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Parents planning children’s pool parties this summer might be able to breathe easier thanks to first-year journalism student Nicole Siena. Siena’s proposed business, Watch Out Lifeguarding Service, placed in the top-10 for southern Ontario at the Ontario Secondary School Business Plan Competition on Nov. 7.

“My plan is to provide supervision and act as a lifeguard at private parties, events, home pools and other pools where you don’t usually find lifeguards,” she said.

The business plan was originally a project for a Grade 11 business class at St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton. Her teacher took the five highest-marked projects and submitted them to the competition for judging. Siena went on to win the provincials in June 2008.

After the project, Siena became a certified lifeguard and saw she could actually start her business. She revised her proposal in Grade 12 and resubmitted her entry, leading to her top-10 placement.

“I still want to get my business model started this summer,” said Siena. Her business model estimated she would need $1500 to get started, but she discovered that insurance would cost $3000 to $5000.

“I hope to get seasonal insurance for this summer,” she says. “It’s cheaper than a yearly insurance and the summer is when my business would see any money.”

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