BC Stats and Statistics Canada defines Small Business as “businesses with fewer than 50 employees and businesses operated by self-employed individuals without paid help”. In 2011, there were 385,100 recorded small businesses in BC, employing 1,027,900 British Columbians – 6,700 of those small businesses are located in Northeast BC.

Self Employment Program

Self Employment Benefits Program

Have you considered Self-Employment as an option? If so, you may be eligible for special assistance to start a business through the Self Employment Benefit Program.

Coaching is tailored to your needs and may include business plan development, bookkeeping, marketing, etc. Successful program applicants are eligible for ongoing technical advice, training, and financial support.

Application Process for the Self Employment Program

You are forbidden to start your business or advertise until authorized – if you do, it will result in disqualification from the self employment program.

Stage One:

  • You must meet eligibility requirements (as outlined on the following page).
  • You must be referred to the SE Program through an Employment Assistance Service contractor in your community.
  • If financing is needed, you can begin making arrangements for financing so you are certain that financing will be available before you proceed with Stage Two.
  • With assistance from our Business Analyst, you must complete a Business Conceptual Plan •The Business Analyst submits Business Conceptual Plan to committee for review.
  • A due date for submitting the completed business plan is established (maximum 10 weeks), and you must agree to submit weekly reports outlining activities undertaken to develop business plan.

For the 10 Week (maximum, no minimum) Interval:

    • You must work 35 hours/week on developing a Business Plan.
    • If financing is needed, you must complete arrangements at this time.
    • Coaching & Business Counseling Sessions with our Business Analyst are   scheduled throughout this period as required.
    • The Business Analyst makes recommendations for improving the business plan.
    • You must submit your completed business plan (electronic format preferably) to the Business Analyst by a pre-arranged date (at least one week prior to the SE Selection Committee meeting).

Stage Two:

  • SE Selection Committee reviews business plan, executive summary, and makes a recommendation accordingly.
  • You are now authorized to launch your new business.
  • You are required to provide our Business Analyst with monthly Income & Expense and Activity reports, attend monitoring sessions, and scheduled training (minimum 3 workshops) as required.

Approval Criteria

During the interview process, the Business Analyst will determine the following information:

  1. The client has an active claim and/or reachback. Reachback includes receiving EI benefits in the last 5 years or earned more than $2000 in insurable earnings in five of the last ten years.
  2. The client is a resident of Peace Liard region;
  3. The client is legally entitled to work in Canada;
  4. The client has the ability to make the minimum investment into the business;
  5. The client is starting a new business or one that he/she has no previous ownership in;
  6. The applicant has controlling interest in the business;
  7. The business is one suitable for public funding;
  8. The sales income is not derived solely from commissioned sales;
  9. The sales income is derived from more than one source;
  10. The applicant has the related skills and experience in the chosen field;
  11. The business fits the area economic development strategy and fills a community need;
  12. The business demonstrated financial viability;
  13. The business has no direct competition or has the support of the competitors;
  14. There is room in the marketplace for the business to start;
  15. There is evidence that the applicant will be working a minimum of 35 hours per week on the business.

Approval to all stages of the SE program is based on a number of criteria including need, viability, and competition. In addition, all applicants are reviewed in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act.

BizShift Loans

Self Employment Program

Partnerships & Opportunities

Business Planning Workbook