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Program Supporting Young Entrepreneurs Celebrates Success

Program Supporting Young Entrepreneurs Celebrates Success

November 16, 2015, Prince Edward County, Ontario

A celebration was held today at Huff Estates in Prince Edward County to recognize the successes of the Empowering Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) Program; an entrepreneurial training program funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure and delivered by the Prince Edward/Lennox & Addington Community Futures Development Corporation (PELA CFDC).

Since June of 2014, the program has assisted 36 young entrepreneurs in Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington counties by providing training to start or grow their own business. The EYE Program offers specialized entrepreneurial training, coaching, mentorship and financial support to youth between the ages of 18 and 29 in Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington counties. Successful results of the program include the creation of businesses that provide specialized services in the areas of social media, graphic design, food services, support for seniors, property maintenance, construction, E-gaming and specialized consulting services.

Mike Bossio, Member of Parliament for Hastings-Lennox-and-Addington, who attended the celebration event commented, “Right now, the labour market is shifting back to local production and local support networks. We need local entrepreneurship in art and design, in manufacturing, in retail, and in professional services to keep our communities strong and healthy. The EYE program is helping young people in Lennox and Addington County take charge of this labour market transformation. It empowers our young people to be successful for themselves and for their communities. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I offer my congratulations to all of the program’s participants and best wishes for the program’s future.”

“PELA CFDC is proud to have partnered with the Province of Ontario on this exciting program for young entrepreneurs. The Empowering Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) program is built on existing program capacity and objectives of our organization that has resulted in the creation and growth of 32 revenue generating businesses in our community by young entrepreneurs. I congratulate all of the successful participants and encourage any potential entrepreneurs to contact our offices to discuss this amazing opportunity,” says Angela Miller, Chair of PELA CFDC.

The EYE Program, which is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment & Infrastructure (MEDEI) through the Strategic Community Entrepreneurship Projects (SCEP) initiative, was designed to provide young entrepreneurs who are no longer in school and who meet other eligibility criteria with self-employment training and access to startup funding. Delivered to 4 intakes of local entrepreneurs since June 2014, the 10-week training program consisted of in-class instruction in a variety of business topics by industry experts, coaching and mentorship and culminated with access to $3,000 in grant funding. The EYE Program and other Strategic Community Entrepreneurship Projects are an initiative of the Youth Jobs Strategy which has been renewed by the government for an additional two years due to the successful results of the original $295 million announced in the 2013 Ontario budget.

Quick Facts
• PELA CFDC is a CFDC in southern Ontario funded by the Community Futures Program through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (Fed Dev Ontario). CFDCs deliver a wide variety of programs and services to support community economic development and small business growth. They employ local staff and are each governed by a volunteer board of directors, made up of local residents representing the community.
• The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI) supports a strong, innovative economy that helps create jobs, opportunities and prosperity for all Ontarians. The ministry delivers a range of programs, services and tools to help businesses innovate and compete in today’s fast-changing global economy, including business support and youth entrepreneurship programs, strategic investments and international trade and export expertise.

Associated Links


Craig Desjardins, Executive Director, PELA CFDC
613-476-7901 x 201


“Dealing with the EODP was incredibly easy and the process required minimal time.  Staff was very helpful." - Howard Mahon, Wilton Tack
“Without PELA CFDC's support we would not have had the ability to take those much needed first big steps. You believed in us at a time when few did.” - Quincy Emmons, Fire X Protection
“We recommend the EODP funding to any business that believes in continuous improvement and development, and who is looking to fast forward business growth.” - Angela Lees, Calderwood Automation
"The connections I made and support system that was available during and after the program really helped. - Renia Tyminski, Hallowell Gardens Centre
"The in class portion of the Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program was the most beneficial for me... I was given the resources and one-on-one guidance I needed to map out a successful plan. - Rob Fenwick, Former SEB Client