About the Program

The Summer Company program is an entrepreneurship program for students ages 15 to 29 that provides funding up to $3,000 as well as hands-on training and mentoring to start and run a company over the summer.

Through the program you get:

  • start-up money to kick-off a new summer business
  • advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running

Learning how to run your own student business is one of the best summer jobs you can have. You get to be your own boss while learning what it takes to manage a business. Sales, marketing, bookkeeping, customer relationship management and networking are just a few of the highly useful skills you’ll develop.

Video Youtube

What Students Have to Say

I've had this business idea for a while now and if it weren't for the Summer Company program I wouldn't be able to kickstart my dream. I'm very grateful for this opportunity and I plan on continuing my business for the next few years.

Mehek Rizvi, Under One Moon Clothing Co.
(Summer Company 2023)
Mehek Rizvi Under One Moon Clothing Co

In the News

When asked about why she started her business, Wong said, “I started a small business to turn my passion for lettering and calligraphy into something that could be shared and benefit the community.”

The Summer Company program helped to make Wong’s plan come true with practical tips that guided her through growing pains.

Full article: Markham Economist and Sun

Ashlyn Wong, shoops & letters

Summer Company 2021

Ashlyn Wong Shoops and Letters Poke Guys

How to Apply

  1. Review the eligibility criteria
  2. Complete a business plan - Download Template
  3. Complete a cash flow statement - Do it on SCREEN system.
  4. Complete the application

Applications for the 2024 Summer Company program is now closed!

Summer Company 2022 Fins Up

Program Schedule


ProgramDateTimeLocation
Online Workshop: Orientation and Setting Up Your Operations: Tax and FinanceJune 26, 20243:00 PM to 5:00 PMOnline
Online Workshop: Developing Your Sales and Marketing PlanJuly 10, 20243:00 PM to 4:30 PMOnline

One-on-one Mentorship Meeting #1

July 2 to July 10, 2024

Arranged between student and mentor

Online
Peer Session #1July 17, 20243:00 PM to 4:00 PMOnline

Peer Session #2

July 31, 20243:00 PM to 3:00 PMOnline
One-on-one Mentorship Meeting #2

August 5 to August 15, 2024

Arranged between student and YSpace staffOnline
Summer Company ShowcaseAugust 22, 202410:00 AM to 12:00 PMIn-person (YSpace Markham)


Eligibility

  • Go to high school, college or university
  • Live in Markham, Ontario
  • Are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Are between 15-29 years old (if under 18: a parent or guardian must sign the agreement for the applicant)
  • Are not already running a business
  • Are returning to school after the program ends
  • Following the Canada Revenue Agency definition of being self-employed
  • Are not working at another job or going to school for more than 12 hours a week during the program
  • Able to work over the summer program period:
    • a minimum of 280 hours if you’re a high school student
    • a minimum of 420 hours if you’re a post-secondary student

We may approve exceptions.

You must meet all of the above requirements.

You cannot apply again, if you have received a Summer Company grant in the past.

Frequently Asked Questions

Almost any type of business is eligible, as long as it:

  • is a sole proprietorship or a corporation where you (the applicant) will be the majority shareholder
  • is an independent business venture
  • is a new business, not previously registered or operated on an on-going basis
  • operates at arm’s length from family business ventures
  • operates in Ontario
  • operates full-time as defined in the business plan
  • follows government rules and regulations for operating a business

Businesses must meet all of the above requirements.

These types of businesses are not eligible for funding:

  • partnerships/co-operatives
  • franchises
  • distributorships
  • incorporated businesses that are controlled directly or indirectly by a person who would not be eligible for a Summer Company award
  • business ventures that are subsidiaries or divisions of an existing business
  • business ventures that are continuations of existing commercial endeavours
  • commissioned sales
  • multi-level marketing ventures
  • single events such as a theatrical production, a DJ gig, a music concert, a dance/party event, a fundraiser, a sporting tournament, etc.
  • businesses that are strictly pay per click
  • 1-900 businesses

Once you’ve submitted your application inquiry:

  • We will contact you and help you with your application, if required
  • We will review your application
  • If your application meets the program’s requirements, your we will invite you for an interview
  • After the interview, we will tell you if you’ve been approved to participate in the program
  • We will provide payment of up to $1,500 for start-up costs

Once approved, you’ll be required to:

  • sign a Letter of Agreement with the program provider describing each party’s rights and responsibilities (a parent or guardian must sign the agreement for applicants under 18)
  • sign a Release and Consent form (a parent or guardian must sign the form for participants under 18)
  • show your business name registration and any required licensing documents to your program provider for verification
  • open and operate a bank account for the business
  • spend your first payment within the first 30 days
  • operate your business over the summer program period, according to your business plan and cash flow, for:
  • a minimum of 280 hours if you are a high school student
  • a minimum of 420 hours if you are a post-secondary student
  • meet with us and mentors for a minimum of four meetings to review and track your progress
  • agree to one site visit by the program provider
  • maintain appropriate business records of income and expenditures including receipts
  • participate in business training with your program provider

To receive the second payment (up to $1,500), you need to:

  • meet your requirements to participate
  • participate in an exit interview at the end of the summer
  • provide the following to your program provider for review, in a professional and business-like format:
    • a cash flow record of your business operations
    • copies of all your bank statements
    • copies of all business receipts and invoices organized to show that you used the first payment for start-up costs
  • submit a signed confirmation that you’re returning to school
  • complete the anonymous online participant survey
  • If you don’t successfully complete the program, you will not receive the second payment and you may be asked to reimburse the first payment.
  • If you met all the requirements to complete the program, but did not spend the full first payment within 30 days, the difference will be deducted from your second payment.

We partner with YSpace Markham, York University's pan-university entrepreneurship and innovation hub where you will get the chance to get access to real life startup coaches and mentors who will help walk you through your summer company journey.

Learn more: https://www.yorku.ca/yspace/

Past Summer Company Businesses

The City of Markham has been running the Ontario Summer Company program for over a decade. Check out some of the businesses that have been part of the program in recent years

Summer Company 2022 Group Photo