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Are you resident of Ontario16 to 29 years oldwith a business idea, but you’re not sure where to startThe Youth Small Business Program (YSBP) is a FREE 10-week virtual in-class mentorship and skill-building program to help you transform that idea into a business plan. 

  • https://risehelps.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/quote_image_emilieH.png

    Émile Hébert

    Rise YSBP Participant

  • “The Rise program has completely transformed my life. I took everything I have learned to build a business that I not only love, but I am also very proud of Thanks to this business I am now able to fully financially support myself by doing something I love.”


Like a beginner’s business schoolour Youth Small Business Program can help jumpstart your idea and make it a reality. Designed to help youth aged 16 to 29 launch or grow a small business, this program is an opportunity to learn foundational business and financial skills through virtual in-person workshops and entrepreneurship coaching that will help you develop the confidence to run a successful business. 


What does the program include?

Workshops: Creative, interactive and live virtual classroom sessions led by self-employment/subject matter experts take place two times per weekYou will work together with your classmates, learning business strategies and concepts to enhance your entrepreneurial skills and exploring topics like mindfulness and work-life balance to promote professional well-being. Participants receive a customized Business Plan Workbook to help develop their individual business plan, with access to additional online resources and support. 

Coaching: Business coaching provides thoughtful, professional support and guidance to help you grow your idea and develop your business plan. You will receive individual and group coaching from skilled volunteers with business experience, expertise and knowledge to share. 

Laptop: Don’t have a computer? Borrow one of ours, and once you graduate from the program, you have the option to keep it. 

Financing:The program is FREE to participate in, and once you graduate, you will receive a $500 start-up grant or the aforementioned laptop. You may also be eligible to apply for a low-interest small business loan from Rise if you need additional start-up funds. 

Selection for the program will be based on the viability of the business idea, the strength of the applicant’s commitment to starting a business and the applicant’s readiness to participate in the program. In order to ‘graduate’, applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to the program through regular attendance, completion of homework assignments and submission of a business plan and pitch by the end of the program. 


What are the benefits?

  • Business development: Gain the skills and confidence to develop your idea and launch your business (part-time or full-time). 
  • Personal development: Learn to approach business mindfulland design a business plan with a lens for personal well-being.    
  • Networking & Coaching: Network with like-minded individuals and build connections with local entrepreneurs and experienced business professionals. 
  • Financing: Successful grads can apply for a low-interest startup business loans through Rise. 

Program Details:

When: The Youth Small Business Program will be offered in Winter/Spring 2021. Each program cycle is approximately three months in length, with workshops held two days per week.

    • Applications for the Winter/Spring 2021 programs are now closed.
    • Please sign up to our waiting list to be notified when the next program begins.
    • *Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis

Where: Online

Not a resident of Ontario, or interested in a little more flexible, independent learning? Check out our EnterpRISEing Youth Plus Program . 


  • Do you have a practical idea to start or grow your own for-profit, small business (any size, both full or part time/seasonal opportunities are welcome)?
  • Can you commit to attending all course sessions and submit all assignments?
  • Would you have difficulty obtaining traditional bank financing?
  • Do you self-identify as having experienced a mental health and/or addiction challenges?
  • Are you between the ages of 16 and 29?
  • Are you a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada?

If you answered yes to all the above questions, you are eligible for our program.