CORNWALL, Ontario – Each year the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre (CBEC) tutors young entrepreneurs and introduces them into the world of business by helping them launch and run their own summer company through their Summer Companies program.
CBEC launched this year’s batch of six entrepreneurs on June 28.
Seaway News sought to check up with some of these young business professionals to see how the challenge of running a company has gone so far this summer.
Connor Budz this summer opened his Forever Green Plant Shop.
“What I’ve learnt about being an entrepreneur is that you need experience in the thing you want to do, he said. “For example my plant shop, I’ve been taking care of houseplants for the past 5 years of my life. I can tell what a plant needs, I can tell what the issues are in plants and I can fix a lot of issues in plant problems. I have experience in that. Now if I got into them today I’d have no idea what I’d be doing. That’s why experience is the best thing.”
Rebecca McIntosh, who opened the Ole Sugar Barn Ice Cream Stand in rural North Glengarry said that this summer has been an opportunity to meet people through her business.
“This summer has been absolutely amazing,” she said. “I always new I lived in a supportive community, but this truly showed me show supportive they are. At first, opening this company I wasn’t quit sure how I would do being on gravel road. It was a chance. People have been coming from all over. Ottawa , Cornwall, Montreal, Toronto, Alexandria, Finch, Kemptville & even some spending there summers here from Russia. I am truly blessed to have this kind of support.”
Afaq Virk delved into the world of tutoring and IT this summer with his MathemaTech Tutoring and Computer Support Company said that he learned how to overcome challenges early on when he was just starting his business.
“While there haven’t been too many big challenges that I’ve had to overcome with running the business, a major one was finding my first few customers at the beginning of the summer, particularly in the tutoring sector,” he said. “I have prepared for this by shifting focus towards my many other offered services such as graphic design, coding classes, photo/video editing, and tech support, which has now proven to be a successful choice.”
Teethal Patel, who is the founder of EZShop said that sometimes even the best laid plans cannot prepare you for the challenges of being an entrepreneur.
“To put it simply, being an entrepreneur is hard. There comes a lot of responsibilities,” he said. “You have to keep track of everything such as expenses, income, sales and everything else. The one thing that I learned and found really important was that nothing goes according to plan. No matter how much planning and thought you put into it, it doesn’t always go according to plan.”
Sadie Thompson of Amaré Crowns said that passion is the lifeblood of the entrepreneur.
“After experiencing the challenges and effort it takes to manage your own business, I have learned a lot about organization, prioritization, and marketing. However, the most important thing I learned was the importance of being passionate about your business. Passion is essential for a successful business,” she said.
Finally, Isaac Poirier-Hanniman of Poirier Lawn and Garden Care said that he has really enjoyed the independence that comes with being an entrepreneur.
“My favourite part about running my own business was the independence. I am able to control the course of my business and decide the direction I want to go,” he said.
Learn more about each of these businesses through their online presence:
MathemaTech Tutoring and Computer Support by Afaq Virk: https://mathematech.ca/
Forever Green Plant Shop by Connor Budz: https://www.facebook.com/Forever-Green-Plant-Shop-102386415405513
Poirier Lawn and Garden Care by Isaac Poirier-Hanniman: https://www.poirierlawnandgardencare.com/
EzShop by Teethal Patel: https://www.facebook.com/ShopEZR
Ole Sugar Barn Ice Cream Stand by Rebecca MacIntosh: https://www.facebook.com/Ole-Sugar-Barn-Ice-Cream-Shop-102179628742191
Amaré Crowns by Sadie Thompson: https://www.amarecrowns.com/