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Entrepreneur support program expanding across the North

Starter Company Plus is an expansion of the original Starter Company program, which offers mentoring and funds to young entrepreneurs.
Melissa Kargiannakis of Sault Ste. Marie started Heuristext with support from the Starter Company program, which has now available to any entrepreneur over the age of 18.

An entrepreneur support program has been revamped following a successful three-year pilot period.

Established in 2014, Starter Company provided mentoring and access to funds for non-student youth to start or grow a business. The program, funded by the Province of Ontario, recently underwent a transformation, and the new Starter Company Plus is now open to entrepreneurs of any age over 18.

Over the past three years, 145 businesses were established under the program in Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins and Temiskaming Shores.

Starter Company is administered by the economic development agencies in each participating community. Recognizing its financial and managerial expertise, the Province of Ontario tasked the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation to be the program’s regional grant administrator for all of Northern Ontario.

“We’ve seen a number of interesting businesses establish under Starter Company — everything from a paralegal firm and full-service marketing agency, to a taxidermist and mini home manufacturer,” said Andrew Ross, manager of Enterprise Services for the Sault EDC, in a release.

“We’re very happy with the results of the pilot program, and we’re excited to see the new Starter Company Plus roll out.”