Start a summer company: students
How to get money and advice to run a summer business in Ontario.
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How it works
Through a program called Summer Company, you can get two things:
- start-up money to kick-off a new summer business
- advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running
Learning how to run your own student business is one of the best summer jobs you can have. You get to be your own boss while learning what it takes to manage a business. Sales, marketing, invoicing, bookkeeping, customer relationship, management — these are just a few of the highly useful skills you will develop.
Who is eligible
You could be eligible, if you:
- go to high school, college or university in Ontario
- live in Ontario
- are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- are between 15-29 years old (if under 18: a parent needs to sign the application)
- are not already running a business
- are not working at another job or going to school for more than 12 hours a week during the program
- are returning to school after the program ends
You cannot apply again, if you have received a Summer Company grant in the past.
If you are on social assistance (Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program) you can still apply to Summer Company. Payments from the program may be exempt as income and assets under social assistance, so your monthly social assistance payment may not be affected.
Maximum grant: $3,000
Successful Summer Company applicants get:
- up to $1,500 up front to help with start-up costs
- up to $1,500 when you successfully complete the program requirements
When money flows
It takes a minimum of 15 business days to process your first payment after we approve your application and you meet all the requirements.
Dates and hours
Start date: usually June or July.
End date: Labour Day (but you can choose to keep running your summer business while in school).
You must be prepared to commit:
- an average of 35 hours per week
- a minimum of 8 weeks in a row for high school students
- a minimum of 12 weeks in a row for post-secondary students
What kind of business
You can choose to start almost any type of business, as long as it:
- is a sole proprietorship or corporation (where you are the majority shareholder)
- is an independent business venture (not a part of an existing or family business)
- qualifies as “self-employed” for income tax purposes
- operates in Ontario on a full-time basis
- follows government rules for operating a business
How to apply
The program is now open. To prepare your application:
- Check to see if you are eligible for the program
- Contact a local program provider, a resource centre with a business consultant on hand to assist with business planning, support and guidance throughout the application process
The deadline to apply is May 8, 2015.
There may be an earlier deadline for:
- Some local program providers. Students will be informed by their program provider when preparing their application.
- Specialist High Skills Major co-op students, who must submit their full application by April 30, 2015.
Your local program provider will notify you of your application status over the next few weeks.
- Step 1: the program provider reviews the application, which includes your business plan and cash flow statement
- Step 2: program provider interviews selected candidates and submits the application to the Ministry
- Step 3: the program provider contacts successful applicants
After receiving an application from the program provider:
- Within 1 business day: we will confirm we have received the application
- Within 5 business days: we will confirm the application is complete
- Within 15 business days: we will make a decision on the application
- After at least 30 business days: we will allocate the first payment
After you’re accepted
You will need to:
- sign an agreement with the government
- agree to follow program guidelines
- verify you’ve registered the business name
- provide any other required licensing documents
- open a separate bank account for the business
- agree to at least one site visit from your business mentor
- meet your local business mentor every two weeks, with at least 4 structured meetings, over an 8-week period