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Young Entrepreneurs Programs

Starter Company


Starter Company is a great opportunity for enterprising young people between the ages of 18-29 who want to start, and or expand a business in their community and are not students in school.  

The program provides advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get your business up and running; start-up money to kick off a new business or expand your current business; as well as experience of running a successful business that may help you obtain more traditional financing such as bank loan if you so require in the future.

As this is a competitive process, you may be eligible to receive up to $5,000 in a grant to put towards your business. Successful applicants must provide proof of personal investment worth 25% of the grant being requested.
You are eligible for Starter Company if you are:
  • Between 18 to 29 years of age and not in full time education
  • Running a business, proposing a new company, expanding or buying a company
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Ontario
  • Prepared to commit to a minimum average of 35 hours/week to run your business
  • Prepared to attend mentor meetings for at least six months
  • Prepared to complete the custom Business Training Program developed for you
  • Not participating in the OSEB (Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program) or Summer Company program
What type of business can I start? Almost any type of business is eligible, as long as it:
  • is a sole proprietorship or a corporation where the applicant will be the majority shareholder
  • is an independent business venture
  • fits the Canada Revenue Agency definition of being self-employed (FORM RC 4110 through the website)
  • operates at arm's length from family business ventures in Ontario
  • operates full-time as defined in the business plan and maintains its own books and records
  • maintains a separate business bank account, following government rules and regulations for operating a business
Businesses not eligible for Starter Company include:
  • partnerships that are 50% shared, franchises, commissioned sales and distributorships
  • business ventures that are continuations of existing commercial endeavours
  • 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 and 1-900 businesses
To get started, fill out the Intake Form and email to or call 905-688-5601 ext 1767 to set up an appointment time to meet with an advisor.

Futurpreneur Canada Program

Futurpreneur Canada logo.jpg

Futurpreneur Canada understands young and emerging entrepreneurs, and has been working together to help increase your chances of success since 1996. Our innovative and flexible services are designed to address the common challenges entrepreneurs may face in the early stages, and provide the vital support and guidance needed for long-term success.

  • Get financing and support to start and run your business with loans based on character, not collateral
  • Funding up to $15,000, potential for up to $45,000 with BDC top-up
  • Business idea must be a full time operation
  • For those aged 18 to 39 years old
  • Cannot be attending school
  • Repayable loan with interest
  • No deadline for application

Full eligibility criteria can be found at the Futurpreneur website.

Along with the financing available, you will be matched with a mentor for 2 years. The mentor will be someone from your own community with the skills and knowledge you are looking for.

If you're ready to get started, visit the Futurpreneur website to register as an entrepreneur. Don't forget to select the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre as your Community Partner.

For more information, phone 905-688-5601 ext 1767 or email

Pour plus d'informations en français, s'il vous plaît visitez

Summer Company

Go beyond your typical summer jobs: Turn your ideas into a business.

Do you have ideas for creating your own company this summer? If you're a student 15-29 years old in Ontario, you can turn those ideas into a real business this summer. The Summer Company program provides up to $3,000, hands-on coaching and mentoring to help you start and operate your business.

How it Works

If your application is accepted, you'll be eligible to receive up to $1,500 and 12-hours of business training and mentoring to get you started. Upon successful completion of the program, you'll receive up to $1,500 to return to school.

The possibilities for starting a company are endless. Summer Company helps you take your ideas and make them a reality. Student jobs don't have to be boring: be your own boss and gain valuable business experience that will last you a lifetime.

View Summer Company Program Guidelines and start your application at

Applications are being accepted for Summer 2014. Deadline for applications is May 23, 2014.

For more information, please contact 905-688-5601 ext 1767 or email .  

Pour plus d'informations en français, s'il vous plaît visitez 

Young Entrepreneurs, Make your Pitch Competition

The Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition is back for its second year! This is a high school entrepreneurship competition for Ontario residents where high school students present their business idea in a two-minute pitch. Online video submissions will close March 28, 2014 with judging beginning April 1, 2014.

Public voting has started. Be sure to visit to cast your vote and stay tuned for the announcement of this year's winners!

  • 18 finalists will receive a trip to Toronto to pitch live at OCE's annual award-winning Discovery conference at Metro Toronto Convention Centre May 12-13.
  • Six winners will be awarded reserved entry into Summer Company.
  • Through Summer Company, students receive mentoring and up to $3,000 to start their own business.

Who can I contact if I have questions about the competition?

If you have questions or concerns regarding the competition, you can contact a contest coordinator during normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. â€" 5 p.m.) through email at or by phone at 416-861-1092 ext. 5015.

Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines