Starter Company PLUS provides successful applicants with assistance to start, grow or buy a small business. Assistance includes training, business skills development, mentoring from local business leaders and capital. The program is open to Ontario residents 18 years of age and older.

The Starter Company PLUS program partners entrepreneurs with experts who will help you develop the skills needed to launch and sustain successful businesses. Program participants are also eligible to pitch to receive a grant of up to $4,500.

The next Starter Company PLUS program will begin March 2024.

Applications are Now Open for Spring 2024 Cohort until February 29th, 2024 @ 4:00pm 

Apply Here

Program Eligibility

The Entrepreneur:

  • 18 years of age or older and finished school
  • Operating a business, proposing a new business, expanding or purchasing a business
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Cornwall, Akwesasne or SD&G
  • Prepared to commit a minimum of 35 hours per week to operate your business
  • Prepared to attend mentor meetings for six months after the start of your business
  • Prepared to take part in identified Business Training

The Business:

  • A sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation where the applicant is the majority shareholder
  • An independent business venture – not a franchise
  • Operates at arm’s length from any family business ventures in Ontario
  • Operates full-time and maintains its own books and records
  • Maintains a separate business bank account, following government rules and regulations for operating a business

Businesses NOT Eligible:

  • Franchises, commissioned sales or distributorships
  • Business ventures that are continuations of existing commercial endeavours
  • Not-for-profit or charitable enterprises
  • Multi-level marketing ventures
  • Single events such as musical ventures, bands, DJ’s or dance/party event organizations
  • Businesses that are strictly pay per click and 1-900 businesses

Note: CBEC, a Small Business Enterprise Centre of the ONE network may, at its sole discretion, determine a particular business is inappropriate for the Starter Company PLUS program.

Application Process

  1.  Assess your eligibility to participate in the Starter Company PLUS program
  2. Complete and submit the program application form
  3. You will be contacted by the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre to review your application
  4. You will be notified whether or not you are accepted into the Starter Company PLUS program
  5. If accepted, you will then register for mandatory training seminars and mentorship meetings


The Grant Committee will determine whether and how much funding the applicant should receive. A detailed list of how the applicant plans to spend the grant is required when the business plan is finalized.

The participant will receive up to 75% of total eligible funding at the time of funding being approved. The final amount of the grant will be received when the participant has reached the mutually agreed upon milestones/targets laid out in their business plan and can show receipts from Starter Company Plus funds spent.

Eligible Expenses:
Leasehold Improvements
One-time Supplies

Non-Eligible Expenses (operational costs):
Rolling Stock (vehicles)
Cell Phones
Office Supplies


Applications are open until February 29th, 2024