Youth Programs

Starter Company

Starter Company program is a key part of the Ontario’s comprehensive Youth Job Strategy, which aims to invest $295 million over two years to help young people find jobs and start their own businesses while helping employers find skilled workers. Starter Company will provide mentoring, training and capital up to $5,000 for youth to start, grow or buy a small business.

Eligible candidates are those Ontario residents between 18-29 years of age, not attending school full time, and looking to start a full-time business. The program is 6-8 months in length, with ongoing mentoring and training. Starter Company will be delivered by the Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs), part of Ontario’s Network of Entrepreneur’s (ONE).

Individuals interested in the program are encouraged to come to an orientation to learn more and clarify eligibility requirements.

Next Orientations:

October 5, 9:30am
October 19, 1:30pm

For details contact:

Hamilton Small Business Enterprise Centre
71 Main Street West, Main Floor
Hamilton, ON L8P 4Y5
Phone: 905-540-6400

Summer Company

Summer Company is a key component of the Ontario government’s young entrepreneurs programs, which aims to encourage more young people to turn their talents into creative and innovative businesses. Summer Company provides hands-on business training and mentoring, together with awards of up to $3,000 to help enterprising students start up and run their own summer business.

Eligible candidates must be between 15-29 years of age, a student returning to school in the fall of 2016, a resident of Ontario, Canadian citizen or Landed Immigrant and is not to be operating an existing business or be employed full time over the course of the summer. In addition, students must be prepared to commit a minimum of 8 -12 consecutive weeks full-time to the experience.

Students apply to the program by completing a comprehensive business plan and participating in an interview.  Visit the provincial webpage for more information.

Summer Company – How it works?

Young Entrepreneurs can get up to $3,000 with Summer Company

Summer Company Success Stories:

Maya Amoah started her retail business called Nebula Artwear with Summer Company – Hamilton

Nathan Jervis started his software business called NVC Software Solutions with Summer Company – Hamilton

Natalie To started her jewellery business called Toto’s Shop with Summer Company – Hamilton

If you have any questions, please contact the SBEC at 905-540-6400 or

Keep watching for the 2016 Program information updates.

Prepare for the next call for applications – check to see if you are eligible for the program

E.R. Monaco Business Plan Competition

This youth program gives high school students the opportunity to enhance their skills through the development of a professional business plan. Our competition is designed to challenge your students’ entrepreneurial talents.

Top 5 business plans will receive a cash prize for their efforts.

Eligibility Requirements

The Business Plan Competition is open to youth between the ages of 15-20, individuals attending a high school within the Hamilton area, groups of no more than 3 students (entries may also be submitted by individuals).

For more information, please have your teacher contact the SBEC at 905-540-6400 or for more information.  

2016 Deadline TBD.




On behalf of our event hosts, Hamilton Economic Development, the Canada-Ontario Export Forum, Ontario Food Exports, and Western Union we invite you to join us for a special workshop focused on exporting opportunities!




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