Starter Company: grants available for young entrepreneurs/artists/dreamers


handmade wood jewelry resin and bark, lichens

Want to know why I quit my job to start my full time jewelry practice? 

Honestly, it's because of Starter Company.

No, I am not getting paid to write this. More accurately, I already got paid, and now out of gratefulness I can't help but to share this. 

Starter Company is a province-wide grant program which provides start-up funds and mentorship to young people ages 18-29 to begin (or grow) their own full-time business. Each municipality runs their own Starter Company program, so I attended the courses here in Hamilton, Ontario - but the program is widely available throughout the province. This program is what helped me to start Wild Blue. 

The process: 

1. Attend an orientation session. At this point you can decide whether or not you are a good fit for the program (you have the chance to ask, if you're not sure). 

2. Take the required courses - these are jam-packed seminar style courses which give the basics of registering a business, marketing 101, taxes, and more. 

3. Write a business plan, with the help of the lovely Starter Company mentors, staff & peers. It's not a long plan, but does require careful thought about various parts of your business. You also need to have a specific plan for how you will spend the grant money. 

4. Present that business to a panel of local business experts. They will ask questions about your plan, so be prepared for this. The panel decides whether or not to fund your business proposal, and you'll receive a phone call letting you know the outcome by the end of the day. 

5. You get a cheque! Spend it the way you said you would, and get your company rolling. You'll be required to give regular updates via email and in person to the Starter Company staff and peers, so be sure to plan your work week around that. 

Ta-da! It is genuinely that simple. And it's amazing how many local start-ups have come about because of that. Take a look at this list! 

Brody White Photography
Bee'z Smootheez
Green Fork Nutrition
Charles & Hunt
Next Era Building Inc.
Between The Lines
Barred Media
Lime & Lemon Media
UP Agency
Sassafras
Guest Plumbing & Heating
Hill Valley Constrcution
Gillian Elizabeth Health and Wellness
Alexandra Del Bello Photography
East Coast Yard Worx
The Big Scoop
The Filigree Tree
Stage Seven Studios
Covet Lash & Brow Parlour
Sullivan Paint & Design
Wild Blue Yonder
Dyer & Duman Design
The Indelicato Group
JT Construction
FIT4ALLmobile
Moondog Organics
Spotted Properties
Magnanimous Alterations
Pero's Painting Co.
New Age Noise
Mint and Magnolia Floral Design
About the Connection
Bradley Boake - Physiotherapy
Figure of Speech Content Studio
Crown Point Optometry
Walk Run Fun
Infinitee Plumbing
GoWrench Auto
Body Brave
Aesthetics by Karly Marie
Loose Leaves Paper Goods
Greenteriors
Hutchison
Finish Electric
Capital Planning Solutions
Mobile Performance - Powersports & Small Engines
Cempress Productions
If you're on the fence, or even considering this, please know that this program was designed as a 3-year pilot program, and they are coming to the end of that term. So as far as I know, the last opportunities to attend an info session are coming up quickly!
You can register here: 

Wednesday, January 11, 9:30am
https://starter-orientation-jan11.eventbrite.ca

OR

Wednesday, January 25, 1:30pm
https://starter-orientation-jan25.eventbrite.ca

Best wishes to anyone about to take on this new phase! It's wildly challenging, and incredibly rewarding. Feel free to ask me anything about the program or other business stuff anytime. I will try my best to sound like I know what I am talking about. 

Amber