Programs & Funding

Starter Company Plus

Applications period opens December 6, deadline to apply is December 17, 2021.

Starter Company Plus is a Government of Ontario funded program and delivered by the Northwest Business Centre designed to create sustainable jobs for its residents through entrepreneurship. If you’re starting, expanding or buying a small business, apply for training, mentoring and a grant through Starter Company Plus program. You will get one-on-one guidance, training to complete a business plan and the opportunity to apply for a $5,000 grant. If you are a driven individual with a unique business idea, over the age of 18, a resident of Ontario, and are not attending school or working full time, the Starter Company Plus program could be your first step to a new adventure.

Am I eligible for Starter Company Plus?

You can apply if you’re:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • an Ontario resident and Canadian citizen (or permanent resident)
  • not attending school full-time or returning to school or working full time (working no more than 20 hours/week at a part-time job)
  • To qualify for a grant, you must be able to make a contribution in cash or in kind. It has to be for least 25% of the grant amount.

What type of business can I start? Almost any type of business is eligible, as long as it:

  • Is a sole proprietorship or a corporation where the applicant is the majority shareholder
  • Is an independent business venture
  • Operates at arm’s length from family business ventures
  • Operates full-time as defined in the business plan and maintains its own books and records (minimum average of 35 hours a week)
  • Follows government rules and regulations for operating a business

Businesses NOT eligible for Starter Company Plus include:

  • Partnerships that are 50% shared, franchises, commissioned sales and distributorships
  • Business ventures that are continuations of existing commercial endeavours
  • Not-for-profit 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 businesses
  • Businesses that have received the Starter Company or Starter Company Plus grant from the Northwest Business Centre or any SBEC in the province of Ontario.

Application process:

  • You must apply online using the form below.
  • You will receive an email from the Program Coordinator with complete program details, a request to complete a one page business overview assignment and a meeting invitation to discuss your business idea
  • Email Corrine Kabel, Program Coordinator at

Funding provided by the Government of Ontario

Applications are not available until December 6, 2021.

Entreprise en démarrage Plus

Obtenez des conseils et une subvention pour votre petite entreprise

Si vous démarrez, agrandissez ou achetez une petite entreprise, faites une demande de formation, de mentorat et de subvention par l’intermédiaire du programme Entreprise en démarrage Plus.

Qu’est-ce que vous obtiendrez?

Grâce à Entreprise en démarrage Plus, vous pouvez :

  • obtenir des conseils individuels d’un conseiller d’un centre d’encadrement des petits entrepreneurs;
  • participer à des ateliers d’affaires, des séminaires ou des événements de réseautage;
    • les sujets vont de l’écriture d’un plan d’affaires aux campagnes de marketing, en passant par l’établissement d’un budget.
  • parler à un mentor possédant de l’expérience en matière de démarrage, d’agrandissement ou d’achat de petites entreprises.

Vous pouvez également présenter une demande de subvention d’une valeur maximale de 5 000 dollars.

Ces services de soutien sont disponibles si vous voulez démarrer, agrandir ou acheter une entreprise en Ontario.

Qui peut présenter une demande?

Vous êtes admissible si :

  • vous êtes âgé de 18 ans ou plus;
  • vous êtes résident de l’Ontario et citoyen canadien (ou résident permanent);
  • vous n’êtes pas aux études à temps plein ou n’effectuez pas un retour aux études.

Pour être admissible à une subvention, vous devez être en mesure de faire une contribution en espèces ou en nature. Cette contribution doit représenter au moins 25 % du montant de la subvention.

Programs & Funding

Summer Company

Are you between the ages of 15-29? If you’ve got a winning idea for starting a new business and are a student who is not afraid of hard work, you should consider applying to our Summer Company program. Summer Company is a great opportunity for enterprising young people who want to start and run their own summer businesses. The program provides hands-on business coaching and mentoring from local community business leaders who will work with you to make your Summer Company a reality. The application deadline for Summer Company is April 30 and all applicants must have a business plan completed and a feasible business in order to apply. Contact Allyson today for business plan assistance and program guidance by email at

How it Works

Through a program called Summer Company, you can get two things:

  • start-up money to kick-off a new summer business
  • advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running

You could be eligible, if you:

  • go to high school, college or university in Ontario
  • live in Ontario
  • are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • are between 15-29 years old (if under 18: a parent needs to sign the application)
  • are not already running a business
  • are not working more than 12 hours week at another job during the program
  • are returning to school after the program ends
  • you cannot apply again, if you have received a Summer Company grant in the past

Maximum grant:

  • $3,000
  • up to $1,500 up front to help with start-up costs
  • up to $1,500 when you successfully complete the program requirements

For more information and to apply click here.

Démarrer une entreprise d’été


Grâce au programme Entreprise d’été, vous pouvez obtenir :

  • des fonds de démarrage pour lancer une nouvelle entreprise d’été
  • des conseils et un mentorat des chefs d’entreprises locales pour vous aider à mettre sur pied votre entreprise

Apprendre à diriger votre propre entreprise est l’un des meilleurs emplois d’été que vous pouvez avoir. Vous avez la chance d’être votre propre patron tout en apprenant les compétences requises pour gérer une entreprise. Ventes, commercialisation, facturation, tenue des comptes, relations avec la clientèle, réseautage ne sont que quelques-unes des compétences très utiles que vous acquerrez.

Montant de la bourse

Montant maximal de la bourse : 3 000 $

Les candidats retenus Entreprise d’été reçoivent :

  • jusqu’à 1 500 $ d’avance pour participer aux coûts de démarrage
  • jusqu’à 1 500 $ lorsque vous réussissez à satisfaire aux exigences du programme

Programs & Funding

Digital Transformation Grant

Deadline to apply: October 31, 2021

Attention brick and mortar businesses, located in downtowns and commercially zoned areas in the Kenora and Rainy River Districts!

The Digital Main Street’s Digital Transformation Grant could provide you with $2,500 for training, advisory support and software to increase your capacity through digital transformation.

How to apply:

  1. Complete the Digital Main Street Assessment and take the pre-qualification quiz: Click here
  2. Watch the online training modules and develop your Digital Transformation Plan
  3. Apply for your $2,500 grant by October 31, 2021

Reach out to the Northwest Business Centre’s Squad today with questions and for assistance and tips!

Eligible costs include the following:

  • Digital Marketing
    • Hiring a consultant/agency/person to execute digital marketing initiatives
  • Website
    • Redesign, improvement of existing website
    • Development of new website
    • Photography/videography costs for production of photos and/or videos
    • Ecommerce enablement
    • Accessibility compliance
  • Software
    • Graphic design software
    • Productivity software (LastPass, Hootsuite, Dropbox, etc.)
    • Social media software (Hootsuite, Buffer, etc.)
    • Security software
    • Other software as evidenced in the DTP
  • Digital Training
    • Ongoing digital training courses (in-person & online)
  • Hardware (limited to $1,000)
    • POS systems
    • All hardware must be deemed necessary (as determined by OBIAA in its sole discretion)

Learn more and sign up now at the following link:

Programs & Funding

A Grand Opportunity

Deadline to apply: April 21, 2021

The Northwest Business Centre COVID-19 Recovery Fund provides businesses with a grant of up to $1,000 towards one-time professional marketing services that will aid in your business recovery.

Successful applicants will gain direct, one-to-one business counsel from marketing strategists at Wake Marketing. Participation in this program will empower you to adapt and effectively market your business in the ongoing post-COVID economy.

Program options:

  1. Ask an Expert – choose your topic(s) and have 90 minutes of one-on-one time with a marketing expert. Your commitment requires a pre-consultation assignment and the one-time phone/video call.

    Best for: businesses who want some advice with specific challenges. 

  2. Marketing Coach – access a one-on-one marketing mentor for a four-week intensive coaching program. Your commitment requires weekly phone/video meetings and homework assignments.

    Best for: businesses who want to explore their entire business and marketing strategy and build a plan to move forward


  • Registered for-profit business (Master Business License or Incorporated)
  • Operational since at least January 2020
  • Operates within Northwest Business Centre catchment area (Kenora and Rainy River Districts)


  • Space is limited and not all applicants may be accepted into the program
  • The grant is paid directly to the service provider by NWBC

This program has been made possible with support from the Province of Ontario through the Small Business COVID Recovery Network

Applications are no longer being accepted.

Programs & Funding


Futurpreneur Canada has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for two decades. They are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39.

Click here to visit their website.

The Northwest Business Centre is the Community Partner for the Kenora and Rainy River District. For more information please contact Allyson Pele by email at