See what North Durham's youth have to say about BYC programming!

“The BYC has become such a beacon of possibility for youth in our beautiful community. I’ve grown so much as an individual through the experiences I’ve had with the BYC – whether it be through starting a company with my classmates when I was sixteen, or the amazing summer I spent as the manager of Cool Cow, the BYC’s local ice cream shop. These experiences have been fundamental aspects of my development as a leader and have brought me so much fulfillment in my time working with the organization.”

Maija | Beaverton

“The BYC gave me the opportunity to expand my entrepreneurial mindset through their Pitch Competition… Since the competition I have been able to build a business that has helped cover the costs of tuition for my University degree. My drive to continue to look for new entrepreneurial inspirations comes from the mindset that BYC helped me build. Thank you BYC!”

Matthew | Uxbridge

“The BYC changed my life. From preparing me for various business pitch competitions to taking me on a conference to OCE discovery days they have helped me improve my self esteem and business. They got me onto the Marylin Denis show where I got to give my business pitch to Kevin O’Leary himself! Anyone who has come into contact with the high level of leadership showed by Barb and Emily and the entire organization is extremely lucky to have the opportunity to work with such caring and passionate talented people. They developed me into the entrepreneur I am today. Thank you BYC!”

Jasmine | Port Perry

Check out these awesome success stories!

Entrepreneurs come in all ages and stages of life, and entrepreneurship development through BYC programs has led several North Durham youth down the path of business ownership. ​

Grace is a 17 year old youth entrepreneur who decided to start her own business based around her passion for animals. She pitched her business at the Youth ‘Dragon’s Den’ Style Pitch Competition, was successful in winning the semi-finals in Brock Township, and was the overall champion in the 2018 North Durham competition. That summer she participated in the Business Advisory Centre Durham Summer Company Program. 

Dog bandannas were the first product in her line and from there she expanded to include pet accessories, pet supplies, bow ties, poop bags, snap hound and memory pillows. 

Tails Boutiques also proudly supports animal shelters, providing dog  bandanas that promote pet adoption. Grace provides bandanas to the Humane Society of Durham Region, as well as other shelters, to encourage pet adoption to a forever home. She is currently running a successful online pet business and there is no doubt that she has big plans for her future. 

Jeff Baker WoodWorks is a small Canadian furniture company that is dedicated to the creation of well crafted timeless designs. located in Uxbridge, Jeff’s mission is to make the world a more beautiful place in which to live by reducing stress on landfills. He does this by striving for a zero waste shop, making quality heirloom furniture that lasts a lifetime, and giving back to the community by passing on woodworking skills to the younger generation through a youth mentorship program.

Jeff honed his skills under several craftsmen and sculptors. He feels that the most important thing he’s learned is to listen to the material, “let the piece tell you what it wants to be.” Each piece he hand-picks tells a story, blending the history and imperfect beauty of reclaimed materials with those that are new.

Jeff participated in the BYC youth entrepreneurship program and pitched his business in the 2017 ‘Dragon’s Den’ style business idea competition. From there, he joined the Business Advisory Centre Durham program and continued working on his business – finding any and all ways to help make his dream come true. He is now running a successful full-time business located in Uxbridge, Ontario. 

One of the finalists from 2015, Jasmine Rutschmann, has established herself as an artist far and wide, even having an art show in New York City. With her studio located in Port Perry, Ontario, and growing up there, she learned how to use various tools in her Dad’s welding shop. 
She picked up a plasma cutter and found her passion.

She is a metal artist but had never considered the possibility that her art could become a business until she participated in the Business Idea Competition through BYC. 

She is now  happier than she has ever been, working and creating sculptures. Starting with 100% recycled materials she experimented and developed her artistic abilities. Carving out nature scenes and floral designs on found objects such as old shovel heads, wheelbarrows, metal umbrella tables, and saws.

Not only has she built her business from the ground up, she held a job with BYC as the Coordinator of Programs and Events – teaching more youth about entrepreneurship, and now she sits on our Board of Directors as our Chair. 

Matt is the content writer and  owner of MBS, a small skateboarding company that specializes in grip-tape and apparel. Since investing in a vinyl plotter and press in March 2019, Matt has been making MBS’s products himself and has not looked back since!

Along with Switch Skate & Snow, he hosts an annual skate contest called the Shred N’ Breakfast, something which he has always wanted to do and has been doing amazing with since.

You can check out MBS’s products at, or find some gear at Switch Skate & Snow in Ajax or The Collective Brantford in Brandtford.

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