While many post-secondary students are content to spend their summers planting trees or bartending, others aspire to do something more ambitious. It’s these proto-entrepreneurs who have helped Deco Windshield Repair Inc. (No. 37) expand rapidly across Western Canada. Deco’s 92 mobile windshield-chip repair locations, which do business for four months each summer in mall and other parking lots, are almost entirely managed by college- and university-student licensees.
Deco runs cheeky ads on campuses each spring to appeal to students keen to run their own summer businesses. The model works for two main reasons. The students make a good income without any startup pains, which reduces the risk that they’ll leave—or, worse, start a competitor. And because each student acts as an independent contractor, not a franchisee who owns the location, Deco can move ahead with its plans to expand nationwide and into the U.S. without giving up any control over its network.
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