by Gloria Welton
At a recent Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce (GSCC) event during Small Business Week, Dominic Gallant, age 10, was awarded PEI Young Millionaires Entrepreneur of the Year for the Central PEI region.
Cora Sonier, Provincial Coordinator for the Young Millionaires Program (YMP) says youth aged 9 to 16 get the opportunity to start and operate their own business. The program offers training, mentoring, and ongoing support.
Youth develop and expand their entrepreneurial skills through a series of workshops exploring business fundamentals such as creativity and innovation, entrepreneurship, idea development, marketing, expenses and revenue, record keeping, customer service, and public speaking.
Applicants are approved based on the completion of their application, business idea, business plan, interest, and enthusiasm. They receive a non-repayable start-up grant of up to $150 dollars for sole proprietorship and up to $200 for a partnership.
Cora was at the Business Week event to announce and recognize Dominic’s achievements and to have him tell the story of how he became a creative and dynamic entrepreneur at such a young age.
He is an author, illustrator, and active member of his school’s cross-country team. He wrote and illustrated his own 40-page comic book called Unicorn. It is a story about an ordinary man living in Toronto with his dog Marshmellow who discovers his dad is a superhero and decides to put on his dad’s old suit to save the city. Dominic sells his comics at various Summerside locations and at pop-up events across the Island.
“Unicorn had its first printing in July of 2023, and I have been on an exciting adventure,” says Dominic. “I have since published Unicorn #2 and sold a total of 160 copies of the two stories, making over $1,000 in sales.
“I had the privilege of attending eight pop-up events at local craft markets and industry expos where I met amazing people who share my passion for storytelling. I met Summerside Mayor, Dan Kutcher, and was interviewed on Hot 105.5 and CBC Island Morning about my business.”
“People often ask me where I get the ideas for my stories, and I have to say they just come to me as if the characters are waiting to be discovered. Many people wonder if I plan to expand beyond comic books and I say, yes definitely. I am open to exploring what is capturing my imagination.
“I am currently working on Unicorn #3, but no spoilers allowed. I promise that I will be working on more exciting series to come. Why did I start this business? Well for fun and to make more money to buy more Lego and videogames. My lifelong goal is to become a millionaire so I can expand my Lego and videogame collections.
“YMP has really helped me get started. I learned a lot from the courses and the connections I made. If children are interested in starting their own business, I would suggest checking out YMP.
“If you want to get copies of my comics, they can be purchased at HMS Office Supplies in Summerside and Charlottetown. Also, at Coles Book store and various pop-ups.”
Copies can also be purchased by emailing Dominic at firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more about YMP, visit www.youngmillionairesprogram.ca