**The Starter Company Program is no longer accepting applications. Please stay tuned for further details**


Starter Company

The Starter Company Program is a key part of Ontario’s comprehensive Youth Jobs Strategy that was announced in the 2013 budget. The program provides mentoring, training and the opportunity of a grant for youth (18 to 29 years of age) to start, grow or buy a small business.

Starter Company provides:

• training and business skills development to help youth prepare to run their own business;
• advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running;
• experience running a business that will better position youth to obtain more traditional financing, such as a bank loan, if required; and
• where applicable/eligible, a micro-grant to kick-off a new business or expand an existing business.



What is Eligible?

Eligible participants for the Starter Company program are:

• 18 to 29 years of age;
• proposing a new company, expansion of an existing company or buying a business from a retiring entrepreneur;
• not a full time student and not returning to school;
• a resident of Ontario;
• a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
• prepared to commit to a minimum average of 35 hours a week to running a business;
• prepared to attend monthly meetings for at least six months after the start or assumed ownership of the business;
• has not received a Starter Company grant in the past; and
• not currently enrolled in the Self Employment Benefit (SEB) Program.


What is Not Eligible?

• Youth attending school or returning to school;
• Part-time or seasonal businesses;



Young entrepreneurs interested in Starter Company will work with The Regional Business Centre to create a learning plan and receive necessary training, including the creation of a business plan with performance milestones. These entrepreneurs can be buying a business, starting their own, or expanding an already existing business. In order for a business expansion to be eligible for a grant, concrete growth goals must be established – ideally including the hiring of staff.

No funding will be provided to the participants during the training module.

Participants will be ready to leave the training module and approach the Regional Grant Committee to apply for funding (if needed) when they have:

• completed all of the elements in their learning plan;
• produced a viable business plan with reasonable milestones and targets; and
• demonstrated their commitment to the Program to the satisfaction of their service provider.



The Regional Grant Committee will determine whether and how much funding the applicant should receive based on:

• feasibility of the business;
• quality of applicant – teachability, entrepreneurial aptitude;
• potential for job creation;
• start-up budget/financing needs of the business; and
• cash/in-kind contributions of the participant

The participant may receive up to $5,000 in funding, provided that they can match that funding by 25% (may include asset-based in-kind contribution, at fair market value, such as equipment or machinery required to run the business i.e. ladders/scaffolding for a painting company; camera and lenses for a photographer).

The participant will receive up to 75% of total eligible funding at the time of funding being approved. The final amount of the grant will be received when the participant has reached the mutually agreed upon milestones/targets laid out in their business plan.

Mentoring and Follow Up

The participant operates the business and attends formalized mentoring meetings at least monthly for six months. They may also meet informally with their personal mentor. During the six month period the business provides report backs to The Regional Business Centre detailing:

• revenues
• cash-flow
• hiring
• other business details as requested



Past Participants



Ashley Gordon - AEG Designs

AEG Designs is a graphic design and photography business located in Sudbury, ON. A creative studio that helps you make a refreshing impact by designing identities that grasp attention while capturing and conveying your business values and personality. AEG knows that success rests with creating lasting and memorable impressions that leave you breathless.


Melissa Deschenes - Design de Plume

We’re an aboriginally owned, Sudbury-based, independent graphic and web design firm run by passionate, forward thinking designers.


Julie Pelot - Elite Home Fitness

My name is Julie Pelot, I am the owner, certified personal trainer & nutritionist of Elite Home Fitness. EHF is a home based personal training service that provides extensive nutritional guidance along with specific exercise programs in order to help you stay accountable and reach your goals. My programs are designed not only to help you lose weight, gain muscle, run faster, tighten or tone up, they will teach you a new lifestyle that you will be confident to maintain along with your results, on your own once our time together is done.





Amanda Lajeunesse - Sparkle & Pose


Sparkle & Pose is a " One Stop Shop" offering services for all ages. Everything from Photography, Photobooths, Candy/Specialty Buffets & Spa/Children's Parties!




Sophie Gingras - Le Petit Panier

Le Petit Panier offers you a wide range of unique gift baskets for any occasion.





Michelle TenHave - Northern Ontario PR

Northern Ontario PR is a Public Relations company based in Sudbury servicing Northern Ontario. Owned and operated by Michelle TenHave since 2014 after recognizing the opportunity to increase local businesses presence across the region. Northern Ontario PR focuses on providing their clientele with media relations, social media management and event planning.




Kylie Klym - Kadence Music Therapy


Kadence Music Therapy provides mobile music therapy services to individuals and organizations in the City of Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas. KMT is the home of Sudbury's only Music Therapist Accredited.


Ryan Baas - Over the Top Tree Service

As a certified arborist, Ryan has decided to put his skills into practice. Over the top tree service provides a wide variety of tree trimming, removal and touch up services.


Rob Roy - Studio123

Studio123 believes in inspired work. We design the customer experience – from the brands they love, to the marketing pieces they touch, to the digital worlds where they interact. We have the toolbox to tackle all your creative needs.


Hannah Pearson - The Tack Shop

I'm Hannah Pearson owner and sole proprietor of Cedar Rock Equine the Tack Shop located on beautiful Manitoulin Island in Northern Ontario, Canada. I strive to offer my customers top quality Western tack, Saddles, Accessories, gifts, leather purses, wallets  and apparel at great pricing.    I look forward to serving you and finding just the right products for you and your equine partner.


Dr. Anjelica Mazzella - Back 2 Health Rehabilitation Centre

Back 2 Health Rehabilitation Centre is a new health care facility located in the Greater City of Sudbury. This facility is designed to deliver evidence-based patient centered care in managing acute and chronic injuries. The practitioners ensure patients receive proper education regarding their condition, and are provided with comprehensive and structured treatment plans that are individualized to patient specific needs.


 Michelle Pelot - DeRive

DeRive is a company that is solely dedicated to providing exceptional service to the landlords and tenants in the City of Greater Sudbury. Our mission - To protect the value of our client’s investment properties, by continuously providing exceptional tenant placement and property management services. To ensure every tenant we place feels comfortable in their decision to rent through us. To be the liaison that connects our landlords and tenants, forming strong foundations within every investment property that we manage.


Keegan Bradley - Dr. Clean Inc.

Dr. Clean Inc. is a Sudbury based cleaning company servicing all of Northern Ontario’s Industrial Pressure Washing, Janitorial and Vehicle Detailing needs. For the past 7 years Dr. Clean's team members have been committed to delivering the highest level of service, in all divisions.