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Entrepreneurship

"Fostering an entrepreneurial ecosystem to get innovative ideas off the ground."

The following are northeastern Ontario and provincial organizations that provide programming to assist with entrepreneurial development.

The Business Enterprise Centre

Contact Brittany Mohns at [email protected] or 705-360-2600 x7085 for more information on the following programs.

Starter Company Plus

The Starter Company Plus is a free program that provides entrepreneurs with resources and support to help them start, expand, or purchase a business.  The program is hosted by The Business Enterprise Centre and funded by the Ontario government as part of the Youth Jobs Strategy.

The Program is normally offered quarterly and includes workshops that guide participants through the development of their business plan, including segments on market analysis, competitor analysis, marketing strategy, and cash flow projections.

The Program also matches participants with successful business mentors in the community to answer questions and offer experienced business advice.  Weekly scheduled meetings with a Business Development Consultant provide the opportunity for one-on-one discussion and feedback on the business planning process.

By the end of the program, participants have completed a high quality, detailed business plan, and are given the opportunity to apply for a micro-grant of up to $5,000.  More importantly, participants know exactly what they need to move forward with their new business.

Summer Company

Summer Company provides youth aged 15-29 with the opportunity and support to operate their business during the summer months. Students will work closely with the program deliverer and mentors and gain valuable experience and training. The program provides $1,500 toward business start-up costs. Students keep all the profit they earn, and at the end of the summer students that successfully met the program criteria receive an additional $1,500.

MaRS

As a ONE member, the Productivity & Innovation Centre can help link entrepreneurs to MaRS which offers a variety of services that support entrepreneurial development. Some of MaRS main programming and services includes:

Entrepreneurship 101

Free online courses over five-weeks to help entrepreneurs develop the skills necessary for the launch of a successful start-up. Participants should plan to dedicate about three hours per week to the program. During the course, participants will engage with experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts. Participants who successfully complete the course will be eligible for a Certificate of Entrepreneurship.

MaRS Library

Access to entrepreneur/business information on accounting, funding, intellectual property, legal issues, marketing, product management, social innovation, and more.

MaRS Funding Programs

Community Futures Development Corporation

Contact Cindy Reasbeck at [email protected] or 705-337-1407 for more information on the following programs.

Enterprise Olympics

Enterprise Olympics is a youth business pitch competition that draws students from across Northeastern Ontario. Students are divided in to teams based on industry sectors and mentored by local entrepreneurs as they conceptualize their business ideas and prepare their pitch. Teams compete for cash prizes including $500 in cash and $1000 scholarship to a Northern Ontario post-secondary institution.  Enterprise Olympics provides vital opportunities for youth to gain career experience by facilitating opportunities for networking, mentoring, and skill building.

Head Start in Business

Head Start in Business is a Pan-Northern CFDC project that encourages youth to explore and expand their entrepreneurial potential while remaining in Northern Ontario. Head Start offers curriculum connected experiential programming to youth ages 5-34, and these programs aim to encourage young people to be enthusiastic about their economic future and the future of their communities. A trained coordinator facilitates in class programs and integrates classroom curriculum to draw connections between entrepreneurship and educational outcomes.

Head Start in Business has been a driving force in entrepreneurship awareness and initiation for the past 15 years, introducing over 20,000 youth to the possibilities of owning a business in their communities. Head Start in Business programs not only work to stem the tide of youth outmigration, but also to build a more prosperous, vibrant and innovative Northern Ontario economy.

Biz Battle

Biz Battle is a weekend business boot camp, hosted by Northern College and Head Start in Business. This event provides opportunities for young entrepreneurs to gain real-world business experience and expand their network.

Participants work individually or in a group to conceptualize a business idea and pitch it to a panel of judges. Mentors are on-hand to answer questions and provide guidance as attendees craft their ideas. The winner of the competition receives $1,500 in cash business support services.

Throughout the weekend participants are provided with meaningful opportunities for networking with like-minded individuals, skill building, and mentoring, while creating their business plan and pitch.

Biz Battle features a key note address by as well as breakout sessions with industry experts. These interactive sessions provide meaningful links with business services that provide participants with the tools necessary to take their business idea to the next level and prepare them for start-up.