Meet Nathan


Growing up in Ferryland on Newfoundland’s Southern Shore, Nathan Ryan has always been inspired by the outdoors. With tourism booming in his hometown, he saw a big opportunity, and created Nathan Ryan Photography!

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Youth Ventures Winners Circle Prize Giveaway


It’s that time of year again!

We are so excited to be teaming up again this year with the OZFM Summer Cruiser Team!

Catch us out and about at events and grab yourself an OZFM Winners Circle.

To celebrate, we will be giving away a Youth Ventures prize pack. All you have to do to enter is enter below. A winner will be chosen on August 9th, 2019 and notified by entry method.

Click here to enter the prize giveaway!

Interested in starting your own business this summer? Youth Ventures can help! Check out our Get Started page to learn more! https://youthventuresnl.com/getstarted/

Now Hiring: Youth Ventures Regional Coordinator



Youth Ventures is looking for extraordinary people to join our team.

Youth Ventures began in 1992 on the Northern Peninsula with 2 participants. Since then, the program has grown and employs 23 Regional Coordinators across Newfoundland and Labrador who help students start businesses.

Designed for students 12-29, Youth Ventures works with 300 students and assists with the start-up of 200 businesses each year. Since 1992 the program has helped over 6000 young people explore entrepreneurship.

Starting a business can be a career path, or a spare change kind-of operation. It’s all about taking the hobbies and passion participants have, along with the support of Youth Ventures, and making money by doing what they love to do. Youth Ventures has helped start lawn-moving businesses, bake shops, and small-time tech firms that create apps.

Youth Ventures Regional Coordinators help participants identify an idea, create a business plan, do market research and point them in the direction of financing (if needed) to get the business up and running. Each of the 23 Regional Coordinators are employed for 16 weeks in a dynamic position. Coordinators counsel entrepreneurs, give presentations to schools, and community organizations, organize events and manage the Youth Ventures programs for their region. It’s an all encompassing type of job that is challenging and rewarding.

If this sounds like you, please contact provincial@youthventuresnl.com for more information.


2017 Youth Ventures Award Winners – 20th Annual Youth Ventures Awards


2017 Award Winners

On August 10th, 2017, Youth Ventures celebrated the 20th Annual Youth Ventures Awards, presented by the CBDC. During this afternoon event, young entrepreneurs were recognized for their excellence throughout the summer program. 2017 was an amazing year for many youth in our province and we’re ecstatic to be part of their entrepreneurial journey. To learn more about the amazing, young entrepreneurs thriving in this province, check out their businesses below!

2017 Venture of the Year

The winner of the Youth Ventures award for Venture of the Year, sponsored by NL Association of CBDCs, is Jenna Dimmer.

This award is given to the business that was overall the most successful and well established business of that year. This business is quite visible, profitable, well known and the participant usually works full time. The nature of the business usually has the potential for longevity.

Jenna Dimmer has created a full service Salon in the heart of Marystown on the Burin Peninsula. The 23 year old provides high quality hair cuts for men, women, and children, colors, highlights, foils, waxings, manicures, pedicures, and more. Her one stop shop salon is build around the concept of customer service. Jenna has displayed growth, passion, positivity, and great business skills over the past two years that she has been involved with Youth Ventures.


Sponsored by CBDC

2017 Excellence in Financial Management

The winner of the Youth Ventures award for Excellence in Financial Management, sponsored by BDC – Business Development Bank of Canada, is Alyssa Barrett and Karlie Squires.

This award is given to a business with outstanding financial record keeping. The nomination materials should show how the business owner used any profit, repaid loans or ran a cost effective business.

Alyssa & Karlie are the owners of A&K Candy Boutique, a full service Candy Bouquet creator in Old Perlican. In 2016 Alyssa & Karlie joined the Youth Ventures program to pursue their dream of operating their own business. In just two short summers they have amassed a large and growing customer base which they go above and beyond to satisfy. Alyssa & Karlie’s financial management skills have also been outstanding throughout the entirety of the summer. Their book keeping abilities since opening their business have been impeccable, which in turn makes for outstanding financial management.

Sponsored by BDC

2017 Excellence in Marketing

The winner of the Youth Ventures award for Excellence in Marketing, sponsored by Event 3Sixty, is Steven Ryan and Ephraim Messele.

This award will be given to the business that used outstanding marketing to develop the business’s brand. Creativity in attracting customers and determining pricing are examples of excellent marketing initiatives.

Ephraim and Steven are business students at the College of the North Atlantic and owners of The Convenience Crew. The Convenience Crew ‘s great marketing and customer service has allowed them to grow to a company of 5 employees in just a few short months. Ephraim and Steven know their customers and use creative ways to reach them. Their marketing strategy includes the use of Kijiji Ads, Door Hangers, Branded T-Shirts, and social media. They have also been on OZFM’s Morning Rush. The Convenience Crew’s skilled marketing strategy has been key in their success.

Sponsored by Event3Sixty


2017 Outstanding Venture (17 years and under)

The winner of the Youth Ventures award for Outstanding Venture (17 years and under), sponsored by Newfoundland Power Inc., is Cody Green.

This award will go to a business owned by a youth, 17 years and under, who has experienced significant achievement during the current year and stands out amongst the crowd. By reading the application, the judges should get a good understanding of what makes this particular business different and exceptional.

Cody has created a unique business of up-cycling used guitar strings into jewelry. His knack for networking has allowed him to acquire used strings from music stores such as Long & McQuade and O’Brien’s Music. Cody’s products are now available for purchase at O’Brien’s Music in St. Johns and Ocean View Art Gallery in Carbonear. Its clear that Cody is a passionate entrepreneur with a great business idea. He is currently taking custom orders and already has clients as far away as the Yukon.


Sponsored by Newfoundland Power

2017 Excellence in Customer Service

The winner of the Youth Ventures award for Excellence in Customer Service, sponsored by Jungle Jim’s, is Cora Hogg and Devyn Hogg.

This award will go to the business that is outstanding in going over and above what is required in the area of customer service. In this award both letters of support should come from customers.  This business usually promotes customer service as the cornerstone to its success.

Cora & Devyn Hogg from Grand Falls – Windsor operate a custom bakery and specialty cake shop with an emphasis on being inclusive. They have a number of creative products including gluten free cake to allow people with a gluten intolerance to still enjoy their baking. Cora & Devyn’s focus on creating a wonderful customer experience has left good taste in the mouths of their clients. They have recently started offering a birthday party service where they teach birthday party guests how to decorate a cake. Repeat customers and testimonials have allowed their business to flourish.

Sponsored by Jungle Jim’s

2017 Trailblazer of the Year

The winner of the Youth Ventures award for Trailblazer of the Year, sponsored by I Design Ltd., is Madison Dicks, Jessie Lawrence and Vinn Elliott.

This award will be given to a business that shows unique and forward thinking which leads the way for others whether it be a new method they implemented to achieve success in their business or as a new industry in their region.

Madison, Jessie, and Vinn are in the process of creating a LGBTQ+ summer camp for individuals in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Camp Ohana will invite youth participants ages 14-18 to learn and grow while enjoying the outdoors and making lifelong friends. These participants have spent the summer fundraising, promoting, and preparing their business for next summer when they plan to launch Camp Ohana.


Sponsored by I Design

2017 Excellence in Arts and Tourism

The winner of the Youth Ventures award for Excellence in Arts & Tourism, sponsored by Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, is Logan Belben.

Businesses eligible for this category delivery a product or service in the visual and performing arts or cater to the culture and tourism industry. Businesses should demonstrate what makes them unique and how they excel in their industry.

Logan operates his business Logan’s Labrador Souvenirs out of L’Anse au Loup. At only 11 years old Logan creates Labrador themed Roasting Sticks, Ice Fishing Poles, Welcome Signs, and Post Cards. He says it’s very important for people from all over the world to learn more about our great province and its culture. Logan is helping them do so through his work and has sold products to visitors from all over as well many local members in his community.


Sponsored by Hospitality NL


2017 Star Coordinator

The winner of the Youth Ventures award for Star Coordinator is Emily Balsom.

This award goes to the Site Coordinator that has shown initiative and outstanding efforts in delivery of Youth Ventures in their area. This nomination should be completed by a staff member of the Delivery Site and should outline all activities that the Coordinator undertook to better serve their participants. Activities should include any combination of the following: creative marketing activities that generate awareness of the program, exceptional dedication to solving participant issues, achievement of two out of three Site Goals, etc. This nomination should consist of a letter of support and proof of achievements.

Emily has does an outstanding job delivering the Youth Ventures program in her area this year. Emily’s positive, go-getter attitude has allowed her to excel with the youth in her area. Emily has done an amazing job promoting and fostering entrepreneurship in her region.

2017 Mentor of the Year

The winner of the Youth Ventures award for Mentor of the Year, is John Smith.

This award is given to an individual from the community that has shown tremendous support to one or more Youth Ventures participants. This Mentor respects students’ ambitions and helps them achieve their goals. He/she actively guides the YV participants in their decisions and provides a good model of professionalism. This award will require a letter of support from either the Site Coordinator or another staff member, and a letter of support from a participant.

Mr. John Smith has a resume full of mentoring experience dating back to 2010 when he started mentoring underwater robotics for high school and junior high in the Conception Bay Area. Mr. John Smith currently serves as the executive director of the Conception Bay Area Chamber of Commerce as well he has many other Volunteer roles in his community. Despite his busy schedule John played an instrumental role in helping multiple youth businesses in his area succeed.

For more information, please contact Ashley Pomeroy at ashley.pomeroy@cbdc.ca or 745-4406.

Meet Your Coordinator: Alicia Ivany – Metro Business Opportunities


Meet Your Coordinator is our new series where we will be interviewing your local Youth Ventures Coordinator so you can get to know them. Next up is Alicia Ivany who is based out of Metro Business Opportunities.

Alicia Ivany

What’s your name?

Alicia Ivany

What Youth Ventures site are you based out of?

Metro Business Opportunities (MBO)

What are some of your favourite hobbies?

  • Helping others
  • Walking / Hiking / Adventuring
  • Traveling
  • Dancing
  • Making a change. Making a difference.
  • Planning and organizing literally anything and everything. Events, vacations, weekend plans, what to have for supper, etc. (lol)

What’s your favourite movie?

Don’t really have a favourite movie – as for tv though, I love Prison Break, Friends, Pretty Little Liars, and Riverdale.

What is your favourite band?

Don’t really have a favourite band. I love all different types of music though – anything I can dance to.

What is your favourite restaurant?

Hmmm…… do I have to pick just one? Lol. I LOVE Piatto Pizzeria, but if I had to pick something we didn’t have here it would be Olive Garden ALL the way!

Do you have any pets?

Yes. 2 puppies – Lacey and Bailey.

What does entrepreneurship mean to you?

To me, entrepreneurship means freedom. It means choice. It means support. It means making a difference and making a life for yourself that is on YOUR terms. It means taking the road less traveled. It means sharing something that you are passionate about with others and making a living off of it. It means breaking those glass ceilings. It means being successful in your own unique kind of way! It means adding something to the world that everyone can benefit from. It means being a leader not a follower. It means demonstrating the path to success and inspiring others to do the same. And, it means facing obstacles and challenges head on and always coming out on the other side!

What is the coolest business you heard of?

Honestly, I think every business is cool and unique in its own way because everyone always puts their own twist on it. However, I did presentations at a school and I asked the kids to give me a cool business idea that would solve one of their problems. They suggested something to push the bottom of a Pringles can up so your hand doesn’t get stuck in the can. This is SO clever!

What are you looking forward to most this summer?

This summer, I look forward to working with local entrepreneurs and watching them grow. I think my favorite part is seeing their growth from the beginning of the summer to the end and how much more they start believing in themselves. I also just love to see how I can help – love meeting new people.

What are some interesting business opportunities you see in your region?

We have two partners doing lawn care and I think this is SO fitting. These days, people are so busy and hardly have any leisure time. This gives them one less thing they need to do. I also have someone who is doing personalized wood-burned items (coasters, key chains, cutting boards, etc.). She also hopes to do lessons and classes for people so they can make their own!

What do youth in NL need to know about Youth Ventures?

Youth in NL need to know that YV is here to help every step of the way and that they are never alone. It can be very scary to take that first step and actually start a business but we make it less-scary for them. The reason they see their friends who have had businesses with YV so successful is because YV pushes youth and motivates them to be their best. YV is a support system that provides them with anything they need to get their business up and running! Without YV, a lot of successful youth would have never started – and what a waste that would be!

What is the most important thing people of any age who want to start a business need to know?

People need to know that they CAN do it and it IS possible if they put their mind to it. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t… you’re right!” – I think this quote applies to entrepreneurship because it all starts with having that BELIEF.

How can people get in touch with you if they’d like to talk about starting a business?

People can come visit me at my office – 961 Topsail Road Mount Pearl, A1N 3K1. They can give me a call at 738-1626, or they can email me at aivany@mboc.ca.

Don’t forget – we’re having a contest!

To enter:

1. Take a selfie with a Youth Ventures co-ordinator or participant

2. Upload it to Facebook or Instagram

3. Tag YouthVenturesNL and use the #MakinLemonade

Basket will be drawn August 10, 2017. Winner will be notified via entry method. Limited to one entry per person.

YV - FB OZFM Post 01




10 Characteristics of Entrepreneurs


Do you feel a desire to carve your own career path? Do you have a drive to be your own boss?

Well maybe you have the potential to be a very successful entrepreneur!

We’ve made a list of characteristics that most successful entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, and many more, share.

Here are 10 popular characteristics of Entrepreneurs:

1 –    Passionate

You need to be driven by a clear sense of purpose for your business to succeed. Become an entrepreneur so you can spend every day at work doing something you enjoy.

2 –    Think/Plan for the future

Plan plan plan! Plan for the things you have to do this week, or month. Have a timeline made that outlines your goals. Remember to keep your working area and your head organized so that things are done efficiently and on time.

3 –    Be Resilient

More often than not, entrepreneurs will receive criticism and doubt about their ideas. It is important to channel that negative energy and turn it into advice and thrive from it.

After all, Apple co-founder, Steve Wozinak, pitched his first computer idea to HP and was rejected 6 times. Now look how far Apple has come.

4 –    High Sense of Self Worth

If you don’t have confidence in yourself and your ideas, than who will? Remember to tell yourself that you can do whatever you set your mind too. The sky is the limit! It is also important to note that entrepreneurs feel insecure sometimes too; after all, we’re all humans. Use any insecurities to drive yourself to accomplish your dreams.

Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran group and co-star on dragons den, said “those who are nervous about failing can become hyper-focused on success.”

5 –    Ability to Sell

This is a necessary trait to posses when entering the business world. If you are an entrepreneur and you want to succeed, then you must be able to sell your product or service to the best of your abilities. You need to be convincing and finish a sale. Research ways to pitch your business, work on your elevator pitch, and always be prepared.

6 –     Balanced

As an entrepreneur you need to balance work, social life, healthy lifestyle and everything all at once. You need to know when a battle is worth winning, when to walk away from a failure, and when to go home for a good night rest.

7 –      Decisive

When starting a business there are a lot of questions that will arise. Who am I selling to? What price is product worth to people? Should I follow this route or a different one? You are constantly going to have to make decisions that will greatly impact your business. Weigh the pros and cons and then choose. Be confident in your decisions and try to make smart moves and stick with it.

8 –       Fearless

This is a big one for entrepreneurs. You need to learn to take risks and be fearless. If you are constantly thinking about how you couldn’t possibly do something because of the repercussions than you won’t reach the great entrepreneurial success you are dreaming of!

You have to risk everything, money, free time, other people’s opinions of you, and much more. If you truly believe in yourself and your product/service than you will make the risks and either live your dream or learn from your mistakes and try again.

9 –       Childish

 Approach your day with childlike wonderment, faith, and curiosity. Entrepreneurs are like kids in candy stores; nothing is off limits and everything is theirs for the taking.

10 –      Financially Prepared

Business start up is never usually cheap. It is important to think about how you will finance your business along with your everyday life expenses.


Do you have what it takes?