Mentor Works receives multiple inquiries a day from entrepreneurs and aspiring small business owners on funding programs specifically for start-ups. Typically, government funding is targeted towards small to mid-sized enterprises, which generally excludes entrepreneurs and young start-up businesses. Fortunately, there are other resources available to help start-ups build a foundation for growth and success. While the situations will vary, each one is looking to orient themselves in this space and find out what sort of government backed programs exist to support them.
The Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) are local, community organizations funded by the province to support businesses.
These services are largely free of cost and Mentor Works recommends you contact them and get connected to their services if you are looking to start a new business.
What Can These Centres Offer?
While each location may offer different resources, these centres provide a plethora of knowledge related to:
- Access to advisors who have owned businesses;
- Assistance with the development of a business plan, market research, financial and cash flow development, taxes, and insurance;
- Tools to explore entrepreneurship and self-employment, as well as examine business feasibility;
- Networking opportunities and workshops;
- Access to directories, trade indexes and books;
- Information on patents, copyright, and trademarks; and
- Guidance on licenses, permits, registration, regulations, and other documents you need to start a business, and more.
Small Business Enterprise Centre Locations
There are over 40 locations all throughout Ontario to help start-ups build a foundation for growth and success. These include:
Belleville: Small Business Centre
Bracebridge: Muskoka Small Business Center
Brampton: Brampton Entrepreneur Centre
Bruce County: Business to Bruce, Bruce County
Cambridge: Waterloo Region Small Business Centre
Chatham: Small Business Centre
Collingwood: South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre
Cornwall: Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre
Goderich: Huron Small Business Enterprise Centre
Haileybury: Enterprise Temiskaming
Hamilton: Hamilton Business Centre
L’Orignal: Prescott-Russell Entrepreneurship Centre
Kenora: Northwest Business Centre
Kingston: KEDCO Small Business Development Centre
Kitchener: Waterloo Region Small Business Centre
London: Small Business Centre
Markham: Markham Small Business Centre
Mississauga: Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre
Newmarket: York Small Business Enterprise Centre
Niagara Falls: Niagara Falls Small Business Enterprise Centre
North York: Enterprise Toronto
Oakville: Halton Region Small Business Centre
Orangeville: Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre
Ottawa: Invest Ottawa
Owen Sound: Grey County Business Enterprise Centre
Parry Sound: The Business Centre – Nipissing Parry Sound Inc.
Pembroke: Enterprise Renfrew County
Peterborough: Business Advisory Centre
Renfrew: Enterprise Renfrew County
Richmond Hill: Richmond Hill Small Business Enterprise Centre
Sault Ste. Marie: Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship
Scarborough: Enterprise Toronto
Smiths Falls: Small Business Advisory Centre
St. Catharines: St. Catharines Enterprise Centre
Stratford: Stratford Perth Centre for Business
Sudbury: Regional Business Centre
Thunder Bay: Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre
Timmins: Business Enterprise Centre
Toronto: Enterprise Toronto
Vaughan: Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre
Waterloo: Waterloo Region Small Business Centre
Whitby: Business Advisory Centre Durham
Windsor: WindsorEssex Small Business Centre
Woodstock: The Small Business Centre
Contact your closest centre to get started with your business journey.
Canadian Small Business Funding and Resources
It takes significant time and effort to nurture a start-up, but once you’re up and running, you’ll be that much closer to accessing government grants and other funding sources!
To determine what you’ll need to access government incentives, please download Mentor Works’ free Startup Funding Checklist!