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Nursing student Zohra Surani, 21, is photographed June 9, 2011 during a visit to the Summer Jobs Services centre at 511 Richmond St. West in downtown Toronto. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
Nursing student Zohra Surani, 21, is photographed June 9, 2011 during a visit to the Summer Jobs Services centre at 511 Richmond St. West in downtown Toronto. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

Small Business Briefing

Students reluctant to launch summer businesses Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

Sixty-nine per cent of post-secondary students have found a summer job, according to a new survey from Bank of Montreal, and19 per cent said they were still looking for summer employment.

"We are seeing that business owners are increasingly willing to invest in growing their business, including hiring new employees," said Gail Cocker, senior vice-president of commercial and treasury management at BMO Financial Group. "This willingness to spend signals an optimistic outlook by business owners which is good news for the Canadian economy."

Encouraging numbers, but only 1 per cent of students surveyed said they planned to start their own summer business. To help boost that number, the bank has provided some suggestions for budding entrepreneurs, a sampling of which also provides a window into the challenges involved in the process, and might help explain the findings:

  • Leverage the wide array of resources and tools to learn what you need to know to set up your business, including setting up a business number, whether or not to incorporate the business and the potential tax implications.
  • Think carefully about why you want to start your own business. While being your own boss can offer some flexibility compared to the corporate world, other sacrifices will need to be made, including longer hours and potentially less cash flow, to ensure success.
  • Stress-test your idea and research your marketplace, including what the product and price point will be, who your audience is and what your sales targets will need to be to cover your cost.

Council launches new website for entrepreneurs

The Young Entrepreneur Council, an organization based in New York, has just launched its new website. The multimedia content is being created by entrepreneurs from around the world, including the founders of companies such as Living Social, Reddit, iContact, 99 designs and hundreds of others. In the coming months, it will be home to videos, podcasts, written content and live chats for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs.

India, home of the mobile-app millionaires

Mobile apps are making millionaires of entrepreneurs all over India. The Times of India has profiled a number of them, sharing their common challenges (lack of adequate talent), and unique ones (making money from freeware). "But collectively," the article states, "they can't stop gushing about the hottest new business. And explaining why the next Angry Birds may come from their research labs."


Pitch your idea, make investment connections

The DEMO Tour will be making a stop on Tuesday in Toronto, where 10 Canadian entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a team of venture capitalists and Rogers Ventures. Participants will receive feedback on their pitch and make further investment connections. The best ideas will be showcase at DEMO Fall 2011 in Santa Clara, Calif. To get a 30-minute private meeting with Rogers Ventures and the DEMO team, you must submit an application. Each company selected also has the opportunity to address a larger audience at the DEMO Tour party Tuesday evening. Entrepreneurs looking to participate can apply here.


The Stal Shield and Stand is a diamond-shaped piece of hard, transparent plastic that covers a patient's nose and mouth when airways are being cleared with a suction wand. It creates a barrier against visible and invisible excretions from the sick and injured. But getting the product into hospitals and ambulances has been stymied by reduced health-care budgets and slow-moving bureaucracy.

From the ROSB archives

Jordan Guitierrez has owned and operated librerialeo.com.mx, an online company that sells Spanish language medical books to students in Mexico, since 2008. It's currently the largest online medical bookstore in Latin America and has seen over $1 million in sales growth over the past two years. One from our series of monthly podcasts with ACE honourees, he spoke with Diane Jermyn about growing up an entrepreneur.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

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