Try the new

Starter Company Plus

Next Information Sessions:

  • Tuesday, October 2, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Milton Education Village Innovation Centre
  • Wednesday, October 3, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the Halton Regional Centre Auditorium

Register online for an information session.

The program

Starter Company Plus is an entrepreneurship program that provides training, mentoring and advice for eligible individuals 18 years of age or older, to help build a small business. The program also provides an opportunity to apply for a micro-grant to help start or grow a small business.

The program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth.

The Halton Small Business Centre has adapted the program to meet the local economic development needs. The program will focus on the following streams:

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The Newcomer stream is for recent immigrants who have been granted permanent resident status and have been living in Canada five years or less.

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The Export-oriented stream is for businesses that are or would like to export a product or service to primary target markets outside of Ontario.

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Main Street
The Main Street stream is for businesses that are or interested in providing a product or service within their local community.

Starter Company Plus Competition Rules and Regulations

  1. Eligibility

    The Starter Company Plus program (the “Program”) is open to all Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are 18 years or older at the time of application. Applicants must also meet the following eligibility criteria:

    • Proposing a new business, expansion of an existing business or buying a business
    • Not attending school full-time or returning to school for the duration of the program
    • Business located in Halton Region
    • Not currently enrolled in any self-employment or entrepreneurship training/financing program offered by government funded organizations
    The Program is not available to former participants. If you have participated and been accepted into the Program, you are not eligible to reapply.

  2. Time Period

    The information session is mandatory in order to apply for the Program.
    In order to apply to the Program, all applicants must attend one (1) of the following Information Sessions:

    Cohort Information Session date Program dates
    #1 April 4, 2017 April 1, 2017 – September 30, 2017
    #2 October 3, 2017 October 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018
    #3 April 4, 2018 (To be confirmed) April 1, 2018 – September 30, 2018
    #4 October 2, 2018: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    October 3, 2018: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    October 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019

    All applicants must also attend an Information Session in the applicable time frame specified in the competition rules and regulations.

  3. How to Register

    To participate in the Program you can register online or call 311. The applicant must meet all Program requirements as specified. Submissions that are incomplete or do not adhere to the rules or regulations may be disqualified.

  4. Procedure for Earning the Grant Funding

    Participants may be eligible to apply for grant consideration if they can match funding by 25% and have satisfied the following conditions:

    1. Provided a comprehensive business plan
    2. Provided two year forecast of financials
    3. Completed mandatory training (including seminars, webinars, modules and workshops)
    4. Selected to participate in the Pitch Competition
  5. The Pitch Competition

    Only those who are participants who have been accepted into the Program will have the opportunity to compete in the Pitch Competition. Only those selected to participate in the Pitch Competition will be eligible to receive a grant of $4,500.

  6. Grant Award

    The successful top participants of the Pitch Competition will receive a grant in the amount of $4,500. The grant money must be spent by the end of the cohort and receipts must be provided.

  7. Winner Selection and Notification

    Winners of the Pitch Competition will be selected through a comprehensive evaluation process where participants will pitch their business plan orally to a panel of judges. Participants with the highest scores will be declared the winners, subject to the conditions described in these rules.
    The winners will be contacted by phone or email during the 2 weeks following the evaluation. If a winner cannot be reached within 5 business days of the first attempt of contact, or declines the prize, the grant award will be forfeited and the Region has the right, at its sole discretion, to select another winner.

  8. Certification

    Participants who plan to run a business that requires certification and/or licences, must show proof a Program provider. (Example: A food handling certification is needed when creating or handling food products).

  9. Agreement to Rules

    By participating in the Program, you agree to be fully unconditionally bound by the rules and regulations* of the Program and you represent and warrant that you meet the eligibility requirements. Participants must also agree to accept the decisions of the Program’s judges as final and binding as it relates to the Program.

  10. Mentorship Component

    Only participants of the Program will receive group mentoring.

  11. Limitation of Liability

    By participating in the Program you agree to release and hold harmless The Regional Municipality of Halton and its employees, volunteers, officers and representatives, from any liability, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not from (i) participation in the Program (including the pitch competition) and (ii) one’s acceptance, possession, use or misuse of the grant or any portion thereof.

  12. Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

    Participants of the Program will be added to a mailing list that they can unsubscribe to at any time.

  13. Laws

    The Starter Company Plus program is governed by the laws of Ontario

*rules and regulations are subject to change without notice

Meet our Grant Winners

Cody Price – Mobile Tire Inc

Mobile Tire Inc. provides at-home tire services across Halton Region and the Greater Toronto Area. These services include seasonal tire changes, tire sales, tire storage, tire repairs and wheel balancing.

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Lisa Evans – Chickadee Family Café

Chickadee Family Café is Burlington’s first “play café” for Halton families. Parents can relax over a cup of coffee, while children have a space to play and have fun. It’s a family-friendly space for parents to connect and re-caffeinate in a cozy, comfortable and kid-friendly atmosphere.

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Manpreet Kaur – Wise Tree Inspirations

Wise Tree Inspirations provides a range of services to meet significant corporate and organizational needs including:

  • Executive and Leadership Coaching
  • Consulting
  • Corporate Training
  •  Learning and Development
  • Workplace Wellness Programs

Services are conducted through one-on-one consultations and group sessions.

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Megan Day – Rooted & Vibrant

Rooted & Vibrant is a premium Life Coaching and Meditation practice that supports struggling moms. The company helps new mothers develop strategies to better cope with the added identity of “mom,” while also supporting career aspirations and working to create balance and fulfillment in their lives.

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Peter Fraser – Fraser’s Beverage Company

Fraser’s Beverage Company specializes in craft hard cider, created using premium, locally-sourced ingredients. Using apples grown by Wheelbarrow Orchards in Milton, the Halton company creates a low sugar, low calorie cider with a local heart.

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Rita Zietsma – Rita Zietsma Photography

Rita Zietsma is a portrait and personal branding photographer who believes in the power of amazing portraits to build confidence, land jobs, attract clients and document your family’s legacy. She creates photography with a lasting impact that will transform the way you see yourself and reveal the best version of you to the world.

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Tanya Moschella – Musically Connected

Website coming soon at

Musically Connected provides parent-and-child music classes and lessons that help to nurture the bond between parent and child through an engaging musical experience. Each class incorporates fun-filled songs, dancing, rhythmic development, vocal participation and hand-held instrument instruction.

Thank you to our Mentors!