This summer, Rosalyn Staple and Ryan Kalt won’t fire off résumés and fill out job applications. Bosses won’t grill them with questions at job interviews. That’s because Rosalyn and Ryan are using their ideas and hobbies to make some money. They have created jobs for themselves and their friends, while they are still in school. Rosalyn and Ryan are entrepreneurs.
It isn’t always easy to find a summer job so in 2000, Rosalyn started her own business in her hometown of Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia. “I thought if I had my own business then I’d have more job security and be able to make more money,” said Rosalyn. “I also wanted a challenge.”
Starting a business is hard, but Rosalyn found the support she needed from her parents, some entrepreneurial organizations and a financial advisor. Money is always an obstacle and Rosalyn needed $10,000 to get started. The loan available for young entrepreneurs wasn’t going to provide enough and her attempts to get a bank loan didn’t work out. Luckily, Rosalyn’s father pulled through. He invested $10,000 into her newly opened business line of credit. Since the money was then in Rosalyn’s name, she took responsibility for paying it back to the bank.
Using local trades-people and merchants, Rosalyn built and opened her business, Polar Bear Express, a small building with the same décor as the adjacent railway museum, where she sells ice cream, sundaes, frozen yogurt and other summer treats.
Eighteen-year-old Rosalyn now has a secure summer job that she loves and has employed four other students for the past two summers. “I always had a keen interest in the business world and was always trying to raise money somehow,” said Rosalyn. The biggest rewards for Rosalyn are hearing positive comments from customers, seeing excited kids when you hand them an ice cream cone, having her picnic tables full, and creating jobs for other youth. “People are always surprised when they learn that a young person owns it,” said Rosalyn. “It’s a good feeling.”
A summer job is great, but we’ve got to think about our careers. What will we do after high school? After university or college? An entrepreneur can take many paths between school and work, but Ryan believes that an education is part of any path.
Ryan Kalt started WebCrafter Interactive, his first of several businesses, when he was 16. WebCrafter Interactive provided web design forms and web hosting support. After Webcrafter, Ryan operated NetYard Internet Hosting, a company that grew successful with clients in Canada, the US and Singapore. Its success made him busy so Ryan sold NetYard to allow more time to concentrate on school. And then there was 1-877 YourWeb.com, another web hosting company that served as a marketing firm for a Florida-based company. It too was profitable and successful but was wound down as it conflicted with his new company founded in 1998, Numedia Inc.
Under the holding name of Kalt Industries Ltd, NuMedia employs 13 people in three locations: Kingston and Toronto, Ontario and Kelowna, BC. Along with