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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

Applications have now closed.

  • Assess your eligibility to participate in the program
  • Complete the online application form. Last day to apply: October 4th, 2021
  • Attend an intake session with the SCEC
  • Submit a completed Business Model Canvas and Resume with Cover Letter to by end of day on October 8th, 2021
  • If eligible, you will be asked to register for and attend required business training
  • Develop a business plan with guidance from the SCEC

The complete application process will be discussed in an intake session with the SCEC. 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 training must be completed
  • All documentation requested must be provided
  • Proof of personal contribution at least $1250
  • 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
  • Grant recipients will be required to participate in the program for a minimum of three months for additional mentoring, support and reporting
  • 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.


  • October 4th: Deadline to Submit Applications
  • October 8th: Business Model Canvas & Resume with Cover Letter Due
  • October 4th - 25th: Mandatory Webinars
    • Financial Forecasting
    • Marketing 101
    • Market Research
    • Business Plan
  • November 1 - 5th: Business Plan Workshop Week
  • November 8th: Business Plan Submissions
  • November 25th: Pitch Training
  • Week of December 6th: Grant Committee


Applications have now closed.

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