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Starter Company Plus

Starter Company Plus is a training and mentorship program for businesses less than one year in age or micro businesses ready to go full time. This program offers training in business planning, marketing, and financials.

Mentorship is available for eligible program participants and grants of up to $5,000 are available. Full eligibility will be discussed at an intake session with the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre (SCEC)

Application Guide

Application Process

  • Review your eligibility to participate in the program. 
  • Complete the application form below.  
  • An SCEC team member will contact you for an initial interview.

The complete application process will be discussed during our intake session. Those that successfully complete the training and meet all requirements will be invited to apply for the grant.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Prepared to commit to a minimum average of 35 hours per week to run the business
  • Do not have full-time employment or studies outside of the business more than 12 hours per week
  • Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Fully responsible for the on-going operation of the business and are the majority owner (50 per cent or more)
  • Be able to show investment in the business of at least $1,250.

Business Eligibility

The proposed business is a new start-up, less than one-year old, or a newly purchased business and:

  • is located in Niagara Region
  • is an independent business venture
  • is a legal business in Ontario
  • operates at arms-length from family business ventures
  • operates at full-time as defined in the business plan
  • maintains its own books and records
  • maintains a separate business bank account
  • follows all government rules and regulations and applicable by-laws for the operation of the business

Non-eligible businesses

  • Franchises, commissioned sales and distributorships
  • Business ventures that are continuations of existing commercial endeavours
  • Not-for-profit, social enterprise, co-operatives or charitable enterprises
  • Multi-level marketing ventures
  • Single event such as musical ventures bands, DJs or dance/party event organizations
  • Businesses that are strictly pay-per-click and 1-900 number businesses or subscription models.

Program Requirements

  • All required training must be completed.
  • All business documentation requested must be provided (business registration, articles of incorporation, proof of insurance, proof of personal contribution, etc.)  
  • A business plan, start-up budget and financial forecast must be completed, to the satisfaction of the SCEC, before being considered by the Grant Committee
  • Program participants should expect the program to run over a six-month period and should be able to commit to all training and mentor meetings in that time.  
  • An exit interview must be completed. 

The Fine Print

Starter Company Plus is competitive in nature and there is no guarantee a grant will be awarded. Full eligibility and program details will be discussed at an intake session with the SCEC.

This program is delivered by the SCEC and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Growth. There are a limited number of grants available.

Complete the Starter Company Plus Application to get started. Within 24 business hours of submission, you will be contacted by the SCEC to confirm receipt of your application.

The SCEC reserves the right to disqualify any participant that, in its sole judgement, violates the spirit of the program and its guidelines, processes and rules. SCEC and its Grant Committee decisions are final.

The SCEC reserves the right to suspend, delay, modify or cancel these terms and conditions.

Please note:
All program participants will receive business training, however, not all will receive the grant/seed funding.


  • Applications must be submitted: TBD
  • Program start date: TBD
  • Business Plans due: TBD
  • Pitch training: TBD (by invitation)
  • Pitches to Grant Committee: TBD (by invitation)
  • Grant recipients must spend funds by: TBD
  • Mentorship meetings: TBD (by invitation) 


Applications are closed. 

If you would like to be notified when the 2024 applications open, please send an email to with the subject line "SC+ 2024 notice

Congratulations to the 2023 Grant Recipients! 

  • Tatyana Antonyan - Sucre Confectionary 
  • Luke Bonvanie - Luke's Maintenance and Repair 
  • Stephane Emard - SE Fitness
  • Raine Gould - Black Bear Bakery
  • Connor Kucharic - NurseRecruit
  • Melissa Manning - M&M Counselling
  • Dylan McFadden - Dylan Chris Glass
  • Derik Neville - Neville's Landscaping
  • Krista Rodriguez - Kanata Legal Services 
  • Steven Scappaticci - Garden City Health and Wellness 

Discover Why St. Catharines Is Your Business Advantage

Contact our team of experts for a consultation today.

Get Started

(905) 688-5601