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Starter Company Plus - Hamilton Business Centre Logo

starter company plus

Starter Company Plus is a training and mentorship program for businesses less than two (2) years in age. The program offers opportunities for training in business planning, marketing, social media, bookkeeping, and financial management. Plus, there are funding opportunities of up to $5,000 for eligible businesses approved into the program.

apply for the fall cohort

Business training and ongoing mentorship opportunities available


Funding opportunities of up to $5k for eligible businesses

Program Information:

The Fall 2024 cohort application portal is now OPEN. Eligible applicants will be contacted in late August regarding their application. Apply today!

Interested in applying? Please be sure to read the program eligibility below prior to submitting your application. Once your submission has been received, it will be evaluated and a program coordinator will reach out to those who are eligible to discuss your application and business in detail.

Applicant Requirements:

This upcoming round (Fall 2024 Cohort) of the Starter Company Plus Grant is available to entrepreneurs who meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident,
  • Be 18 years of age or older,
  • Not be attending school or planning to return to school while enrolled in the program,
  • Be devoting a minimum of 35 hours per week to their small business and not employed anywhere else,
  • Businesses less than two (2) years in age,
  • Not be enrolled in any other government-funded employment program, and
  • Be a resident of Hamilton with the ability to demonstrate proof of physical address

Business Eligibility:

Eligible entrepreneurs must also have small businesses that meet the following criteria:

  • Must be registered at the time of application (Sole Proprietor, Partnership, or Corporation), and this documentation must show a City of Hamilton address,
  • Must have a separate business bank account that corresponds with Business Registration documentation,
  • Must have majority ownership and the ability to demonstrate proof of ownership and/or shareholder agreement,
  • Businesses that require certification and/or license must be current at the time of application,
  • Must have been in operation for a minimum of 6 months and be able to demonstrate financial activity statements for this period,
  • Can provide a 25% investment of the grant amount ($1,250), and
  • Must be able to commit to 12 hours of entrepreneurship training

Ineligible Businesses:

The following businesses are ineligible for a Starter Company Plus Grant:

  • Nightclubs, lounges, cabarets, discotheques, music festivals, and events, or other similar activities,
  • Online businesses that are resellers,
  • Technology apps that are not market-ready,
  • Student housing and other residential rental accommodation,
  • Quasi-financial institutions or money service and money transfer businesses (including insurance companies and financial services companies),
  • Cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin) businesses and traders,
  • Businesses brokering funds or taking on a fiduciary duty handling funds for clients (including investment, insurance, and real estate brokers who handle funds in trust for clients),

See more ineligible business information below.

Ineligible Businesses Cont:

Businesses ineligible for a Starter Company Plus Grant cont:

  • Brokers (insurance, real estate, investment, etc.) who are working for an existing firm are not seen to be creating a new business
  • Businesses and platforms that raise funds for charities,
  • Charities and non-profits and social enterprises,
  • Franchises,
  • Collection agencies,
  • Businesses that raise investment capital for other businesses,
  • Businesses that include or promote financing from equity crowdfunding (share capital),
  • Medical marijuana and cannabis retailers

Past Graduate Profile:

Joshy’s Good Eats

Toronto-born but Southern California-raised, Josh’s first experience with cured fish came at the young age of 5 when, after trout fishing with his grandfather, he hung his trout in a smoking hut on the beach.

Many years later, when he was 17 he took a trip to Copenhagen and tasted Gravlax for the first time, and, well, the rest is history. Moving back to Canada from Portland, Oregon Josh was given the chance to work and manage Schmaltz Appetizing for Anthony Rose and Robert Wilder and this gave way to a true passion for cured fish. Having moved to Hamilton in 2019 with his fiancée, it was in the summer of 2020 that he decided to take the chance to become self-employed and started Joshy’s Good Eats.

In Partnership With: