Are you a small business owner? Are you looking to grow an existing business? Or are you an entrepreneurial mind looking to start a new one? Then Starter Company Plus is for you!
What is Starter Company Plus
Running your own business is one of the most valuable life experiences you can have. Experienced entrepreneurs know that they need to surround themselves with people who inspire and challenge them. Starter Company Plus is a program designed to support entrepreneurs by combining grant funding with coaching, mentorship and community. Whether you are growing an existing business or starting a new venture, our experienced business counselors will walk you through the business planning process, help you identify your goals and teach you how to measure your progress. You will have the opportunity to learn and share your journey with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs. The Starter Company cohort will meet monthly (for 12 months) in a social setting to network and keep each other accountable.
Starter Company Plus is administered by the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership’s Business Enterprise Centre and is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
How it works
Through Starter Company Plus, you can get:
- Start-up money (up to $5000) to kick-off a new business or GROW and scale an existing business!
- Personalized coaching and mentorship from local business leaders and fellow entrepreneurs to help you reach your goals.
- Access to monthly (for 12 months) peer lead meetups.
How to Qualify
To qualify for Starter Company Plus, you will need:
- A well-developed business idea for a new or growing business
- 25% equity – (If you are requesting the full $5000 grant you will need $1250 cash or a combination of assets to contribute to your business)
- Over 18 years of age at the time of application and not currently enrolled at a Post Secondary Institution
- A resident of Ontario
- Are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Committed, ambitious and passionate about entrepreneurship
- Have not received a Starter Company Grant in the past
You can choose to start almost any type of business, as long as it:
- Is a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation (where you are the majority shareholder) *Partnerships will only be considered if both partners qualify and will participate in programming
- Is an independent business venture
- qualifies as “self-employed” for income tax purposes
- operates on a full-time basis
- follows government rules for operating a business
The following businesses are NOT eligible for Starter Company Plus:
- Non-profit or charity
- Pay-per-click business
- Commissioned sales
- Multi-level marketing (eg. Avon, doTERRA, Scentsy)
- Single event (eg. performance, concert, sports event)
- Part-time/seasonal business
Please note, preference will be given to businesses that meet the following requirements:
- Have the ability to create sufficient economic impact
- Storefront location
- Possibility for job creation
- Sustainable business model with potential to scale
- Fulfills market demand in priority industries
How to Apply
Call 519-332-1820 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment with one of our experienced Business Counselors to learn more about this program and whether it is a good fit for you. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Chantelle by August 16, 2019.
Show up for this first meeting and be prepared to tell the Business Counselor why you are ready for Starter Company.
- What have you accomplished in your life (personal and professional accomplishments, education attainment, entrepreneurship successes to date)?
- What are your personal goals and what are you doing to achieve them?
- What knowledge and experience would you bring to the Starter Company group?
Be prepared to “elevator pitch” your business idea! Your Business Counselor is a coach, here to HELP prepare you for Step 3 by talking about your idea and walking you through the business plan template.
In this second meeting we will discuss how you would spend the grant money and help identify goals for you and your business. We will also review and provide feedback on your business plan.
You will prepare a submission for a review committee comprised of local business leaders. The deadline for submission is September 30, 2019. Your application package must include:
- Introductory Cover Letter
- 3-minute video pitch of your business idea
- Completed business plan (template provided)
- Budget and financial projections
- List of goals
The successful applicants will be notified on or before October 10, 2019.
The committee reserves the right to request the opportunity to ask additional questions. All committee decisions are final. Successful applicants will meet their Starter Company Cohort the week of October 21, 2019 (date and time TBD).