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Starter Company Plus Program

WANT TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS, BUY OR EXPAND AN EXISTING COMPANY?  NEED $5,000 OR LESS FOR START UP, OR EXPANSION?

Then Starter Company Plus is for you!

If you’ve got a winning idea for starting a new business and are not a student you should consider applying to our Starter Company Plus program.

How it Works
Starter Company Plus is a training program for enterprising people who want to start, and/or expand a business in their community. The program provides training sessions on aspects of running a successful business and mentorship from local business leaders.

Successful applicants may apply for a grant of up to $5,000 upon the completion of a business plan.

Successful applicants must provide matching funds worth 25% (in cash or equivalent) of the grant. This requirement will be waived in exceptional circumstances (including but not limited to individuals with special needs or those that have faced personal set-backs).

Am I eligible for Starter Company Plus?
You are eligible for Starter Company Plus if you are:

  • running a business, proposing a new company, expansion of a company or buy an existing company from a retiring entrepreneur
  • not currently a full time student
  • a resident of Ontario
  • a Canadian citizen or a landed immigrant
  • prepared to commit to a minimum average of 35 hours a week, for running your business
  • prepared to attend monthly meetings for at least six months after the start of the business

You cannot apply if you are currently enrolled in a provincial entrepreneurial program.

What type of business can I start?
Almost any type of business is eligible, as long as it:

  • is a sole proprietorship or either a partnership or corporation where the applicant will be the majority shareholder
  • is an independent business venture
  • fits the Canada Revenue Agency definition of being self-employed
  • operates at arm’s length from family business ventures
  • operates in Ontario
  • operates full-time as defined in the business plan
  • maintains its own books and records
  • maintains a separate business bank account
  • follows government rules and regulations for operating a business

Businesses not eligible for Starter Company Plus include:

  • franchises
  • distributorships
  • business ventures that are continuations of existing commercial endeavours
  • commissioned sales
  • not-for-profit or charitable enterprises
  • multi-level marketing ventures
  • single event such as musical ventures bands, DJs or dance/party event organizations
  • businesses that are strictly pay per click
  • 1-900 businesses

How do I apply for Starter Company Plus?

Selection Process

1. Meet with the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre to discuss your business or business idea.
2. Agree with the Entrepreneur Centre's Development Officer on your business goals and participate in training sessions.
3. Submit your business plan and milestones to your local grant committee to apply for the grant.

Apply now for Starter Company Plus

Round Application Deadline Start Date
1 April 30, 2017 May 8, 2017
2 June 30, 2017 July 10, 2017
3 September 29, 2017 October 9, 2017
4 December 29, 2017 January 8, 2018
5 March 30, 2018 April 9, 2018
6 June 30, 2018 July 9, 2018
7 September 30, 2018 October 8, 2018


Contact the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre (EC) for more information:

Suite 201, 34 Cumberland Street North
P.O. Box 800
Thunder Bay, ON P7C 5K4

Tess Ahola
Phone: (807) 625-3286
Toll Free: 1-800-668-9360 (North America)
Fax: (807) 623-3962
Email: tahola@thunderbay.ca
Website: www.ThunderBayCEDC.ca