Resources for Young Entrepreneurs in Ontario
For young entrepreneurs, raising capital can be a discouraging process, as they are not always qualified to meet criteria to secure traditional loans. To respond to the difficulties faced by young founders, the government offers secured loans and grants to those who are eligible. Some of these programs offer not only a sum of money, but workshops, seminars, mentoring as well to counter lack of experience and skills.
If you are an entrepreneur under 30 looking to kickstart your business, here is a list of Canadian grants and loans for which you may qualify.
This program is specifically catered to students 15-24, who are returning to school in the fall. You can get up to $1,500 to help with startup costs, and up to $1,500 more when you complete the requirements of the program. Apart from the money granted, you will receive mentorship and professional advice from local business owners to help get you started. If you go to high school, college, or university, live in Ontario, and are looking to gain experience in customer relationship management, sales, marketing, and networking, check online for application deadlines.
The Starter Company requires that the entrepreneur is 18-29 years old and not attending school full-time. With this program, you can qualify for up to $5,000 to start a business in Ontario, granting you can contribute at least 25% of the amount of the grant received. You can gain access to workshops on business planning, creating marketing plans, and budgeting, as well as guidance from a Small Business Enterprise Centre advisor. The kind of experience gained from this program can also better position starter entrepreneurs to receive bank financing. Applications for this grant can be done any time through a Small Business Enterprise Centre.
Youth Investment Accelerator Fund
This fund is directed towards entrepreneurs 18-29, who are looking to be global leaders in clean technology, information technology, life sciences or health care. You are able to receive up to $250,000 in capital, given that your business satisfies a few components. Your business must be in its beginning stages, with revenues under $500,000 and net tangible assets valued below $500,000. Your business must also be targeted to a prospective market of $100 million, has strong potential to acquire financing in the future, and pays 50% or more of its wages to Ontario employees. Eligibility for this grant is evaluated by MaRS through an intensive application process.
Strategic Community Entrepreneurship Projects
This entrepreneurship program is for not-for-profit founders in Ontario, aged 15-29. To be eligible for this, applicants must be unqualified for the other self-employment programs. It offers funding goes up to a maximum of $3,000, as well as training in business skills using resource guides, mentoring, and workshops. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis for five periods, so check online for deadlines.
Starting your own business as a young entrepreneur is no easy feat. As this isn’t an exhaustive list of all possible funding resources, do your homework on all the possible financing you can get for your small business. If you’re under 30 and looking to start your own business, check the Ontario Government’s website for more information on these programs!
Let the Gram team help you with any advice on applications, or answer any of your other business start-up questions!