Entrepreneurial kids in Northumberland can apply for micro-grant to support their small businesses

Young Northumberland entrepreneurs can kickstart their dreams this summer of owning and running their own businesses.

The Business & Entrepreneurship Centre Northumberland (BECN) is calling on young innovators, creative minds, and kids with a passion for entrepreneurship to apply for the "My Future My Career" kids' entrepreneurship program.

The free program helps children and youth, ages eight to 14, launch or grow their own business during the summer break. The BECN offers business guidance and provides participants with a small micro grant of up to $500 to help fund their business expenses.

"The My Future My Career program launched in 2021 and has helped 32 youth begin their entrepreneurship journey so far," noted Kailyn Coupland, Northumberland County business development co-ordinator, in a media release.

"Children who participate in the program will have access to free support to help launch or grow their business and will have the opportunity to showcase their business at our youth entrepreneurship showcase at the end of the summer."

Each summer, Staples in Cobourg hosts the youth entrepreneurship showcase, which is similar to a trade show. The event, which runs from this year from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14, features young businesspeople from the BECN's two youth programs, including the "My Future My Career" program and the "Summer Company Program" — which is a similar program for high school and post-secondary students. Community members can stop by the event to check out the services and products and support the younger generation of entrepreneurs.

The BECN strives to be Northumberland's leading source for small business support. It connects entrepreneurs with information, strategy, resources, education, networking, and micro grant opportunities to help business owners succeed. The BECN offers multiple student-based programs, such as those above, and supports various school partnerships throughout the community.

For more information and to apply for the BECN’s “My Future My Career” kids’ entrepreneurship program, complete an online application by June 18 by visiting northumberland.ca/en/becn/kids-business-start-up-program.aspx.

Successful applicants will be notified on June 21. There is a competitive process and due to the availably of funds, not all applicants will receive a micro grant, the BECN noted.

The application is geared to children who are keen on entrepreneurship. The microgrant will help support costs such as marketing, supplies, and equipment.

"This program is a great opportunity for children to begin the entrepreneurship journey and potentially prepare for the next available youth program, Summer Company," the BECN notes on its website. "Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit, the program will help provide the confidence for kids to start or continue their own business venture."

The BECN is a service delivered by Northumberland County in partnership with the provincial government.

Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, KawarthaNOW