Cornwall Business Enterprise Center presents 2021 Summer Enterprises


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Seven students will have support from the City of Cornwall to start their own small business this summer.

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Local students, from high school through college, were selected from a pool of 13 applicants and each received $1,500 to offset start-up costs. After the summer period, they will receive an additional $1,500 if they attend the weekly workshops and maintain their business. The presentation of the Summer Company program to the winners was held virtually on June 28.

Afaq Virk, a high school student at Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School, founded MathemaTech Tutoring and Computer Support for his love of technology and helping others.

“Academics and technology have always been two things that I was very passionate about, both growing up and as potential areas of interest for my studies and career. have helped many students and staff at my school, and I really appreciate that,” Virk said in a press release.

MathemaTech will offer services such as tutoring, game and software development classes, technology support, virtual event hosting, and graphic design, among others.

The program is administered by the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre. Students will learn all aspects of the business and receive support to make it a success. Weekly workshops will include training on accounting, regulations, marketing, credit ratings, insurance, customer service and digital.

“We try to provide a good overview of all aspects of running a business. We hope to encourage entrepreneurship in their future,” CBEC business consultant Candy Pollard said in an email.

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Rebecca Macintosh, an addiction and counseling student at Algonquin College, grew up on a dairy farm in Apple Hill. This is where she started thinking about new ways to bring the farm to life.

“We have a 200+ year old barn here on the property, and I’d like to preserve some history while creating a new attraction to bring people to our farm,” Macintosh said.

The barn became the new space for the ice cream shop, which sells 100% Canadian dairy desserts, and also bears his name. The Ole Sugar Barn ice cream store has been open for weeks and sells 12 flavors of Kawartha Dairy ice cream.

“My great-grandfather wanted to put an ice cream stand on the corner, so now I do,” Macintosh said.

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Sadie Thompson created Amare Crowns after realizing there was a gap in the cultural headwear market. Thompson learned of the need after making one for her friend, who traditionally wears one for birthdays.

“We were getting ready to go to Ottawa for her birthday, and she was talking about how she was a little sad because in her culture she would have worn a crown of flowers to celebrate being one year older…Right there, I said, let’s make one! And we rushed to the florist,” Thompson said.

Handmade crowns usually cost around $25 and can be seen on the Amare Crowns website or Facebook page.

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Teethal Patel created EZShop, an online store that sells a variety of items. Patel, who graduated from Holy Trinity Secondary School this summer, was looking for the next step in her life and discovered the program.

“Nowadays, people buy mostly online, and an e-commerce store is mostly run by websites and other online resources. So, I started thinking, why not take advantage of it and start a business e-commerce platform called EZShop,” Patel said.

Connor Budz, a St. Joseph High School, has an appropriate last name for his Forever Green Plant Shop business venture. Budz noticed a demand for gardening and houseplants, and began collecting and propagating exotic and rare species for sale.

“I know how much work people have put into their gardens over the past year…Now that we are able to open a little more, I am excited to see people and help them get new plants for their homes,” said Budz, who learned the skill while working at a local flower shop.

Budz now has over 200 plants on its list.

The final recipient, Issac Poirier-Hanniman, started a simple business to address the labor shortage in Eastern Ontario that afflicts some businesses. Poirier Lawn and Garden Care offers landscaping services.

“There’s a lot of demand in the city where I live… there’s a lot of people who can’t or won’t mow their lawns, and just walking around you can see dozens of unmowed lawns ready to be a good cleaning,” said Poirier-Hanniman.

As a student at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Poirier-Hanniman hopes the business will help him save enough money to go to college.

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