Friday, March 6, 2015

Entrepreneur Expo: The Programs

     Last week, I told you about the experience of Entrepreneur Expo. This week, I’d like to tell you about some of the programs different companies offer to students looking to expand their knowledge of entrepreneurship or looking to start their own company

 1.    Mitacs : Step Program
Who: For current graduate students and graduate students that graduated within two years time.

You can register for workshops on topics such as career professionalism, time management, networking skills, project management, etc. The best part? All workshops are free for eligible students. Mitacs hopes to bridge the gap between university learning and career success by offering students these workshops. They are currently offered all over Canada.

 2.     Enterprise Toronto: Starter Company
Who: Canadians/Permanent residents ages 18-29, part-time students or employed part-time.

Enterprise Toronto can give you a grant up to five thousand dollars to start your company. They will also provide mentoring services, a comprehensive training program, and guidance from a business advisor. Even if your company is not selected for the grant, you can still receive the mentoring and training. Your business must also be run and operated in Ontario. The website also has a lot of useful resources, such as this guide on how to create a business plan.

 3.     OCE: SmartStart Seed Fund
Who: Entrepreneurs ages 18-29 that have technology or innovation based start-ups.

What this program emphasizes is transitioning your existing venture from its early developmental stages into a company ready to enter the market. The program offers up to $30,000 in financing as long as you match the contribution they make. However, some expenses are deemed ineligible for funding. The SmartStart Seed Fund is ideal if you are looking to expand your business while learning from industry professionals.

 4.     Ontario Government: Summer Company
Who: 15-29 year old citizens of Canada (or permanent residents), not running another business or working another job. Check your eligibility here.

You could receive a maximum grant of three thousand dollars to start your summer business venture. Registration is now open, and the last day to apply is May 8, 2015.  Mentorship from other business leaders is included in the program as well. Summer Company is very competitive, but a plausible business plan will be your first step towards getting into this program. A tip from a representative is to allocate more funds towards marketing and less towards equipment; marketing is what will get you noticed!

            Good Luck!

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