The Business Advisory Centre Durham (BACD) manages the Summer Company program for the Durham Region area.

This program provides Ontario students ages 15-29 a seed grant of up to $3,000 and hands-on training, coaching and mentoring to help you start and operate your business. The program starts in June/July and finishes by Labour Day. It is available to high school and college/university students that are returning to school the following academic year.

The Program provides:

  • Advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running
  • Over 10 hours of business training and workshops
  • Start-up grant money of up to $3000 to kick-off a new summer business ($1,500 up front to help with start-up costs and up to $1,500 is awarded when you successfully complete all the program requirements
  • The program gives students the full experience of running their own business.

How the Program works:
The successful participant shall commit to an average of 35 hours per week to run the business

  • High School Students – Complete a minimum of 8 weeks in a row
  • Post Secondary Students – Complete a minimum of 12 weeks in a row



For more information, please contact Ashley McBride, Summer Company Coordinator for any questions, (905) 668-4949 ext 226.

Participant Eligibility – Read Here

The business must have some physical component. It can’t be strictly online.

Example of eligible business:

  • Lawn Care/Services
  • Car Detailing
  • Swimming Lessons
  • Tutoring
  • Makers / Creating a product
  • Photography
  • Dog Walking
  • Window Washing
  • Professional services

These types of businesses are NOT eligible for funding:

  • Strictly online businesses
  • Cash only businesses (ex. vending machines)
  • Partnerships/co-operatives, franchises and 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 or continuations of existing commercial endeavours
  • Commissioned sales or 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 or 1-900 businesses

The Application Process
Step 1: Complete the Eligibility Application
Step 2: Submit your application, together with your business plan and cashflow forecast to the program provider (online)

The Selection Process
Step 1: The Summer Company Program Coordinator reviews and evaluates the application and business plan
Step 2: Leading candidates will be contacted and invited for an interview conducted by the Program Coordinator
Step 3: Successful applicants will be contacted
Step 4: Participant will receive complete details and dates of mandatory sessions required by student to complete the Program

The Program participant shall ensure that they acquire everything needed to run your business (manufacturers, supplies etc.) based on the municipality, public health and legal industry requirements. Proof will need to be provided to the Program Provider as part of the application process.

Please Note:

  • The Program Provider may, at its discretion, determine that a particular business is ineligible for the Summer Company Program
  • Online businesses are acceptable with face-to-face marketing and selling activity
  • App/tech businesses must be market ready and generate sales by summer’s end
  • If your business requires certification, you’ll need to show proof to your Program Provider. If you’re unsure about certification obligations, ask your Program Provider. Certification examples include:
    • Food handling certification for businesses that produce and/or sell food
    • National Life Saving certification for businesses that offer swimming lessons
    • Canada Professional Fitness Certification (CanFitPro) for businesses that offer personal fitness training
    • Licences for businesses that specialize in drone photography