included: lawn care, photography, microblading (tattoo eyebrows), and handmade clothing, to name a few.
The Brantford-Brant Business Resource Centre provides youth and adults with the necessary skills and training to become more employable and/or to start their own businesses. FREE weekly workshops are taught by the BRC staff and local business owners, ranging in topics from: Business Planning & Cashflow, Marketing Strategies, Bookkeeping & Taxation, Social Media, Time Management, Search Engine Optimization, and much more.
For more information about the Brantford-Brant Business Resource Centre, please click here to visit their website
To inquire about programming opportunities available and to determine eligibility, please contact the Business Resource Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-756-4269