Expanded Access to Funding and Mentorship: Starter Company Plus
Did you know that the Ontario government recently expanded its support for startup entrepreneurs by launching the Starter Company Plus program? No longer limited to a particular age group, the Starter Company Plus program gives Ontario residents aged 18 and over (and not attending school full time) the opportunity to apply for funding of up to $5,000, 1:1 guidance from a business advisor, mentoring from local entrepreneurs, and business training - all to start or expand your business.
To find out more and / or apply to the program in York Region, reach out to the Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) in Vaughan, Markham, Richmond Hill, or Newmarket.
Meet More Entrepreneurs in York Region
There are many opportunities to meet other York Region entrepreneurs at events (some are listed below) - but what if you can't make it to an event? How can you get a sense of who else is running (or starting) a business near you?
These 3 options are available for you - and they're available in the comfort of your home or office!
- EIR (AKA Entrepreneurs In Residence) is a speaker series co-hosted with some of York Region's libraries, where 3-4 entrepreneurs share their journeys, experiences, highs and lows. The purpose of the talks is to inspire other entrepreneurs, provide some encouragement, and build real connections. Find out about upcoming EIRs and past speakers at the EIR Talks website.
- If you want to watch some past EIR Talks, visit the EIR YouTube channel.
- And if you want to read some interviews from local entrepreneurs, visit House of Harts' page, where they have curated some stories.
What's a Makerspace?
Some of you have heard of "makerspaces", but many haven't. We asked Derrol Salmon from NewMakeIt to share a bit more about makerspaces:
An idea can be the inspiration behind a possible venture, but one of the challenges for an entrepreneur is turning that idea into reality. If the idea is one that is rooted in software, then all that is initially required is an internet connection to get started.
On the other hand, if your idea is based in hardware or physical goods you have an entirely different challenge. You will require tools and equipment to create your proof of concept. So, how do overcome this obstacle? The answer can lie in makerspaces.
A makerspace is a space that offers shared use of tools and equipment through the purchase of a monthly membership. These spaces are a fantastic way to access the resources needed to start prototyping hardware in a cost-effective manner. If you are fortunate enough to be within reasonable distance to a space as described sign-up and use the resource and community of the space to launch your idea and venture.
NewMakeIt is located in Newmarket and provides space, tools and community to facilitate and encourage creativity, innovation and prototyping. Find out more on their website, and learn more about the NewMakeIt story.
Help is at Hand!
Are you looking for resources to help you start, fund or grow your business in York Region? Or are you looking to give back, and you want to mentor other entrepreneurs?
The updated version of the overview of resources in York Region that help entrepreneurs is now available - you can find out more and download it here (for free, as always).