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  • Entrepreneurial Programs

    Grant Programs for Entrepreneurs

    Summer Company

    Summer Company is a program of the government of Ontario that helps young people between 15 and 29 years old start and run their own summer business by providing funding, advice and services.

    Learning how to run your own student business is one of the best summer jobs you can have. You get to be your own boss while learning what it takes to manage a business. Sales, marketing, invoicing, bookkeeping, customer relationship, management — these are just a few of the highly useful skills you will develop.

    If you’re accepted into the program, you’ll receive:

    • An award of up to $3,000
      • a first payment of up to $1,500 for start-up costs
      • a second payment of up to $1,500 once you’ve successfully completed the program
    • Hands-on coaching
    • Mentoring from business leaders in your community and from your program provider

    You also get to keep any profits generated through the operation of your business.

    If you have any questions or are ready to sign up, call Mike at 519-631-1680 ext 4504. 


    Starter Company Plus

    Starter Company Plus is a program of the government of Ontario that helps people over the age of 18 to start their own business, buy or expand an existing business.

    The program provides training and coaching through the Small Business Enterprise Centre, paired with advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get your business up and running; the option to apply for start-up money to kick off a new business or expand your current business; as well as the experience of running a successful business that may help you obtain more traditional business financing, such as bank loan if you so require in the future.

    This program has a focus on businesses in the art, food and tourism industry as well as business in downtown cores of St. Thomas and Elgin County.

    As this is a competitive process, you may be eligible to receive up to $5,000 to put towards your business. Successful applicants must provide matching funds worth 25% of the grant.

    If you have any questions or are ready to sign up, call Wes at 519-631-1680 ext 4505.


    Ontario Works Self Employment Program

    Are you currently receiving Ontario Works assistance?

    Interested in starting your own business?

    Do you have the necessary skills & experience?

    Then the Ontario Works Self Employment Program may be for you!

    The Elgin-St Thomas Ontario Works office, in conjunction with the Elgin/St Thomas Small Business Enterprise Centre, offers a program that assists participants in becoming self-employed.

    The Ontario Works Self Employment Program is designed to help clients start and operate their businesses by providing business planning workshops and advisory support.

    In the program, you will:

    • Create a successful plan to start/grow your business
    • Enhance your business skills
    • Gain access to helpful resources
    • Develop business contacts

    To Apply:

    Contact your Ontario Works caseworker for a referral to an OW Self Employment Program orientation session.