Four students launch their small business in Prescott and Russell with the support of the PREC Summer Company program

The Prescott and Russell Entrepreneurship Centre (PREC) and the Economic Development and Tourism of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, have helped four students in the counties start up their own businesses. These four businesses were supported by the Summer Company program which offers financial support as well as mentoring sessions from professionals in the field during the creation of their business.

The recipients of the Summer Company 2021 program are Samyka-Sarah Lacelle (Kitsune Design), Kirk Davidson (That Yard Waste Kid), Anu Ola-Audu (LH Click) and Olivier Langlois (Rockland Soccer Camp). Each has successfully run their respective entrepreneurial business.

The program continues to adapt to the pandemic with projects that adhere to health and safety measures. Students participated in virtual meetings with mentors, Marc Lecompte of Kwik Tax and Louis Béland of the Eastern Ontario Training Board. They supported the students with their advice, knowledge and business experience.

Kirk Davidson is a 16-year-old Rockland man with autism. Despite his young age, Kirk has a strong desire to be involved in his community. This led to the idea of starting his small business, That Yard Waste Kid.

Kirk collects yard waste, old paint cans and old electronics from residents in his village. Over the summer, he acquired a new trailer to facilitate the pick-up and deliveries to the waste centre. Many Clarence-Rockland residents have heard about Kirk and his good work. His schedule quickly became busy, and he even surpassed his goal! Kirk gives back to a cause that is close to his heart with donations from his business’s profits to foundations helping autism.

Samyka-Sarah Lacelle is a 19-year-old woman from L’Orignal. She had the idea to create a small business where she designs various trinkets for different occasions such as stickers, pinning buttons, postcards, vinyl decorations and more. She has opened an online store where she adds products at her own pace. Despite some of the challenges she has encountered, she has always looked for solutions, like a true entrepreneur.

Olivier Langlois is a 17-year-old entrepreneur from Rockland. With the help of his brother, Jacob Langlois, they started a soccer camp, Rockland Soccer Camp. Being an active young man, he used his passion for soccer to turn it into a small summer business. About 20 kids signed up to attend his camp in early July.

A lot of planning took place in May and June to organize the schedule, location and gather the necessary equipment. Olivier has had many facets to his business. He is not only the owner, but also a soccer coach.

Anu Ola-Audu is an 18-year-old student from the village of Russell with a very creative and artistic personality. For some time, she wished to create design. She has fulfilled her dream by starting her small business, LH-Click, which produces personalized items, wood art and craft products, sewing for special events, simple home decorations and everyday accessories. In addition, some items are customized at the request of consumers. Her target customers are teenagers and young adults. She makes her products in her home office and features her products on her website.

As part of the program, students returning to school for the following academic year receive a grant of up to $3,000 to support their business start-up project.

“We are proud to have these four small businesses come to life this summer,” said Liza Langevin, the PREC’s Project Officer. “The participants had the chance to receive business coaching. They were able to stand out and grow through this experience. They all plan to continue their business after the summer.”

The PREC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support small business owners and small entrepreneurs to succeed in Prescott and Russell by providing information, tools and support during their start-up and growth phases. More information is available on the PREC website.


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