Norfolk County’s Student Start Up Program (SSUP) is the winner of this year’s Private Public Partnership Award from the Economic Development Council of Ontario (EDCO).
Norfolk County also received an honourable mention for the Lieutenant Governor’s Award, which is a best-in-show category for the EDCO Awards, for the SSUP Program. About 60 communities made submissions for 110 projects commencing last year across the province.
“SSUP Norfolk provides students in Grades 6 through 12 the opportunity to try self-employment during their summer break,” said Jerry Sucharyna, Economic Development Analyst for Norfolk County. “Students submit a simple business plan and successful applicants are awarded $200 to get started.”
Last spring, Sucharyna was welcomed to all but two schools across the three school boards in Norfolk County to present to students about SSUP. As a result, 86 applications were received from students and funding was available for 40 businesses involving 52 young people.
In its first year of operation, about $9,000 was raised from the private sector to fund the cash awards to students. Sponsors were Annex Business Media, Titan Trailers, Van Amerongen & Son Inc., Venture Norfolk, Rassaun Services, Norfolk Rotaract Club, MHN Lawyers, The Beach House, CarStar Collision & Glass Service, Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show and Picard’s, with in-kind support from Simcoe Reformer, MyFM and Whistling Gardens.
“SSUP was successful because community-minded entrepreneurs and others stepped up and funded it,” said Clark Hoskin, Manager of Tourism & Economic Development. “We need more business leaders and organizations to get on board to show the youth we value them and want to grow the program.”