The Entrepreneur Centre is now accepting applications for the fourth round of the Starter Company Plus program. The application deadline is December 18, 2020.

Starter Company Plus is a training program for people who want to start a new business, purchase an existing business, or expand their existing business.

Program participants have the option to apply for a grant of up to $5,000 upon the completion of a business plan.

How it works

Starter Company Plus provides training sessions on important business topics. Program participants work with the Programs Coordinator to complete a business plan for their new start up, business purchase, or expansion.

Upon completion of a business plan, participants may apply for a grant of up to $5,000. Grant recipients also receive mentorship as part of the program.

Eligibility requirements

You are eligible for Starter Company Plus if you are:

  • Running a new business that was launched within the last year
  • Proposing a new business
  • Purchasing an existing business
  • Expanding your existing business
  • Not currently a full-time student
  • An Ontario resident and Canadian citizen (or permanent resident)
  • Prepared to commit to your business full-time by dedicating full-time hours (at least 35 hours per week) to running the business
  • Prepared to complete a business plan
  • Prepared to work with a mentor by participating in monthly meetings for a period of three months following the program
  • Ready for investment

People who are currently enrolled in another provincial entrepreneurial program (such as Social Enterprise Northern Ontario (SENO) or Futurpreneur) are not eligible for Starter Company Plus.

Your business is eligible as long as it:

  • Is a sole proprietorship, corporation, or a partnership where a partnership agreement is in place.
  • 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
  • Is commercially insured

Businesses not eligible include:

  • Franchises
  • Previous recipient of the Starter Company Plus grant
  • Distributorships
  • Business ventures that are continuations of existing commercial endeavours
  • Commissioned sales
  • Not-for-profit or charitable enterprises
  • Multi-level marketing ventures
  • Single events such as musical ventures bands, DJs, or dance/party event organizations
  • Businesses that are strictly pay-per-click
  • 1-900 businesses

Please contact the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre for comprehensive information, referrals to local resources, and advice to help your small business startup, expand, and succeed.


Starter Company Plus 2020 Open for Applications.

If you meet the above requirements start the applications process now. 


Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Are businesses owned in partnership with two or more people eligible for Starter Company Plus?

Yes. A partnership agreement must be in place and all partners must sign and agree to the terms of the Starter Company Plus Grant Agreement.

Are the training sessions mandatory?

No. Working with the Programs Coordinator to complete a business plan is mandatory. For grant recipients, the mentorship component is also mandatory as well as the submission of a short report at the end of the three-month period following the grant committee meeting.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a formal document that explains a business's viability and plans for success. The business plan sets out a business's objectives as well as strategies for achieving them.

Am I ready for Starter Company Plus?

Businesses that are past the idea stage, ready for investment, and led by committed and focused entrepreneurs are the right fit for this program.

What is the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre?

We are one of 56 small business enterprise centres (SBECs) in Ontario. Funded through a partnership between the Province of Ontario and the City of Thunder Bay, The Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre helps small businesses start up, expand, and succeed. Our one-to-one business counseling, comprehensive referrals, and leading-edge information make us a great first stop if you're starting a business, or even thinking of starting a business.


The Starter Company Plus progam is proudly supported by:

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