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Six Local Youth Entrepreneurs Launch Summer Businesses

By Kelly Jessup
collage of six youth

Six local youth entrepreneurs have recently launched their summer business ventures thanks to the Summer Company program offered by Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development’s Business Advisory Centre (BAC). The Summer Company Program is the Government of Ontario’s flagship youth entrepreneurship program which helps youth aged 15-29 try their hand at business ownership by connecting them with up to $3000 in start-up funding, one-on-one guidance from BAC staff, advice and mentorship from local business leaders, access to business workshops, training and resources and business support.

Each of the 6 students has taken their unique skillset and experiences and turned them into marketable and sought-after products and services”

– Suzanne McCrimmon, Director of Business Development

“This year’s group are committed and passionate youth entrepreneurs. Enrolling in a program like Summer Company requires dedication and a desire to learn and improve small business knowledge. Each of the 6 students has taken their unique skillset and experiences and turned them into marketable and sought-after products and services” said Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development’s Director of Business Development, Suzanne McCrimmon. “We are grateful to the Province of Ontario for their continued support of the Summer Company program.  These youth business owners are learning skills that they will take with them for the rest of their lives.”

Introducing this Summer’s Newest Entrepreneurs :

smiling girl in front of bushes

Creatively Dunn

Entrepreneur: Ainsley Dunn


My name is Ainsley Dunn, and I am the owner of Creatively Dunn! I make all-natural, handcrafted wooden toys and play sets for children. My product line includes anything from themed sets, peg people, playdough stampers, stacking toys, and Indigenous education sets.

I was inspired to create this business to allow families to buy sustainable and natural play toys for their children to explore! I want to inspire creativity, imagination and open-ended play, allowing children to enhance their fine motor skills as well!

I am 18 years old and am currently at Trent University taking the Indigenous Bachelor of Education program! As an Indigenous creator, I wanted to incorporate my culture into my business by creating Indigenous sets. It is so important to have Indigenous resources for all ages, and in a market with very few, I hope my Indigenous sets will inspire people to incorporate inclusivity and cultural awareness.

I am based out of Norwood ON, where I handcraft each piece in my workshop, starting with stencilling, scroll saw cutting, belt sanding, hand sanding, painting, re-sanding, re-painting and then sealing each piece with a natural beeswax sealant (food grade approved + safe for children) before each set goes to their new homes! I double sand each piece to ensure great quality and smoothness! If you are interested in any of my products or wanting to learn more about my process/story, you can follow me on my social media platforms, where you will find product launches and behind-the-scenes work! Contact me through direct messaging on social media pages: Facebook and Instagram! My handle is @creatively.dunn_toys on Instagram and @creativelydunnbyainsley.

close up of a boy in front of a pond

Drew’s Chicks

Entrepreneur: Drew McFadden


Are your children asking to get a pet, and you know who’s going to get stuck looking after it once the excitement wears off after a couple weeks?  Have you ever experienced the joy and excitement of caring for day old chicks?

I am Drew McFadden, and because of my love for chickens, I founded Drew’s Chicks.  I provide complete chick kits to young families, teachers, and retirement homes for 2 weeks in order for them to share in my passion of chicks.

My kits include an enclosed cage, with a heat lamp, bedding, food and water containers, and most importantly 2 baby chicks, that you foster for 2 weeks, after which time they return to my farm as egg laying chickens.

In addition to baby chicks, I have also expanded my fostering services to include other poultry options. I also provide 2 week programs to foster 2 baby quail, and another very popular program to foster 2 baby ducklings.

For those individuals that would love to have access to their own fresh eggs at their urban home, I have adult egg laying quail kits that provide participants with fresh quail eggs for a month.

And one of the best experiences for children, parents, grandparents, and educators, is coming to my farm to pickup or return their kits at no additional cost, and experience first hand the friendly chickens and ducks that free range on the property.  Everyone has to experience the opportunity of holding Franklin the Rooster.

I am available online through and on Facebook at and on instagram @Drews.Chicks

a girl in yellow top with hands in pocket

She Stitch:

Entrepreneur: Grace Holmquist


My name is Grace Holmquist, a high school student from Lakefield and I’m the maker and founder of She Stich. She Stich was launched after I developed a passion for sewing in grade 11.  I design and create gorgeous reusable bags for shopping, boating, and everyday use. She Stich is striving to reduce the use of plastic in a way that is beautiful and practical. I hope my bags will inspire and encourage people to stop using single-use plastics and at the same time bring a little more beauty into our world.

My goal is to make every bag I design beautiful, practical, stylish, and unique. I hope that you will love my bags as much as I love making them for you”. She Stich, a little piece of poetry, made with you in mind. 

Check out my website at and make sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram @she.stich for coming collections, giveaways and more!

a boy in a cap standing in front of beach

Trent Lakes Property Maintenance:

Entrepreneur: Lawson Hill


My name is Lawson Hill and I’m going in my last year of the paramedic program at Fleming College. This summer I have started my own property maintenance company called “Trent Lakes Property Maintenance”. Our services include Painting, Grass cutting, Spring cleanups and much more. My goal this summer is to work during the week so homeowners can enjoy their cottages on the weekend. Give me a call for a free quote anytime 705-872-2887 and check out my Facebook page @Trent Lakes Property Maintenance.

a boy in front of trees

OG LawnCare:

Entrepreneur: Owen Gerrard


Hi, my name is Owen Gerrard and I am a local student, entrepreneur, and Owner of OG LawnCare. As a society, we have become much more aware of climate change but we must stop overlooking how truly harmful using gas-powered equipment is for the environment. With modern-day developments in electric equipment, you will no longer have to sacrifice quality for the environment. At OG LawnCare, we are leading by example, using 100% eco-friendly equipment while also providing a high-quality service. We focus on affordability and allowing our clients to greatly reduce their carbon footprint. Our pricing starts as low as $30/visit. If you decide to begin making the change today you can reach me at 289 231 8264 or email me at Choose the eco-friendly way!

a boy in the backyard

3D Casting:

Entrepreneur: Timothy Mills


My name is Timothy Mills and I am a recent University of Guelph Mechanical Engineering graduate returning to Guelph to work on my Master of Applied Science. I am from Peterborough and have sought to leverage my engineering knowledge and skills through a manufacturing start-up. 3D Casting designs, prototypes, and manufacturing plastic and aluminum parts. If it is smaller than a Tim Hortons medium coffee cup, I can make it.

“3D Casting” is a portmanteau of “3D printing” and “investment casting,” two technologies that drive the creative process. When clients request a 3D model in plastic, I can 3D print the part directly. When clients specify aluminum as the material, I can print a wax positive to create a mold and then casts molten aluminum into the mold.

Examples of my work can be found @TimN.Mills on Facebook and

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