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New program from BBBS of North Durham provides a Big Start to youth in the community


SCUGOG: Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham (BBBSND) is excited to announce a new initiative, to support the big ideas of youth in Scugog, Uxbridge and Brock Townships.

Big Start will provide opportunities for young people to launch and grow their big ideas!

The first opportunity for North Durham youth is now open. BBBSND's upcoming Holiday Market, on November 25th, will showcase a Young Entrepreneurs Market for youth aged 12 to 18. Young makers are invited to apply for a space in the Young Entrepreneurs Market, free of charge. The cost of the youth vendor tables are being covered, thanks to the support of Apex Estate Solutions.

Interested young entrepreneurs are asked to complete a short questionnaire, available at: They will be invited to a "get to know you" chat with a few local entrepreneurs, to share their business idea. Selected youth businesses will be offered a table at the Young Entrepreneurs Market!

To help them get started and grow their business, all of the participants in the Young Entrepreneurs Market will attend a business education day, in October, with local business owners. The day's goal is to teach them about business finance, marketing, and networking and share tips on how to have a successful day at the market.

"We are so excited to launch Big Start! There are so many talented young people in our community, and we want to help give them the best start possible and launch their dreams. We can't wait to see the applications for the Young Entrepreneur Market and meet the youth behind the ideas", says Margaret Ayres, Executive Director of BBBSND.

In addition to the Young Entrepreneurs Market, BBBSND is also planning a Big Start opportunity for young musicians, in conjunction with their Winding Roads concert in September.

BBBSND is proud to partner with Chris and Laura Dunlop, of APEX Estate Solutions, for the Young Entrepreneurs Market.

"Chris and I are the owners of APEX Estate Solutions Inc., located in Port Perry. We always wanted to own our own business but never took the chance till 2020 and in the later years of our lives.

We developed our business based on the unique and individual needs of people and their families in their homes. We really enjoy meeting so many new and wonderful people and working with our own family as part of our team.

We would like to mentor young entrepreneurs and provide them with access to the tools required to start or expand their own business. We cannot wait to hear from you and about your dreams, of where you would like your business to go", said Laura Dunlop.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham is the leading child and youth mentorship organization in North Durham. Through volunteer mentors, they help ignite the power and potential of young people. 2023 marks the 47th anniversary of their commitment to providing life-changing mentoring in the community. Early intervention by the Big Brothers Big Sisters team can help prevent the physical and mental effects which adverse childhood experiences can cause. By donating your time as a mentor or financially, you're giving a child a chance at a better future.

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