Cornwall, Ontario – Seven entrepreneurs from Cornwall and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry were recently awarded funding through the Starter Company PLUS program.

Starter Company PLUS is a training program for new entrepreneurs interested in start-up support. The 10-week program is funded by the Province of Ontario and administered by the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre (CBEC). Participants receive assistance to start, grow, or buy a small business which includes training, mentoring and support provided by CBEC with help from local industry experts. Each participant is required to pitch their new business to a grant panel in order to qualify for the grant. There is a limited amount of grants available and the process is competitive. Applicants with the highest scores are eligible for the grant, which can be spent on equipment, supplies, marketing and a number of other business growth initiatives.

“We were fortunate to have been able to work with many dedicated entrepreneurs,” said Shauna Baggs, Business Consultant with the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre. “I have seen each new entrepreneur grow in knowledge and confidence throughout the program. It’s hard work to build a solid business plan and financial forecast, all while learning the aspects of owning a new business. It was a pleasure working with such a wide variety of business owners and I look forward to seeing them succeed in our community”.

The 2022 spring session turned out to be very competitive, with an initial enrollment of 35 entrepreneurs. Following weeks of hard work, those who successfully made it through the program submitted completed Business Plans and then pitched their businesses to a panel of judges, making their case for a grant of up to $4,500.

2022 Starter Company PLUS Recipients

The following are the recipients of the Spring 2021 Starter Company PLUS grant program:

Katie Hope – Balloon Babes

Sebastian Knox –  Sebastian Knox Woodwinds

Tom Manley – Tom’s Pantry

Tammy Wells-Petryna – Healing Minds Counselling

Yafa Goawily – Yafa Arts & Crafts

Brandon Poirier – Poirier Photography

Lee Mitchell – House of Fine Design

“The team at the Business Enterprise Centre was available to answer all my questions”, said Yafa Goawily, Yafa Arts & Crafts.  “The support I received through the Starter Company Plus program has given me the confidence I needed to grow a successful business in a field that I love. I am very grateful for the experience!”

“What an opportunity! The Starter Company Plus Program really opened my eyes to many different areas of business that I needed to pay more attention to, as well as connected me to some amazing local businesses that can help my business grow, said Katie Hope, Balloon Babes. “Receiving the grant is an added bonus! I am so excited about what this opportunity has given me to keep blowing up”.

“I walked into the CEBC to simply introduce myself. What I got was a free program that helped me identify all the aspects of my business that I’d wanted to improve upon. In two months, I have been able to sharpen my focus and gain valuable skill to take my business to the next level. I am grateful for all the support I have received and recommend this program to anyone seeking to develop some fundamental business skills, said Sebastian Knox”, Sebastian Know Woodwinds.

“Thank you very much to the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre and the Starter Company Plus program”, said Tom Manly, Tom’s Pantry. “The training, coaching, and networking are greatly appreciated. The financial support means a lot and goes a long way to starting a new business.  I have met some new friends among the other participants, and I look forward to collaborating with them. The team at the Enterprise Centre is very knowledgeable and supportive. I thoroughly appreciated my experience with the program.” 

The Starter Company PLUS program has been offered through the Business Enterprise Centre since late 2013. To date, the program has assisted 124 businesses and awarded $581,000 in grants.

Next Intake:

The application period for the next session of Starter Company PLUS will open August 1, 2022 and will close on August 24, 2022 at 4:00 pm. Click here for eligibility requirements and other general information on the program: