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Youth Ventures helping kids on the coast get businesses up and running

Logan Belben, 11, of L’Anse au Loup, accepting his Youth Ventures Award for Excellence in Arts and Tourism. Presenting the award is Hospitality NL vice-chair Scott Hillyer, owner of Coffee Matters. Logan’s business is called Logan’s Labrador Souvenirs.
Logan Belben, 11, of L’Anse au Loup, accepting his Youth Ventures Award for Excellence in Arts and Tourism. Presenting the award is Hospitality NL vice-chair Scott Hillyer, owner of Coffee Matters. Logan’s business is called Logan’s Labrador Souvenirs.

L’ANSE AU LOUP/PORT HOPE SIMPSON, NL – Logan Belben of L’Anse au Loup started a business that earned him a Youth Ventures Excellence in Arts and Tourism Award – a great accomplishment for an 11-year-old.    

Logan’s business is called Logan’s Labrador Souvenirs. He sells roasting sticks, ice fishing poles, post cards and numerous other Labrador-themed products. His family owns the local restaurant, Fast Freddy’s, where Logan sold a lot of his products to customers.


“I never had nothing to do this summer, so I thought that I’d start up a business when I saw different posters at school,” Logan said.

Logan Belben making his products for his business, Logan’s Labrador Souvenirs.


Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador sponsored the award Logan won.


Logan’s mother, Donna Belben, said she’s proud of her son for winning a provincial Youth Ventures award. He’s made over $800, she said, and still has orders to fill.

Logan Belban has made over $800 with his business, Logan’s Labrador Souvenirs.

“He just took this on as a summer project. I don’t think he anticipated it was going to be so successful. The support from the locals and from family has been unreal. And that’s what has contributed to the success of his business,” she said.


Youth Ventures also helped Jada Sampson of Port Hope Simpson get her business, Jada’s Gotcha Hooked, up and running. The 11-year-old has been selling everything from fish hooks to jiggers to fishing hats.


Jada’s mother, Kayla Sampson, said the family is grateful for the help Youth Ventures gave her daughter in setting up her business.


Canada Day was particularly busy for Jada, her mother said, as she set up shop in a small fishing area in Port Hope Simpson.


“Not far from here, at Long Point, she went and set up. She sold hot dogs and sold her fishing supplies. She had a contest where whoever caught the biggest fish would win a trouting hook, and she printed off fish on the computer and sold them. Whoever got the lucky fish would come and pick a hook,” Kayla said.


Kayla’s grandfather, Bert Penney, made some fishing supplies for Kayla. Her father, Gary Sampson, also helped with the business, taking Jada where she needed to go and helping her set up her displays.

Jada Sampson, 11, of Port Hope Simpson and her products. Jada’s business is called Jada’s Gotcha Hooked.


Jada is delighted her catchy business has netted her about $900. She put some of the money back into the business, buying more supplies online. She also treated herself to some things she wanted to buy, including a Polaroid camera.


“It was really fun to sell fishing supplies and to make a lot of money,” she said.


Promoting entrepreneurship


The Youth Ventures program was established in 1992. Presented by the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) for over two decades, the program promotes entrepreneurship as a primary career option for youth in this province.


Since its establishment, the Youth Ventures program has helped 6,200 entrepreneurs start 4,200 businesses by providing advice on such topics as idea development, business planning, marketing direction, financial advice, and hiring employees.


The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) provided $380,737 to enable the CBDCs to deliver the Youth Ventures program this year.


“We had 22 regional coordinators all across Newfoundland and Labrador who worked with over 240 participants and provided business training, counselling and financing to 139 businesses,” said Youth Ventures provincial coordinator Ashley Pomeroy. “It was amazing to see so many youths take a leap into the world of entrepreneurship."

Roseanne Leonard is managing director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of CBDCs. She said the quality of businesses created by youth is incredibly positive for the future of our province.


“These young people have a strong vision of how to do business and there is no doubt that they will be the leaders of tomorrow,” Leonard said in a release about the awards.

Youth Ventures helped Jada Sampson of Port Hope Simpson get her business – Jada’s Gotcha Hooked – up and running. The 11-year-old has been selling everything from fish hooks to jiggers to fishing hats.


“The work we see come through our offices with the Youth Ventures program is amazing. Entrepreneurship in this province is booming, and we are reminded every year at these awards that the entrepreneurial spirit is not going anywhere,” she added.


Both Logan and Jada hope to continue their businesses next summer and encourage other youth to do the same.


“If you’re from Labrador, you can sell Labrador-themed things like I’m doing,” Logan suggested.

 

danette@nl.rogers.com

 

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