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6 Local Small Businesses Awarded $30,000 in Funding Through Starter Company Plus Program

By Kelly Jessup
six tiled photos

Media Release: August 25, 2021

[PETERBOROUGH, ON]: Today, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development awarded 6 local entrepreneurs $5000 each in funding to further support sustainable business growth made possible through the Government of Ontario’s Starter Company Plus program.

After the 11 participating businesses successfully completed the five-week online business training course offered by the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Business Advisory Centre, the following 6 businesses were awarded funding based on the strength of their business plan and pitch:

  • Emily Nigro: Dead End Lures – a family-owned eco-friendly fishing lure company
  • Kelsey Watts: Worthy Truth Wellness – mindful movement yoga classes offering a kind space of compassion and non-judgmental awareness
  • Lucas Graham: Countdown Creative – a full-service E-Commerce agency that helps small businesses start selling online
  • Suzanne Schmidt: Suzanne’s Hot Stuff – hand-crafted, small-batch gluten-free hot sauces, pepper jellies, jerk marinade, mango salsa and more
  • Tuncay Alkan & Laura Wilson: MEZE – a vegan deli and café serving traditional Turkish food and drink

“This Starter Company Plus class was a group of enthusiastic entrepreneurs. From start-ups to early-stage businesses, this group is representative of the diverse and thriving small business community within the City and County of Peterborough.”  Said Entrepreneurship Officer Hillary Manion, who oversees the program for Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development.  “These entrepreneurs have all created products and services that fill a need within the community. I look forward to watching their businesses grow and succeed.”

Since its launch in 2017, the Starter Company Plus program through the Business Advisory Centre has assisted over 175 local entrepreneurs and over 140 small businesses. These small businesses have created over 170 jobs in our local economy.

The Starter Company Plus program is designed to provide business training for entrepreneurs from aspiring to experienced, aged 18 and over in the City and County of Peterborough who are launching a business or expanding an existing business (operating for five years or less). The next intake of the Starter Company Plus Program will be open from September 1st – 27th, 2021. Eligibility criteria and upcoming workshop dates can be found by visiting

For additional information please contact Kelly Jessup, Director of Marketing & Communications, 705-743-0777 x 2130 or