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Ontario expanding entrepreneur program

Province announces $4.8 million over two years to expand the Starter Company Plus program

Ontario is spending $4.8 million over two years to expand the Starter Company Plus program, which helps aspiring entrepreneurs launch their first business.

The new funding means the program can expand to help an additional 500 entrepreneurs get their idea off the ground.

“Ontario’s entrepreneurs are vital to our economy. Our goal is to ensure we continue to provide the right supports and tools to help the province’s businesses thrive,” said Nina Tangri, associate minister of small business, in a news release. “The Starter Company Plus program provides training, mentoring and business advice alongside a grant to help ensure people have the support they need to grow their business.”

Delivered through the province’s Small Business Enterprise Centres, the program provides entrepreneurs aged 18 and up with one-on-one support, access to workshops, seminars or networking events and grants up to $5,000 to help start or expand a business. 

Over the past five years, the provincial government said the program has supported more than 5,500 companies resulting in the creation of more than 6,300 jobs across Ontario. This new investment will increase total funding for the program to $6.5 million per year.

“Ontario’s next generations of entrepreneurs will help determine our province’s bright economic future, and it is our job to ensure they have the tools they need to thrive in tomorrow’s economy,” said Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy in the news release. “By continuing our investments to support the Starter Company Plus program, our government is one step closer to securing Ontario’s place as the best place to do business anywhere in the world.”

To be eligible, applicants must be 18 or older, an Ontario resident and Canadian citizen/permanent resident, not attending school full-time, and able to contribute at least 25 per cent of the grant amount.