Training Programs

Starter Company Plus

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The Starter Company program provides advice and mentorship to help get your business up and running; assistance to kick off a new business or expand your current business; as well as experience running a successful business that may help you obtain more traditional financing such as bank loan if you so require in the future.

You are eligible for Starter Company if you are:

  • Not attending school full time
  • Prepared to commitment full-time hours to your business
  • One-on-one guidance from a Small Business Centre consultant
  • Attend training workshops and complete a viable business plan
  • Mentoring
  • Access to business workshops on topics from writing a business plan and budgeting, to executing a marketing campaign
  • Funding of up to $5,000
  • Experience running a business that will better position you to obtain more traditional financing, such as a bank loan

To qualify for funding of up to $5,000, you need to be able to contribute at least 25% (in cash or in kind) of the grant amount.

Summer Company

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The Summer Company program provides hands-on business coaching and mentoring, and awards of up to $3,000, to help enterprising young people start up and run their own summer businesses.

You are eligible for Summer Company if you are:

  • Between 15 and 29 years old 
  • Currently a student and are returning to school in the fall
  • Proposing a new sole proprietorship or corporation in Ontario that you plan to operate independently from relatives
  • Prepared to make a commitment of at least 35 hours a week for a minimum of 8 - 12 weeks
  • Not working for more than 12 hours a week at another job
  • A Canadian citizen or landed immigrant residing in Ontario
  • New to Summer Company - you can't be a previous recipient of a Summer Company award 

Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch


The Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch program allows High School students to create a two minute video explaining their business idea. Explain what problems it will solve, who your customers will be and why your business will succeed. You could win prizes, coaching and tools to help bring your idea to life, and a trip to the Discovery conference in Toronto in May. The deadline to submit your video is typically the end of March each year.

For more information on the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch program or to submit your video, visit www.makeyourpitch.ca

Futurpreneur Canada

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation provides loans of up to $15,000 to aspiring young entrepreneurs who are between 18 and 39 and are most likely to succeed in creating a business and for whom financial assistance is critical. It is expected that the business will provide full-time employment for yourself and others. To ease the early stages of business growth, loan repayments over terms up to five years are available so that you can stay focused on getting established. Additional financing of up to a further $30,000 may be available via their partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). Applicants aged 18-39, are eligible for up to a total of $45,000 in financing entirely funded via their BDC partnership.

Canada Small Business Financing Program

The CSBFP is a federal program that is offered by most chartered banks.  It is designed to assist new and existing businesses in obtaining financing for the purchase, installation, renovation, improvement or modernization of equipment, land or buildings necessary for the operation of the business.

Loans are available up to $500,000, of which $350,000 can be used to finance the purchase or improvement of equipment and the purchase of leasehold improvements. The registration fee is 2% of the total amount of the loan. The registration fee can be financed. Financial institutions can finance and up to 90% of the cost of asset acquisition or asset improvement. The lender may take a personal guarantee of up to 25% of the original amount of the loan. The interest rate charged by the lending institution is the prime rate plus 3%.

Request information about this program from the loan officer at your chosen financial institution, or contact Industry Canada by phone at 1-866-959-1699 

Community Futures Development Program

The Community Futures Development Corporation of Chatham-Kent administers the Community Futures Development Program.  The CFDC provides financing and management expertise through the following services:

  • Maximum $150,000 loan or equity investment.  Repayment terms are flexible and negotiated in the best interest of your small business.
  • Assistance in preparing business plans for presentation to banks and other financial institutions.
  • Consultation on the viability of your project and on the best financing methods
  • Information on other Government services and programs of benefit to small business
  • Administration services on a fee for service basis (i.e. bookkeeping, payroll)

For more information on the Community Futures Development Program, please contact:

Community Futures Development Corporation of Chatham-Kent
124 Thames St, Chatham, ON N7L 3Y8
P: 226.996.1234