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Summer Company program helps local entrepreneurs in Stratford, Perth County

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The Stratford Perth Centre for Business announced seven new, student-run small businesses have launched with the assistance of the Summer Company program that includes mentorship and provincial grants totaling $21,000 being distributed to local entrepreneurs within Stratford and Perth County.

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The program, which is funded by the provincial government and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and with the mentorship of the Stratford Perth Centre for Business, helps students start their entrepreneurial business dreams.

“We’re really excited each year to see what the students in the program can come up with,” William Wybrow, Summer Company’s project administration officer, said in a release. “We often see great businesses rise from this program and continue with great support from the community and our services.”

Meredith MacMillan, who runs Mere’s Brows n’ Lashes, received $3,000 to help with startup costs, like certification for services, and investing in eco-friendly products in lieu of cheaper plastics.

“It’s been really helpful because there are some mentors and people I can talk to, to help me navigate what I’m supposed to do for my business,” she said.

MacMillan, a Stratford Central grad who just finished her second year studying environment and business at the University of Waterloo, offers eyelash and eyebrow beauty services to make customers feel more confident. The 21-year-old works out of her mom’s business — MAEspa — and applied for the grant through a friend who received money from the same program a couple years ago.

MacMillan isn’t sure what her focus will be after graduation in 2023, but she encourages others with a business product or service in mind to apply for the grant.

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“There are a lot of people in the community, especially Stratford, who are wanting to support students and their ideas,” she said. “So, with the support of the grant, you can make your ideas come true. You’ll never know if it might be something you do for life, or gain experience in customer service and communication.”

Other program grant recipients include:

Evan Johnson, Doggy Delights: Johnson is running an organic dog treat business focused on providing dogs delicious and healthy treats. Email: doggydelightsstratford@gmail.com

Marshall McCormick, Marshall’s Egg-cellent Egg: McCormick’s goal is to start your morning on the right foot by providing delicious premium eggs to his customers. Email: marshall22644@gmail.com

Rachel Olsen, BinTags: Olsen’s business serves the community by creating customized vinyl labels for garbage, recycling, and green bins that neatly display your address so they will never get lost. Her products are high quality and customizable, making sure you get a product that feels like you. For more information visit: bintags.ca

Oscar Stueck, Bea’s T’s: A creative design business that offers high quality shirts, hoodies, art prints and cards with original designs that’ll be sure to turn heads. For more info visit instagram.com/beatrixtees/ or email beatrixtees@gmail.com

Dailey Trainor, From the G: Trainor has created his own streetwear brand specializing in T-shirt and hoodie printing that features socially aware and meaningful messaging. Dailey wishes to market “From The G” as a voice for the youth of the Stratford area and intends to encompass Stratford’s lively and exciting downtown area and artistic history in his designs. More info: instagram.com/ftg.streetwear/ or email: ftg.streetwear@gmail.com

The Stratford Perth Centre for Business operates as a department of investStratford in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

For more information on MacMillan’s business, email meredithjmacmillan@gmail.com or visit meres_browsnlashes on Instagram.

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