Diandra Singh loves teaching, dance and kids.
But the Lakehead University education graduate never thought she could make a career from combining the three. That is until she found the Summer Company Program.
"I never thought I would have my own business," she said.
Singh was one of nearly a dozen students between 15 and 29 who took part in the provincial program, administered by the Community Economic Development Commission, to get young entrepreneurs grants and mentorship to grow their businesses.
From business plans to how to manage cash flow, Singh said she doesn't think Redeeming Dance School, which focused on teaching children age appropriate dancing through day camps, would have been possible.
"Probably no because I just never had that encouragement before," she said.
Starting with only one student for her first day camp, Singh had 11 y the end of the summer.
"It was just awesome," she said. "They had fun. They felt like they were the star of the show."
From jewelry to graphic design, CEDC development officer Stacia Kean said she was impressed with the student businesses in the program, now in its 13th year.
"They've all come through with bright eyes and excitement," she said. "I honestly for all of them see a bright future."
While the goal of the program is to see students become full-time entrepreneurs, the skills learned in the program will carry over no matter where the participants end up.
"It's about confidence in themselves, taking the initiative and following through," Kean said.
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