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Saugeen Connects Allows 41 Youth to Start Up Their Own Businesses


Saugeen Connects, an economic development partnership consisting of the Saugeen Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) with five municipalities; Brockton, Hanover, Minto, Wellington North, and West Grey, are providing the opportunity for 41 youth to start-up 34 businesses in our region. These students, from grades six to 12, have started various businesses which include; lawn care, dog walking, babysitting, selling hand-made merchandise, working a concession stand and other creative business ideas.

The General Manager at SEDC, Rose Austin, states how pleased they are with the work the students have put into their businesses.

“Thanks to SSUP numerous students are taking advantage of their entrepreneurial spirit and getting involved in their communities. We are overjoyed with the dedication and hard-work the students have put into this program and all that it provides.”


Saugeen Connects would like to briefly introduce the incredible student entrepreneurs and their businesses:

Out of Brockton there are three businesses run by three incredible youth. Autumn Lake is selling loom bracelets; Graham Hutcheon started his own dog walking business, and Sarah Allman is the owner of a mental health app called Setsuzku.


From West Grey five creative youth have started up four new businesses. Niya Doherty and Ava Weltz are breaking out into the babysitting industry, Ryan Farlow and Zasha Ortman each have their own businesses selling farm fresh eggs, Cole Doherty is working on barbeque cleaning; and Conner Schmidt has been providing lawn care and car washing services to the community.


SSUP has helped 11 wonderful youth to start-up seven businesses in Wellington North. Jacob Seddon builds and sells his very own custom wood planters; Lillian Tawse and Abby VanDerAa have a gardening business; Lucas Frey works at a baseball diamond selling treat bags; Nate Carriere manages a treat sales booth; Olivia Rushton and Shelby Boles are selling dry cookie ingredients in a jar; and Sierra Smith builds handmade barn board decor.


Minto welcomes eight businesses run by 10 hardworking youth. There is Abe Riley who manufactures all natural soap, Cailey Schiestel and Shayla Glazema who each have their own babysitting businesses, Cavan Murray and Jayse Wylie who are partnering on a lawn care service, Emily Batista Santiestenban who is also running a lawn care service, Garret Schouten, aka Chuckles, who is a balloon twisting entrepreneur, Leah Dykstra and Elena Norris who are selling treats at local events; and Taryn Sinclair has a business selling farm fresh eggs.


A total of 12 businesses have started up in Hanover thanks to 14 excited youth. Rayna Marshall makes and sells Morse-code bracelets; Alyssa Kennedy Helen works from Launch Pad to provide custom welding work to her customers; Brody Aljoe started a business in graphic design; Lilliana Feather, Kahlen Meyers and Autumn Lorenz are working together on their business called Leashine where they provide dog walking services; Danielle Goetz has also started her own dog walking business; Kaylee Lantz is serving other youth in her community as a French tutor; Grace Weber works out of the Class Factory providing youth fitness classes; Kyler Edwards has a lawn care business; Maverick Lacey has his own concession selling beverages at the Keady Market; Mel Blakeney makes and sells customized toys and dolls; Oliver Aeberhard has a wood carving business; and Paige Schlorff is offering babysitting services. 

You can see some of these young entrepreneurs in action at Hanover Raceway race nights. 


SSUP is a funding program aimed at youth from grades 6 to12 in the Saugeen Connects catchment area. The Saugeen SSUP provides a meet-and-greet with sponsors, extensive workshop training, start-up funding and an opportunity to earn bonus cash through active participation in SSUP initiatives. In addition to a grant from the Rural Economic Development fund through the provincial Ministry of Rural Affairs, the member municipalities acquired private-sector sponsors to contribute to the funding for SSUP.

A huge note of thanks goes out to our wonderful sponsors:

Five Star Sponsors:

  • Libro Credit Union, Minto
  • Hanover Raceway
  • Saugeen Economic Development Corporation
  • Township of Wellington North

Three Star Sponsors:

  • Rotary Club of Walkerton
  • Wellington North Youth Advisory Council
  • 88.7 The River, Wellington North
  • Blessings to You, Minto
  • Clifford Rotary, Minto
  • Ken Reay Transport, West Grey

One Star Sponsors:

  • Minto Optimist Club
  • Walkerton and District Optimist Club
  • Hanover Chamber of Commerce
  • Meridan Credit Union, Hanover
  • Grey County
  • McIntee & Co., Brockton
  • Wellington County
  • Stephen and Susan Townsend, West Grey
  • West Grey Durham Lions Club

Media Contact:
Rose Austin, General Manager, SEDC
519-799-5750 x 1