The members of the 2024 Summer Company program had their official launch at the Civic Complex in Cornwall on June 27. From left: MP Eric Duncan, Lillian Reid, Dolev Klein Harari, Abdul Khan, Pascale Wabo Nana, Abigail Rose, MPP Nolan Quinn. Tinkess Photo

SDG – Thurs., June 27 was the official launch date for Summer Company 2024, a program that allows young people an opportunity to turn an idea into a functioning company that they run over the summer months, and sometimes beyond. They receive an award of up to $3,000 and receive hands-on training and mentoring and discover exactly what is involved in running your own business.

Sydney Smith is the program coordinator. She says interest has been strong this year.

“It’s going very well,” said Smith. “We had 20 applicants sign up and a few inquiries who just wanted to ask questions about it. We do have seven grants this year that have been awarded. However, we do have two more spots open.” (Interested persons had until July 1 to apply.)

Smith added that this year’s intake is different from the previous year. “it’s different from last year,” she said.  “Last year, we had a lot of sports-oriented businesses, and this year is completely different. It’s nice to see.”

There is a lot of variety. Some businesses have a strong, artistic focus (Abigail Rose, Rose Arts and Graphics, Lillian Reid, The Button Gallery), Some have a very practical purpose (Dolev Klein Harari, lowKey Tech, Nicolle Delgado, CultiveAide, Pascale Wabo Nana, Pasrel Clean Services), while others could fit into multiple genres (Abdul Khan, Arks Cards, Fajr Shamshad Gondal, Basketeria.)

Dolev Klein Harari has already taken a couple steps in what he hopes is a profitable career path. He was recently awarded a prestigious $120,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship from Queen’s University and will study computer engineering this fall with a focus on entrepreneurship.

Klein Harari is one of the 100 Schulich Leaders selected. The 17-year-old is in part of the Class of 2024 at Holy Trinity Secondary School.

He says his business is directed to helping small business owners in Cornwall bring technology into their businesses.

“I’m looking more towards the older people that have really well grown businesses and are looking to take the next step into the modern age.”

His goal is not to teach, but rather to show how much more efficient it can be to let someone who understands technology do the work for them.

“I want to show them how much easier it will be to just pay someone to do it for you,” says Klein Harari. “I have a lot of experience with technology and integration of this kind of stuff. Okay, so now I’m just bringing to the professional end. Next year, I’ll be at Queen’s University studying computer engineering, and the goal is to graduate into my own tech business doing something like this.”

MPP Nolan Quinn, from his own experience, understands the world of small business and support it whenever possible. “I think it’s extremely important. You know, at an early age, I knew I wanted to buy my restaurant, and I started working there,” Quinn said. “But to have the vision to start a business from the ground up, I think that’s a skill set that we need more people to utilize. So, to see these children, to see their excitement around their small businesses that summer is something that warms my heart because to me, small businesses are the backbone of our economy. To see the next generation picking up and running with it, I think is extremely important. Because only a small business gives you the flexibility.

“It is hard work, some days are not going to be great, some days are going to be better than others. But to have the sense of fulfillment to know that this is your baby, or that is your small business.  These kids are going to learn a lot this summer.”

MP Eric Duncan is a strong supporter of the Summer Company program and has seen it develop over the years.

“The summer companies are an awesome program,” said Duncan. “I’ve been coming to these events, I think, going back since I was mayor, to kind of meet the new young business owners in the area. And a few things I think, the small business skills, and it’s a different way to make a summer job for a lot of people. But they learn accounting skills, HR, if they have a couple of employees, depending on the business, marketing and all these things. And what’s been neat to see over the years is always go and meet and have these conversations with several people that have taken Summer Company that have gone on to keep this as a part-time second income and that type of thing. And there’s been several as well, in the 10-12 years, I’ve been following the program that have turned their business into permanent, full-time businesses, lawn care, landscaping, there’s been some other ones as well.

“It’s neat to see this is really an incubator to get people started, young people started. It’s a great idea. We need more small businesses, it’s a good way to make a living. But when you’re young, where to start, what resources to have, and this mentorship and stuff that they offer. The grant is a great, it’s a great, long-standing program.”


If you would like to have a light shined on your business, please contact us at: or call us at 613-448-2321.