The latest news, events and client highlights from the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre.
Small Business Client Spotlight
Zaheem Riberdy
Fancy footwork: Summer Company launches Kustom Kicks

Like many teenagers, Zaheem Riberdy is obsessed with footwear. Unlike most of his peers, however, this 17-year-old entrepreneur and finalist in the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition turned a hobby customizing sneakers and refurbishing old ones into a global business.

Through  Summer Company last year, Riberdy launched Kustom Kicks, a company that sells fashionable, custom-made footwear and counts everyone from local retailers to UCLA's basketball team among its customers.

Summer Company is an Ontario government program which provides young people with the resources and knowledge they need to start a new summer business. Full-time students, aged 15-29, receive hands-on business training, advice and mentorship from local business leaders as well as a grant of up to $3,000.

Clients in the News
Milk Coffee Bar owner Arsh Bhatia
Milk Coffee Bar in downtown Windsor sold, reopens in March

A 22-year-old University of Windsor business student who has purchased Milk Coffee Bar wants a cozier feel without changing too much that made the artsy downtown spot popular.

Read more
Luis Mendez_ owner of True Fitness
True Fitness wants clients to stay connected with hearTV

Luis Mendez, owner of True Fitness gym on Tecumseh Road, tries to offer the latest technology to his clients, including hearTV, which allows users to listen to a muted television on their smartphone during a workout. 

Read more
Upcoming Events

Basics of Starting a
Small Business


Do you have an idea and want to start your own  small  business, but you aren't sure where to start? Attend one of these FREE seminars to find out information about:
  • How to register your business
  • Business structure
  • Government support programs
  • Other available services and programs
You will receive a FREE Start-up Package and step-by-step guidance.

Tuesday, March 1 - 10-11 a.m.
(Essex office)

Friday, March 4 - 9-10 a.m.

Monday, March 7 - 10-11 a.m. (Leamington)

Thursday, March 17 - 5-6 p.m.

Monday, March 21 - 3-4 p.m.

Basics of Writing a
Business Plan


A good  business  plan is your road map to success! A  business  plan is also required when applying for any type of small business financing.  Attend one of these FREE seminars to learn how to develop a  business  plan that will work for you! This session will cover:
  • Required elements of a business plan
  • Breaking down a business plan into manageable pieces
  • Where to gather relevant information for a business plan
  • How to professionally arrange your ideas and research
  • What to do with the plan when it's completed

Starter Company

This Government of Ontario program provides people aged 18-29 with the resources and knowledge needed to start and grow their own business. The program includes one-on-one guidance from the Small Business Centre, mentoring with local professionals, funding of up to $5,000 and access to the following workshops.

Don't qualify for Starter Company? The classes are still  free  and open to the public. Sign up today!

Managing and Planning Your Money
Thursday, March 3 - 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Understanding Your Finances and Business Structure
Thursday, March 10 - 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Banking 101
Thursday, March 17 - 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Creating a Business Pitch
Thursday, March 24 - 9 a.m.-12 p.m.


Income Tax for Small Business 

Income Tax for Small Business (Essex)

GST/HST Information for Small Business

Advance online registration required for all events.
Past Events
photo courtesy Snapd Windsor
Professionals learn about the power of networking

Local entrepreneurs and business professionals gathered at the Ojibway Nature Centre in Windsor on Thursday, February 4 to  network, learn and connect with others during ConnectFest 2016. This free event was sponsored in part by the Small Business Centre. The centre's Executive Director, Sabrina DeMarco, spoke on a panel about her networking experiences.
High school Dragon_s Den
photo courtesy Snapd Windsor
Pitching to our local business dragons

On January 21, high school students at École secondaire catholique E.J. Lajeunesse pitched their business ideas to a team of expert judges, including Small Business Centre Youth Entrepreneurship Coordinator Sandra Vasquez. Around 50 people attended the Dragon's Den event. Congrats to all the budding entrepreneurs!

Special Announcements
Vertika Pole Fitness Starter Company grant
Starter Company awards $5,000 to Vertika Pole Fitness

Alexandra Urbano and Caita Clemerson, owners of Vertika Pole Fitness on Ottawa Street in Windsor, received $5,000 this month after successfully completing the Starter Company program.  

Visit our website to find out how Starter Company can help you launch or expand your small business.
WindsorEssex Small Business Centre | 519-253-6900 | Email  | Website