Starter Company Plus

Starter Company Plus

Starter Company Plus is a program offered through Kingston Economic Development Corporation with funding from the Government of Ontario. This program is designed to provide business training for entrepreneurs aged 18 and over who are launching a business or expanding an existing business. The program provides an opportunity to pitch $5,000 grant to start or grow your business.

What You Get

Through Starter Company Plus, you can:

  • Get one-on-one guidance from a Small Business Enterprise Centre advisor
  • Participate in business workshops, seminars  or networking events
  • Topics range from writing a business plan to budgeting to marketing campaigns
  • Talk to a mentor with experience in starting, expanding or buying a small business

Applicant Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, the applicant must:

  • not be currently attending school on a full-time basis nor intending to return to school;
  • be a resident of Ontario;
  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • be 18 years of age or older at the time of application;
  • not have full-time employment outside of the Project at the time of funding;
  • not be receiving social assistance ie. ODSP;
  • be fully responsible for the on-going operations and decisions of the Project and is the majority partner or shareholder;
  • not be enrolled in other provincial employment or self- employment related initiatives and programs that include or do not include financial assistance;
  • not be currently enrolled concurrently in any self-employment programs offered by government funded organizations;
  • be expected to match the grant amount they are requesting with 50% personal investment (eg. $5000 grant will require $2500 personal contribution in the business);
  • not have previously received Starter Company or Starter Company Plus funding in Ontario; and
  • business training is mandatory in order to submit application

Business Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible, the business must:

  • be proposing to start a new business or expand an existing business that is 3 years or younger with proof of sales;
  • not be a business that relies on national sales frameworks ie. Pyramid Marketing;
  • be a legal business in Ontario;
  • not be a franchise;
  • operate full-time as defined in the business plan;
  • have a separate bank account in order to maintain books and records;
  • follow all government rules and regulations and applicable by-laws for the operation of the business; and
  • be sales ready at the time of funding

Suitability

While the Starter Company Plus initiative is open to eligible individuals, the training and mentoring is geared towards assisting those in need of business knowledge and support.
 
Approval into the Starter Company Plus initiative is competitive and eligible applicants may not all be accepted.  

If you are interested in participating in Starter Company Plus, complete the online intake form by Friday November 29th, 2019 at 11:59 pm. 2019 applications will not be accepted as of November 30th, 2019 and will need to be resubmitted for the 2020 intake.

Timeline

  • Monday, October 28, 2019 » Information Session
  • Friday, November 29, 2019 » Application Deadline
  • Tuesday, January 15, 2020 » Boot Camp Week
  • End of January » Pitch Finalists Chosen
  • Mid February » Results released (successful applicants receive funding)

Interested In Applying For The Starter Company Plus Program?

Follow the steps below:

  1. Download and complete the Starter Company Plus Application Form below
  2. Return the completed form by Friday November 29th, 2019 at 11:59 pm to:
  • Email: [email protected]
  • By mail or in-person to:
    Kingston Economic Development Corporation
    366 King Street East, Suite 420
    Kingston, ON  K7K 6Y3

Starter Company Plus Application Form

Still Have Questions About The Starter Company Plus Program?

Complete the form below and one of our Business Development Officers will contact you.

Frequently Asked Questions
Can I start any kind of business, or are some types excluded?

In order to receive funding the business can be a new start-up, an acquisition (i.e. the participant is purchasing a business from a retiring entrepreneur) or an existing business that is less than 3 years old. As long as the applicant is fully responsible for the on-going operation and decisions of the business and is the majority shareholder in the case of a corporation, most types of businesses are allowed under the program.

To be eligible, a business or proposed business must:

  • be proposing to start a new business or expand an existing business that is 3 years or younger with proof of sales;
  • not be a business that relies on national sales frameworks ie. Pyramid Marketing;
  • be a legal business in Ontario;
  • not be a franchise;
  • operate full-time as defined in the business plan;
  • have a separate bank account in order to maintain books and records;
  • follow all government rules and regulations and applicable by-laws for the operation of the business; and
  • be sales ready at the time of funding
Can my business be a partnership?

Yes. A business or proposed business may be a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation, but the grant can only be given to one person in the company. For corporations and partnerships, the recipient must own at least 50% of the shares. The Starter Company Plus recipient must be responsible for the ongoing management of the firm. In addition, if there are two partners only one is eligible to receive the Starter Company Plus grant of up to $5,000 for a specific business idea (grants will not be given to multiple individuals for the same business idea).

How much grant funding is available and do I need to invest my own funds?

Participants may receive up to $5,000 in funding. Participants are expected to match the grant amount they are requesting with 50% personal investment (eg. $5000 grant will require $2500 personal contribution in the business). This may include asset-based or in-kind contributions at fair market value, such as equipment or machinery required to run the business, e.g., ladders/scaffolding for a painting company, camera and lenses for a photographer. In-kind contributions may not include “sweat equity” (a contribution in the form of effort as opposed to a financial contribution) or loans or other types of loaned support.

Do I have to open a business or attend mentoring meetings to receive the grant?

Yes. Participants who receive a Starter Company Plus grant must sign an agreement that outlines their responsibilities under the program. If they do not adhere to this agreement, they will be considered in default of the program and recovery of all grant monies disbursed.

Who decides if I get approved?

A grant committee made up of local business professionals, entrepreneurs and private sector stakeholders will review final applications and determine which applicants are accepted and the amount of funding a proposal receives.

Acceptance decisions are based on:

  • feasibility of the proposed business;
  • proposed business' potential for growth and job creation;
  • start-up budget and financing needs of the proposed business;
  • cash and in-kind contributions of the applicant;
  • applicant's overall participation in the training program; and
  • regional economic development priorities based on specific industry sectors
If my proposed business is not selected, can I still get mentoring and training?

Yes. Even if a proposal is not selected to receive funding, a participant can still participate in the training and mentoring components of the program to help them open a business. This is dependent on the number of seats available in training and mentoring.

Can I participate in Starter Company Plus while collecting Employment Insurance?

Yes. There is no restriction against participants receiving Employment Insurance (EI), however once you register and start the business you are no longer eligible for EI as a self-employed person.

Can I participate in Starter Company Plus while I am enrolled in another self-employment program?

Those participating in Starter Company Plus may not be enrolled at the same time in the Ontario Works Self Employment Development program, Summer Company, or any other similar programs offered by government funded organizations. However, it is possible to access these programs sequentially. For example, someone who has started a business through Summer Company may later apply to participate in Starter Company Plus in order to take their business to the next level. Similarly, participants may apply to Futurpreneur (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation) after receiving Starter Company Plus funding and mentoring, provided that they apply in the first year of operation of their business.

I am in school part-time. Am I eligible for Starter Company Plus?

Yes. A potential applicant to the program who is enrolled in part-time schooling or training (part-time is defined as 1 course per semester) is eligible for participation in the Starter Company Plus program. You must be prepared to satisfy program training and mentoring requirements and commit a minimum average of 30 hours per week to running your business.

I am working full-time. Am I eligible for Starter Company Plus?

No. The intent of Starter Company Plus is to help people launch a new business or expand an existing business where other forms of financing are unavailable. Those working full-time in a separate field are not eligible. You may work part-time and still apply. A part-time job is defined as no more than 20 hours per week.

I don’t live in the Kingston Region. Can I still apply?

Starter Company Plus is a provincial program, but you must apply in the municipality where you reside and where your business is located.  In the Kingston Region all applications are submitted to the Kingston Economic Development Corporation office.

Workshops + EventsView All

Nov 13

The event will include a brief information session about the program as well as the opportunity to connect with the founder Alan Rottenberg.

Nov 14

Attend this free one-hour session to learn about the programs and services offered at Kingston Economic Development that can help start and grow your business.

Nov 20

Participants will learn about the risks and benefits of succession planning.

Nov 21

Do you want to follow your passion to create a business that puts people and planet first? You are not alone.

Nov 28

Are you an employer with new staff to the city?

Nov 28

Attend this free one-hour session to learn about the programs and services offered at Kingston Economic Development that can help start and grow your business.