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.
Meet Grace of Tails Boutiques
Grace is a 16 year old youth entrepreneur who decided to start her own business based around her passion for animals. She pitched her business at our Youth ‘Dragon’s Den’ Styled Pitch Competition and was our winning semi-finalist in Brock Township and our winning finalist in 2018. She then participated that summer in the Summer Company Program through the BACD.
With her dog bandannas being her first product in her line she then became mentored by Emma Harris, CEO of Healthy Pets IO. She has since expanded her product line to now include pet accessories, pet supplies, bow ties, poop bags, bandannas, snap hound and memory pillows.
Tails Boutiques also proudly supports animal shelters by providing bandanas that promote the adoption of the animals. She does so with the Humane Society of Durham Region and she continues to work with other shelters to encourage the adoption of them so that they can find 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.
Meet Jeff of Jeff Baker WoodWorks
Jeff Baker WoodWorks is a small Canadian furniture company located in Uxbridge that is dedicated to the creation of well crafted timeless designs. His mission is to make the world a more beautiful place to live by – reducing the stress on landfills 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 our youth mentorship program.
He honed his skills under several craftsmen and sculptors alike. He says that the most important thing that 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 the new.
From pitching his business in 2017 and going through the BYC program, Jeff continued working on his business – finding any and all ways to help make his dream come true. He is now running a hugely successful full-time business located out of Uxbridge, Ontario.
Meet Jasmine of Jasmine Rutschmann's Metal Art
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.