Norfolk County, Ontario, is home to dozens of real businesses started by kids in grades 6 through 12, part of their Student Start Up project. Kids can apply with a simple “business plan” template and may receive $200 in start up funds to kick them off. This year (2018), they funded 39 student entrepreneurs.
Each year, I look forward to seeing the list of creative ventures the students start. Besides the usual ideas of babysitting, car washing and lawncare, these young rural entrepreneurs have come up with some terrific projects. Because Norfolk County has a diverse agricultural base, there are lots of veggie and fruit stands, eggs and organic produce. Some of the other businesses this year are:
- fairy gardens
- henna tattoos
- art with origami, cloth, stone, beach glass, yarn, and wood
- organic health care products
Kids who turn in their final report can earn another $100 at the end of the summer. Norfolk County builds on the project by promoting it on their tourism pages and holding a special event with display booths featuring the young entrepreneurs.
It’s a great project, and one that most any rural area could put together.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.