Starter Company Plus
The Vaughan Starter Company Plus program is designed to help your business start, grow or expand. Qualified program participants will receive tailored training and mentorship and will also have the opportunity to apply for a provincial grant of up to $5,000.
The program will provide entrepreneurs with training to help develop their business plans, marketing strategies, budgeting and financial forecasts. Eligible applicants will be supported under one of the following two streams:
- Existing brick-and-mortar businesses with physical storefronts or office or industrial locations.
- New startup and home-based businesses that may be looking to start or expand.
For existing brick and mortar businesses, training will target and focus on:
- supporting business owners in developing digital skills and improving their online presence.
- adopting new business strategies, such as e-commerce, that will allow them to continue generating revenue amid the easing of COVID-19 measures and as the economy reopens.
For new startup and home-based businesses, training will focus on:
- business plan development.
- conducting market research and trends analyses.
- marketing strategy, value proposition, advertising, promotional strategies, including digital and online.
- operations (legal, human resources, risk and insurance).
- budgeting and financial forecasting.
Start Your Eligibility Survey Now
To receive further information about the program, please complete the Starter Company Plus eligibility survey. All eligible participants will be invited to attend training sessions on an ongoing basis.
Important: The opportunity to apply for provincial grant funding through Starter Company Plus is competitive. Not all program participants will receive a provincial grant, but all are eligible to participate in training. Priority for grant funding decisions will be based on the quality and viability of the application in terms of the level of demonstrated traction (i.e., minimum viable product, sales, subscribers/users, pilot projects underway) and realistic prospects from immediate local impact (i.e., job creation, use of commercial property, business expansion). Final approval for a provincial grant lies with a Regional Grant Administration (RGA) made up of economic development professionals from across York Region. The City of Vaughan’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship team will help applicants prepare their grant applications for the RGA through training and mentorship programs.
To be eligible for grant funding, participants must:
- be at least 18 years old at the time of application;
- not be attending school full time;
- be a resident of Ontario;
- be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
- not currently be enrolled in other self-employment or entrepreneurship training/financing initiatives financed by government-funded organizations;
- not have previously received a Starter Company or Starter Company Plus grant.
In addition, for businesses to be eligible under the existing brick and mortar businesses stream, businesses must:
- be located and operate in Vaughan;
- have operated out of a commercial storefront or office/industrial space at a location other than the applicant’s principal residence;
- have access to at least three months working capital (either cash savings or access to credit);
- be an independent business and operate at arm’s length from family business ventures;
- have less than 10 full-time employees (25 if a restaurant) (or equivalent).
Businesses not eligible to receive funding include:
- incorporated businesses that are controlled directly or indirectly by a person who would not be eligible for a Starter Company Plus Award;
- commissioned sales;
- not-for-profit or charitable enterprises;
- multi-level marketing ventures.
Dates and Deadlines
For those interested in applying for the grant, application intake is ongoing. We encourage participants to submit their completed business plan and budget early, as spots are limited and may fill before each application period ends.
Please note that pending funding confirmation with the province, ongoing cohort deadlines are approved.
All program participants will receive:
- 50 percent off two weeks of co-working space;
- 50 percent off for three months of storage;
- 75 percent off showroom space; and
- a free mailbox for one year when becoming a customer at the HUB Vaughan.
Successful grant applicants will receive a $200 credit voucher to the HUB Vaughan services.
VBEC Offers In-Person Office Hours at local Community Centres
|Father E. Bulfon Community Centre Room 1 -8141 Martin Grove Road, Woodbridge||1:00–5:00 p.m.||Friday, January 27, 2023|
|Vellore Village Community Cente Room 2 – 1 Villa Royale Avenue, Woodbridge||1:00–5:00 p.m.||Wednesday, February 22, 2023|
|Pierre Berton Heritage Centre – 10418 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg||1:00–5:00 p.m.||Monday, March 20, 2023|
|North Thornhill Community Centre Room B- 300 Pleasant Ridge Avenue, Thornhill||1:00–5:00 p.m.||Monday, April 17, 2023|
|Rosemount Community Centre Room 3 -1000 New Westminster Drive, Thornhill||1:00–5:00 p.m.||Thursday, May 25, 2023|
|VMC Library – 200 Apple Mill Road Vaughan, ON L4K 0J8||6:00–7:00 p.m.||Tuesday, May 30, 2023|