• Futurpreneur Canada Start-up Program
  • Summer Company
  • Junior Achievement Canada

Entrepreneurship can begin at any age. This guide will introduce you to the basics of starting a business, and highlight government programs available to young entrepreneurs in Ontario.

To be eligible for youth entrepreneur programs you need to be between 15 and 39 years old. Please refer to the individual program descriptions in this guide for more information.

There is no minimum age for starting a business. However, you need to be at least 18 years old to sign contracts or other legal documents. If you are under 18 and starting a business, you may need someone who is over 18 to sign legal documents on your behalf. Discuss your business ideas with a parent or guardian before you start.

Programs and financing

Grants, contributions, subsidies and loan guarantees are available from various government sources. Use Innovation Canada’s online search tool to look for programs and services that may apply to your business.

Search online: Business Benefits Finder

Some of the programs and financing options specifically for young entrepreneurs include:

Futurpreneur Canada Start-up Program

You may be eligible for a loan of up to $20,000 from Futurpreneur Canada.

To be eligible, you should:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 39
  • Create a business plan for a business that will employ you full time
  • Work with a mentor for two years
  • Own at least 51% of your business

If you are approved for funding from Futurpreneur Canada, you may also be eligible for additional funding of up to $40,000 through a special partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

Applicants aged 18 to 39 can apply for programs through Futurpreneur Canada and work with one of their mentors, but financing terms and conditions are from BDC for a maximum loan of $60,000.

Contact Futurpreneur Canada:
Futurpreneur Canada Start-up Program

Summer Company

If you are a current student returning to school in the fall, you could get up to $3,000 to help you start and run a summer business.

You may be eligible if you are:

  • Proposing a new business
  • A resident of Ontario
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Committed to working an average of 35 hours per week
  • Not operating a business or working elsewhere for over 12 hours per week during the program
  • Not a past participant of Summer Company

Other conditions apply.

Age range: 15 to 29

Contact Employment Ontario:
Summer Company

Junior Achievement Canada

If you are a high school student wanting to start a business or improve your financial education, you may want to contact Junior Achievement Canada.

How it works:  Local businesses partner with your school’s teachers to give you real-world skills and mentorship from local business leaders.

There are three types of programs:

  • Financial Literacy: Learn how to create and manage wealth, as well as develop skills in areas such as budgeting, investing and creating financial plans.
  • Work Readiness: Learn how to communicate, network, interview for jobs and collaborate with diverse groups of people to achieve common goals.
  • Entrepreneurship: Gain first-hand experience in running a successful business and learn how to create business plans, innovate, manage teams and take a new product to market.

Contact Junior Achievement Canada: 1-800-265-0699

Junior Achievement Canada

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer’s Program

If you are a young farm operator (earning at least two-thirds of your gross income from farming) or pursuing post-secondary education leading to a diploma or degree in agriculture, you may be able to access mentoring, scholarships and other resources through Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer’s Program.

Age range: 18 to 39

Read online:
Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer’s Program


If you are a youth entrepreneur facing mental health or addiction challenges, you could get, depending on the program, $300 to $10,000 to help start, grow or promote your product or service. Mentoring and help with developing your business plan and entrepreneurship skills are also available.

To be eligible, you need to:

  • Be between the ages of 16 and 29
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
  • Self-identify as someone facing mental health or addiction challenges
  • Be unable to obtain traditional bank financing for your business
  • Not be in active bankruptcy

Other conditions apply.

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