In 2014, the Government of Ontario introduced Starter Company, a funding program that supported youth entrepreneurs. To date, the program has assisted 2,700 businesses and supported the creation of more than 3,100 jobs across the province. That iteration of the program is now closed, however, to continue supporting startup ventures in Ontario, the government has launched Starter Company Plus.
Similar to the government’s past incentives, Starter Company Plus will provide up to $5,000 in startup grants to support business growth and development. In addition to government funding, the program provides youth entrepreneurs with access to startup resources and networking opportunities to strengthen their business. The program supports the Government of Ontario’s commitment to helping new businesses succeed, boosting innovation, and job creation.
The program operates on an open-call basis and interested entrepreneurs may submit an application at any time.
Starter Company Plus Awards Ontario Government Grants to Youth Entrepreneurs
Based on the Starter Company program’s success, the Government of Ontario will continue supporting youth entrepreneurs through its Starter Company Plus program. The program helps entrepreneurs avoid risks associated with starting or expanding a new or young business. Ontario government funding allows youth entrepreneurs to bring ideas to market, create new jobs, and contribute to Ontario’s economy.
Eligible entrepreneurs may access up to $5,000 in Ontario government grants, in addition to mentoring support services, to kick-start their business.
In addition to startup funding, youth entrepreneurs accessing the Starter Company Plus program can also take advantage of the following resources:
- Startup assistance provided by Small Business Enterprise Centre advisor
- Mentorship opportunities offered by successful local entrepreneurs;
- Business development workshops and networking events (topics include how to write a business plan, budgeting, and implementing a marketing plan); and
- Important entrepreneurship experience that will help applicants secure traditional small business grants and loans.
Starter Company Plus Program Eligibility Requirements
To be considered eligible for Starter Company Plus grants, youth entrepreneurs must:
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- Be a resident of Ontario;
- Be 18 years old or older;
- Not be attending school full time or planning to return to post-secondary classes; and
- Possess the ability to contribute 25% in cash or in-kind towards the business.
Successful Startup Businesses Funded by the Starter Company Program
From 2014 to 2016, the Starter Company program assisted a total of 2,700 businesses and aided in the creation of over 3,100 jobs. Along with government funding, the program also providing mentoring and startup resources to help youth entrepreneurs succeed. Some examples of the program’s successful business stories include:
- Alias Apps: Designs and provides clients with professionally coded and non-outsourced apps at affordable rates.
- Artifact Skin Co.: Offers beauty products that embrace cultural skincare traditions in skincare that incorporate natural elements and ingredients.
How to Apply for Starter Company Plus Small Business Grants
Youth entrepreneurs in Ontario that are interested in applying to the Starter Company Plus program are advised to contact their local Small Business Enterprise Centre. Currently, there are no application in-take deadlines and interested parties may apply at any time.
Access Startup Resources for Your Ontario Small Business
Most government funding programs are designed to support small and medium-sized businesses, which limits entrepreneurs and startup businesses from applying due to a lack of an established revenue model and/or limited workforce. However, there are other business resources available to help startups grow and develop operations within Ontario.