Children Youth

Entrepreneurship a Viable Career Path for Youth

Submitted by Martha Palm-Leis,Youth Outreach Worker, Youth Entrepreneurship Program, YMCA of Central East Ontario


Funded by the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, the Summer Company and Make Your Pitch aim to support young entrepreneurs who are interested in launching their own business.

Summer Company

Students who are eligible for the Summer Company program will be instantly paired with a mentor who will guide them through the design of a unique and viable business plan. Students who commit to the program will receive a grant of up to $3,000 to make their business vision a reality. With youth unemployment as prevalent as it is in Ontario, and the high competition for summer jobs, Summer Company is a wonderful opportunity for students to gain independence, learn responsibility and make money doing something they love!

Make Your Pitch

In the Make Your Pitch program, students submit videos pitching their business idea, which are reviewed by a panel of judges from across Ontario. Think Dragon’s Den for young entrepreneurs! The top 20 business pitches selected by the the panel and by online voters, will have the chance to attend OCE’s Discovery Conference in Toronto. Here they will participate in an entrepreneurship bootcamp, network with successful business owners from across the province and present their business pitch in front of a live audience. They will also have the chance to win some amazing prizes, including a reserved entry in the Summer Company program!

For those interested organizations, Martha would be delighted to arrange a time to meet with local youth to deliver an interactive presentation that will introduce young people to the concept of entrepreneurship and the opportunities available to those interested in launching their own business.

Anyone who may wish to discuss the Youth Entrepreneurship Program in more detail may call (613-243-8364) or email ( and Martha would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Wendy Anderson, Coordinator, Children and Youth Services Network

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