Self Employment Benefit Program
The Self-Employment Benefit Program is designed to provide financial and entrepreneurial support for those who have been, or are, on Employment Insurance (EI) or maternity/paternity leave and would like to start their own business. The SEB Program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities (MTCU) and is designed to help individuals create jobs for themselves. The program provides:
- information & assistance with the application process
- training & counselling for new entrepreneurs
- support for the business planning and start-up stages
- financial support for up to 42 weeks
Who Can Apply?
To be eligible for the SEB Program, you must meet the following conditions:
- be legally entitled to work in Canada
- be unemployed
- have an established Employment Insurance (EI) claim, or one that has ended within the last 3 years, OR have received maternity/paternity benefits within the past 5 years after which you remained out of the labour market to care for the child and are now seeking to re-enter the labour force
- continue to look for work as per your EI claim conditions. You must not turn down job opportunities for the purpose of obtaining SEB approval. Failing to do so can result in ineligibility to the SEB Program.
- have no previous participation in the SEB Program (or any other self-employment program) within the past 2 years
- agree to provide a business plan acceptable to MTCU and LOWBIC within a reasonabe period of time (10 weeks maximum), showing potential for long-term self-employment
- agree to work full-time (minimum 35 hours per week) on your business while you receive financial assistance. Exceptions to the amount of full-time hours may be granted as determined on a case by case basis
What Financial Assistance Will You Receive?
Under the SEB Program you may be eligible to receive up to $423 per week for the duration of time you are on the program. Maximum program participation is 42 weeks, some exceptions apply.
The SEB applicant must be considering:
- to start a new business OR take over an existing business in which they (or their spouse, child or parent) had no prior ownership or involvement in the management/decision making process
- a business that is suitable for public funding in the opinion of the MTCU
The proposed business may be:
- seasonal in nature (an individual must devote all efforts full-time to the development and implementation of the business plan for the duration of the SEB agreement. In some cases, the individual may be engaged in more than one full-time seasonal activity within the agreement timeframe). Restrictions apply
- a hobby (i.e. a leisure activity undertaken for pleasure where the primary intention is not to generate income) converted into a business
NOTE: Business must be feasible and provide sustainable income to be considered
Acceptable types of business structures:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Partnership: A partnership agreemeet will be required indicating the SEB participant has majority ownership of the business (i.e. in a partnership between two individuals the SEB applicant must have 51% ownership of the business)
- Corporation: A copy of the “articles of incorporation” will be required showing the SEB participant has the majority of voting shares
How To Begin:
SEB Program Information Sessions are held on the last Tuesday of each month (subject to change). Individual Information Sessions are also available upon request.
Please call Emily Delaney, SEB Coordinator, at 467-4642 or Email email@example.com to schedule an appointment.