Community Futures’ Self Employment Program is designed to help WorkBC clients experiencing unemployment / underemployment start small businesses that will provide them with a sustained income.
About the Program
In the Self Employment Program, you learn the skills needed to be successful starting your own small business or purchasing an existing business.
This program provides income supports, a ten-week business plan development phase, access to free business skills development workshops, and one-on-one mentoring. To join the program, you must have a viable business idea and meet the eligibility requirements.
Community Futures has delivered the Self Employment Program in the Central Kootenay region for more than 30 years. We have intake for the program approximately every 10 weeks throughout the year. Typically you will complete the program in a small cohort group with 3-5 other entrepreneurs.
The application process for the Self Employment Program is competitive during periods of high interest (e.g. when there is high unemployment in the region). Entry into the program is determined by a committee and is based on the quality of your business concept.
To learn more about the Self Employment Program, contact us or make an appointment at your local WorkBC Employment Service Centre.
Applying for the Self Employment Program
The Self Employment Program supports up to 50 entrepreneurs each year to develop and launch their business in the Central Kootenay region.
To join the program, you must have a viable business idea and meet the eligibility requirements.
To be eligible for the Self Employment Program, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- You are currently on an active Employment Insurance (EI) claim, or
- You have an EI claim that ended in in the past 60 months (with no subsequent disqualifications for quitting a job), or
- You are a BCEA PWD or PPMB client, or
- WorkBC deems eligibility if you have paid into EI 5 of the past 10 years with annual declared income over $3,000, and have filed your tax return for the most recent tax year, or
- You are a general WorkBC client with a documented disability.
Your business concept must be “new to you”, legal, and likely to succeed in your anticipated market space without putting another person out of work, among other stipulations.
WorkBC Referral Process
The first step to getting into the Self Employment Program is setting up a WorkBC account and meeting with an Employment Counsellor.
The WorkBC Employment Counsellor determines whether to refer you to the Self Employment Program Orientation by checking your eligibility, assessing business concept viability (sometimes in conjunction with a Self Employment Business Counsellor at Community Futures), and that self-employment seems like the best path to sustainable employment.
Castlegar, Nelson, Kaslo, Salmo, Slocan, Regional District Central Kootenay Areas E, F & G; Area H (south of Slocan), and Area D (south of Kaslo).
Creston, Crawford Bay, Yahk, Regional District Central Kootenay Areas A, B & C