Young entrepreneurs get their start with Summer Company loan

“There’s nothing to do!” That’s the common summer lament and Celia Laur is out to prove that wrong. She’s made it her summer job to find out all the things that are free in Barrie and is publishing an illustrated guide to free activity.

Nobody has hired Celia to do this, though. She has started her own company through the Summer Company program at Greater Barrie Business Enterprise Centre. An interest free loan, connection to mentors, business startup training and poof! a business is born.

Celia is collecting information on what is free, and is also looking for advertising sponsors for her publication.

Called Free in Barrie, an illustrated guide to local events and places that are free!, Celia’s email address is

If you’re into free things in Barrie, you might also want to connect with Jennifer Graungaard, artist, and scrounger who is able to put an artist’s touch on just about anything. Jennifer is transforming found objects, painting them, or adding artist’s touches to create home decor objects. Her business, Fabulous Findings, also features portraits in pencil… great gift idea. Jennifer has also opted for self employment this summer and created her business with the Summer Company program.

If you’re looking for a decor or gift item, check with Jennifer at

However, if decor and free activity eludes you, then Aaron Anders might be just the ticket. Aaron has opened Piscatorial Adventures and is offering fishing trips in area lakes to would-be or seasoned fishermen (or women!).

Aaron offers corporate experiences as well as fishing lessons and will customize a fishing trip that includes some of the best water in Central Ontario. He’s all equipped with boat, motor and trailer… all he needs is to ‘lure’ his customers onto the lake of their choice. is Aaron’s promising summer (ad)venture.

Each of these students was introduced to the community this week as the Greater Barrie Business Enterprise Centre launched its popular Summer Company program. Philipp Wood from Ontario Ministry of Economic Development & Trade and Barrie Mayor Rob Hamilton represented the two government levels that fund the Enterprise Centre. Both were on hand to congratulate the 2004 entrepreneurs, and to hear from Shannon Scully, New Wave First Aid a former Summer Company entrepreneur who has continued to grow her business while at university.

Summer Company applications were taken this spring and students have the chance to learn from a variety of seminars at GBBEC… 24 in all. Each student has been assigned to a self employed mentor to keep them connected throughout the summer.

Congratulations, not only to the municipality and the province for funding this program, but also to the Royal Bank for being a willing financial partner. AND to these energetic teenagers who are out to make a difference.

Thanks, Jennifer. Thanks, Celia. Thanks, Aaron!