CHARLOTTETOWN – July 19, 2016 – Twenty-seven Francophone/bilingual participants from the Souris, Charlottetown, Kinkora, Summerside and Evangeline areas have just established small businesses to sell a wide variety of products to tourists and Islanders. Their merchandise varies from candies and snacks to herbs, pottery, arts and crafts.
Thanks to training sessions and grants from the Jeunes millionnaires /Young Millionaires program, these youth learned how to establish and operate their business. Several of them are returning after a successful summer last year while some are trying their hand at entrepreneurship for a first time. Last year, the 20 young participants attained record combined sales of $12,000!
Again this year, RDÉE Prince Edward Island is delivering the provincial Jeunes millionnaires program, which is the French version of the Young Millionaires Program managed provincially by the Central Development Corporation. The program is funded through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Innovation PEI.
“We’ve noticed a sizeable increase in the number of participants this year, especially in the Summerside area,” says Stéphane Blanchard, youth development officer with the RDÉE. “Also, for a first time, we’re very glad to welcome two young French immersion students from the Kinkora area to our group.”
The participating bilingual youth attend three workshops to learn the basics of entrepreneurship, including business plans, market studies, customer service, quality control, budgets and other related topics. They then have to present their business plan during an individual interview.
Each participant then receives a grant (up to $100 for individuals and $150 for partnerships) to help establish his or her business and to purchase production materials. In late June and early July, the youth start producing and selling their products or services, sometimes with the help of their parents.
Coordinator Samantha Lawther, back for a second year, is preparing a list of festivals and events where the youth can go to sell their products during the summer months. On July 1st, groups of the youngsters attended the Canada Day celebrations in Rustico and Wellington and on July 7, they went to the FrancoFestival in Charlottetown.
Other confirmed events they’ll be attending in hopes of selling their wares: the Summerside Lobster Festival in Summerside (July 18-23), the Island Fringe Festival in Charlottetown Aug. 7, Old Home Week (Aug. 11-20) and the Evangeline Area Agricultural Exhibition and Acadian Festival in Abram-Village (Sept. 1-4).
In addition, the young participants also identify supplementary sales locations, often in their own neighborhood or community. Everyone is being encouraged to support the budding entrepreneurs by purchasing their products.
Miss Lawther’s position is funded by Canada Summer Jobs.
CUTLINE 1: Jeunes millionnaires coordinator Samantha Lawther visits Michael MacEwen, center, and Elliott Fraser at their Simply Sno-Cones booth earlier this summer. This is their fourth year with the program. These two are among the 27 youth enrolled in the Francophone/bilingual edition of the Young Millionaires Program.
CUTLINE 2: Sophia Banfield sells a variety of herbs through her business Mini-Foodie.
CUTLINE 3: Étienne Foulkes shows his « crafty » side with his company CraftE/CréatArt.
For more information:
Youth Development Officer
RDÉE Prince Edward Island.
902-370-7333, ext. 402
Jeunes millionnaires Program
902-370-7333, Ext. 405