Rise Youth Small Business Program

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About the program

Join a free 10-week virtual skill-building program that will help develop your ideas and business plan, and get access to resources such as coaching, financing, and equipment.

Like a beginner’s business school, our Youth Small Business Program can help jump–start your idea and make it a reality. Designed to help youth aged 16 to 29 launch or grow a small business, this program is an opportunity to learn foundational business and financial skills through virtual in-person workshops and entrepreneurship coaching that will help you develop the confidence to run a successful business. 

What does the program include?

Workshops:  Creative, interactive , and live virtual classroom sessions led by self-employment/subject matter experts take place two times per week. You will work together with your classmates, learning business strategies and concepts to enhance your entrepreneurial skills and explore topics like mindfulness and work-life balance to promote professional well-being. Participants receive a customized Business Plan Workbook to help develop their individual business plan, with access to additional online resources and support. 

Coaching:  Business coaching provides thoughtful, professional support and guidance to help you grow your idea and develop your business plan. You will receive individual and group coaching from skilled volunteers with business experience, expertise, and knowledge to share. 

Laptop: Don’t have a computer? Borrow one of ours, and once you graduate from the program, you have the option to keep it. 

Financing: The program is free to participate in, and once you graduate, you will receive a $500 start-up grant or the aforementioned laptop. You may also be eligible to apply for a low-interest small business loan from Rise if you need additional start-up funds. 

What are the benefits?

  • Business development:Gain the skills and confidence to develop your idea and launch your business (part-time or full-time).  
  • Personal development: Learn to approach business mindfully and design a business plan with a lens for personal well-being.     
  • Networking & Coaching:Network with like-minded individuals and build connections with local entrepreneurs and experienced business professionals
  • Financing: Successful grads may be eligible to apply for a low-interest small business loan through the Rise Small Business Lending Program.

Who can apply?

  • Have a practical idea to start or grow your own for-profit small business (any size, full or part-time)
  • Self-identify as having experienced mental health and/or addiction issue
  • Have difficulty accessing traditional bank financing for your small business​
  • Be between the ages of 16 to 29

How to apply

Give your application the best chance at approval. AKR Consulting has an 99% approval rating across all Canadian funding programs.

For any inquiry, please call: AKR Consulting Canada at 905-678-6368


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