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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Never too young to be an entrepreneur

By Roger Pierce

There's no age restriction when launching a small business. "Starting young gives you time to make mistakes and recuperate from them," entrepreneur Kat Aniol says.
Kat Aniol helps bar patrons to choose that perfect martini from menus produced by her firm, Beyond Destination Design. She's part of a growing number of young entrepreneurs in Canada.

Aniol, 25, started her graphic design company, Beyond Destination Design, five years ago. "Running my own business full time at my age is a goal I set out to achieve," she explains. "It hasn't been easy, but I'm proud to be a young entrepreneur."

Beyond Destination Design ( creates innovative menus and promotional items for restaurants, bars and lounges. A major alcohol brand recently hired the firm to design catchy martini menus for use in Eastern Canada.

Aniol is part of a growing trend. According to an Angus Reid poll, "Entrepreneur" is the top career choice of young Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35. Young people crave the freedom and independence of entrepreneurship.

"I never liked routine," Aniol says. "Being my own boss keeps every day new and exciting and allows me to pursue my passion."

At an age when most young people are just starting their careers, Aniol seems ahead of the pack. She's earning good money and just moved into office space on Yonge St. near St. Clair in Toronto.

She's paid her dues, however. "I kept a full-time job during my first few years in business to raise some money," she recalls. "I quit the job when I couldn't find time to sleep."

Without the benefit of previous work experience, young entrepreneurs should expect a learning curve. "I've learned to pay attention to my accounting," explains Aniol. "You've got to stay on top of your invoices because people don't always pay on time."

Aniol says young people make great entrepreneurs. "Running your own business involves a lot of energy and risk, so being young helps," she says. "I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain."

-- Entrepreneurship expert Roger Pierce trains people on how to start a small business in the Up & Running Biz Launch Program.

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