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News Release

July 14, 2005

Student Starts Business, Earns Co-op Credit

With funding and support from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), a University of Guelph student entrepreneur started his own business by pursuing a non-traditional co-op placement through the Business Venture Program option offered by U of G’s Co-operative Education and Career Services Department.

Justin St-Maurice, a fourth-year engineering systems and computing student, is one of the city of Guelph’s first recipients of CYBF start-up funding.

In May, he opened The Guelph Computer Shop on the upper level of downtown’s Old Quebec Street mall and to date has completed five months of his eight-month co-op term. In the fall, he’ll return to his studies part time and continue to build his business.

“While I'm currently focused on computer sales, repairs and upgrades, I'm looking to start offering workshops, off-site services, web design and small business support to the community,” said St-Maurice, who plans to offer co-op placements and employment to students in years to come. “I hope to provide opportunities that will help others develop important skills that can’t be taught in the classroom, including management, presentation, computer and general problem-solving skills.”

To be eligible to receive funding applicants must be 18 to 34 years old, eligible to work in Canada, show they have a strong sense about the business idea they are proposing and have some experience in that area. They must also conduct market research, agree to work with a mentor, have realistic goals and prove they are motivated to succeed.

“With seven years of experience working with computers, Justin’s first-hand knowledge and passion for technology were unique to his application,” said Marilyn Bromberg, CYBF communications co-ordinator.

Established in 1996, CYBF is a nationally registered charity that has a network of 60 sites across Canada reaching nearly 1000 local communities. Through its three core programs of seed financing, mentoring and online learning resources more than 1,300 young entrepreneurs have successfully launched their business — creating 6,600 jobs, generating $135 million in gross sales and producing over $30 million in tax revenue.

100 young entrepreneurs across Canada have received loans from the foundation since October 2004.

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