Canadian entrepreneurs and small business owners have a wealth of available resources to help their companies get up and running, from financial assistance programs and seminars to develop business skills to networking opportunities and mentorship programs. As a small-business owner or entrepreneur, you will feel isolated at times, but you’re not alone. Make use of the following programs to help your small business grow and receive decades of continued success.
Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF)
Aspiring Canadian entrepreneurs and small-business owners ages 18 to 39 can make use of the several services offered by the CYBF. The national non-profit organization was founded in 1996 and has since invested in more than 5,600 entrepreneurs creating more than 23,000 new jobs in Canada. The national network consists of 186 community partners and upwards of 4,500 volunteers including business mentors. The CYBF offers multiple services including:
- Pre-launch business expertise: Learning how to write a business plan and overcome challenges during the early stages of your business through their network of community partners and experienced business mentors.
- Free online business resources: These include templates for creating a marketing plan or writing an initial business plan using accepted formats and crash courses in all aspects of business from financial planning to communications.
- Financial assistance: Through a unique partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada, the CYBF is able to provide access of up to $15,000 in start-up financing and up to $30,000 in additional financing for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
- Mentorship: The CYBF offers an extensive network of business professionals and available mentorship programs. CYBF mentors will work with you for a minimum of two years to help you through the demanding and make-or-break start-up phase.
Industry Canada is comprised of 12 federal departments and agencies with a goal of helping small- to medium-sized businesses grow by granting access to capital, information and a variety of helpful services. Industry Canada strives to improve conditions for investment throughout the country while enhancing innovation and performance by building a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace. Consult Industry Canada in order to locate the correct federal department or organization to help you:
- Conduct initial research and find helpful statistics to strengthen your business plan
- Start your business
- Find financing
- Obtain permits and licenses
- Protect intellectual property
- Conduct business across borders
- Incorporate your business
- Handle bankruptcy
Small Business Association Canada
A smaller, non-profit organization, Small Business Association Canada provides opportunities for small-business growth through networking events, collaboration, mentor programs and business skill development training. Small Business Association Canada offers a variety of member-only services and member discounts for many of the networking events held throughout the year.
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
CFIB’s mission is to represent interests in the small-business community to all three levels of government and they’ve done so for more than 40 years. Some of CFIB’s victories include:
- Increased the Small Business Corporate Tax threshold to $500,000
- Increased the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption to $750,000
- Reduced Employment Insurance premiums since 1994
When joining the CFIB not only are you given a resounding voice in the small-business community but you also have access to business counsellors and privilege programs. Business counsellors are scattered throughout all Canadian provinces and help small busin
ess owners troubleshoot anything from day-to-day problems to overarching issues affecting your company. One of CFIB’s signature privilege programs includes reduced fees with affiliated partners for credit and debit card transactions, processing, banking and telecommunications helping you save valuable time and money.
Women’s Enterprise Initiative
The Women’s Enterprise Initiative is established by Western Economic Diversification Canada to help remove barriers women entrepreneurs frequently face in the business world. The Women’s Enterprise Initiative has offices in the four western provinces and offers a variety of services including:
- Individual advice from current business professionals
- Training programs
- Networking opportunities
- Financial assistance
- Referrals to complementary services
At Vistaprint Canada we want your business to enjoy decades of continued success. Starting a business can be exceptionally difficult and stressful. The programs above are in place to help your small business grow, utilize their resources, build your network and continue learning how your business can make an impact in the Canadian marketplace.