Jump­ing into busi­ness

Young Mil­lion­aires Pro­gram springs into 25th an­niver­sary year

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY - BY DE­SIREE AN­STEY

A pro­gram that gives young­sters aged eight to 16 a jump-start with busi­ness and en­trepreneur­ship ideas, is cel­e­brat­ing its 25th year.

Karen Duffy, the provin­cial co-or­di­na­tor, says the Young Mil­lion­aires Pro­gram is de­signed to as­sist kids with learn­ing and de­vel­op­ing busi­ness skills through a se­ries of work­shops.

“We teach them busi­ness ba­sics from ac­count­ing, record keep­ing, cus­tomer ser­vice skills, mar­ket­ing skills, and we will fund them up to $100 to get their busi­ness started. And if they are in a part­ner­ship, then we will fund $150 to get the busi­ness started,” she said.

Gol­nar Saegh, 10, and orig­i­nally from Iran, says she be­came in­volved in the pro­gram af­ter learn­ing about it while at­tend­ing West Kent El­e­men­tary School in Char­lot­te­town.

“I’m mak­ing ma­son jars, per­ler beads and cook­ies. My mom got the idea for me to make the key chains, and I just re­ally en­joy cook­ing be­cause I am from an­other coun­try and I en­joy mak­ing Ira­nian tra­di­tional cook­ies.”

Saegh added, “I sell my prod­ucts at the lo­cal mar­kets.”

The Young Mil­lion­aires pro­gram has been run­ning since 1991, and is funded through In­no­va­tion P.E.I. and the At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency’s (ACOA) Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram.

“This year we have a lot of chil­dren mak­ing home­made dog bis­cuits, sell­ing bath salts, artists cre­at­ing jew­elry, pho­tos, babysit­ting and dog walk­ing busi­nesses,” noted Duffy. “We fol­low them through­out the sum­mer to help guide them with their busi­ness and make sure they are work­ing on it.”

More than 200 young­sters are in­volved in the pro­gram that is of­fered around the Is­land.

Darby Lea, 9, from Char­lot­te­town, says she has started a beach craft busi­ness.

“I get starfish, sea glass and drift­wood and things like that from the fish­ing (traps) and beaches for mak­ing key chains. I have an ice cream stand right be­side my house, so I set up there and sell my crafts, as well as yard sales,” ex­plained Lea, who hopes her cre­ativ­ity will turn into a suc­cess­ful busi­ness ven­ture.

The 25th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion, held at the tram­po­line park “Off the Wallz” in Sle­mon Park on Satur­day, in­cluded a bar­be­cue, cake, re­fresh­ments and co­pi­ous amounts of jump­ing fun.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit http://www.young­mil­lion­aire­spro­gram.ca

“My mom got the idea for me to make the key chains, and I just re­ally en­joy cook­ing be­cause I am from an­other coun­try and I en­joy mak­ing Ira­nian tra­di­tional cook­ies.” Gol­nar Saegh

DE­SIREE AN­STEY/JOUR­NAL PIONEER

Darby Lea, who is nine years old, has started a beach craft busi­ness af­ter join­ing the busi­ness and en­trepreneur­ship pro­gram of­fered to young­sters around P.E.I.

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