York Small Business Enterprise Centre

This year 16 York Small Business Enterprise Centre Summer Company students used their ideas, creativity and drive to launch their own summer businesses.  These are youth who chose to become job creators with businesses ranging from swimming lessons to accessibility consulting and IT services.

We are pleased to present 2 of these young entrepreneurs Gillian Conley and Chris Vonditsianos.

Our investment in the Summer Company program supports a new generation of entrepreneurs with hands-on opportunities in business training, mentorship and start-up grants. Congratulations to all of this year’s participants.

Gillian Conley

Pawsitively Pet Sitting

When Gillian Conley saw the opportunity to spend time with animals and get paid to do so, she said “yes, please!”

The University of Guelph biological science student always had a passion for animals, but it was with the help of The Summer Company Program that she was able to turn her passion into a viable business.

Gillian initially felt that she had limited business knowledge, as she chose to pursue a post-secondary education in sciences, and had never taken a business class before.

“In the beginning I felt a little intimidated with the idea of creating and running my own business,” says Gillian. “It was with the help of the program and all of the people involved that I felt confident enough to turn my love for animals into a means of income.”

Her daily clients included; dogs, cats, guinea pigs and more!  Gillian’s Pawsitively Pet Sitting offered personal and quality care for all household pets in Aurora and surrounding York Region communities.

It was important to Gillian that her customers felt comfortable leaving their beloved furry friend with her while they were away. “I realized how attached people are to their pets. They often view them as another member of the family,” says Gillian. “I wanted to ensure my customers trusted that I would treat their pet as one of my own.”

The program taught Gillian crucial business planning and marketing skills that she believes ultimately helped her become a successful entrepreneur, and turn her love for animals into an income generating summer business!

Chris Vonditsianos

Myth & Legends Urban Athletics

Chris Vonditsianos’ experience is one he states he will never forget.

Summer Company was an experience I was so happy I could be a part of, I was so worried I wouldn’t be accepted.  With the chance I was given I tried to apply myself 110% to the experience and it was nothing less than amazing.”

Chris’ Company Myth & Legends Urban Athletics is a motivational apparel company.  His goal is to motivate people to complete their dreams through the brand and message it contains.  The “Myth” is the goal that you wish to complete, the “Legend” is the story of the hardships and trial & errors it took in order to follow your dreams and complete your myth.

He came to Summer Company with the right ideas but didn’t know how to actually take action.  Through the experience his biggest lesson learned is simply; it doesn’t hurt to ask.  Since Summer Company he has talked to several successful entrepreneurs in regards to collaborations while the majority have said no, some have said yes.

“Just that lesson alone made me believe Summer Company was worth all the worrying at the beginning.  The people I have met here have helped motivate me even further to make MLUA (Myth & Legends Urban Athletics) a globally known line.”

Chris’ journey has just started and he has no plans of stopping anytime soon.

“If you can dream it, believe it, you can achieve it.”

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