Ever dream of owning your own business? There’s a program in Durham Region that’s helping youth do just that…and for free. Joe Scarpelli has the inspiring story of one student.
When Nelly was ten she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She underwent a ten hour surgery, chemo and radiation which left her legally blind and paralyzed on one side. During her stay at the hospital she made the most of her time.
“I think just being in the hospital and stuff…there’s not too much to do, so I kind of found crafts and stuff.”
Since then a passion was born. Nelly fell in love with arts and crafts. She began selling her work to family and friends…and over the summer her products were being sold at a pop up shop in Port Perry.
Sweetie, Nelly’s service dog is always by her side.
“A couple times when I had my hands full and dropped something…you can tell her to pick it up and she’ll pick it up and hand it to me.”
Mom is her biggest fan. She often thanks customers for buying her daughters art…and those same customers leave with a piece of art and inspiration.
“It’s not just a piece of pottery anymore…it’s a piece of pottery made by a person who loves what she’s doing and has passion for it.”
This year, at the age of 20, Nelly decided to take her business to the next level. Nelly is a participant in an entrepreneur program called the NEET Youth Incubator. It’s a free 24 week program with a chance to win three thousand dollars cash for their business.
Pramilla Ramdahani, director of program says, “it targets those youth who cannot access the main stream incubators.”
The program is currently accepting applications and you too can get your business off the ground, Nelly says so.
“When she gets it in her mind that’s the way it goes.”