To participate in the Self Employment Program, you are required to meet with an employment counsellor at your local WorkBC Service Centre to find out if you are eligible.
Determining eligibility can be tricky. If you have questions about the program, you can speak to one of our Self Employment Program staff. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250) 352-1933 ext. 100 to book an appointment.
To be eligible, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- On an active Employment Insurance (E.I.) claim; or
- Have received E.I. Benefits in the past*; or
- Have earned more than $2,000 in insurable earnings and paid E.I. employee premiums on those earnings in at least five (consecutive or nonconsecutive) of the previous ten calendar years; or
- Are currently receiving B.C. Benefits with a Persons with Disabilities (PWD) status, or Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) status; or
- Are a person with a disability who may or may not be receiving any other forms of support (e.g. CPP disability).
*Have had an active E.I. claim not related to a COVID vaccine mandate in the past 60 months.
NOTE: If you do not qualify for the Self Employment Program, we are still here to help.
And you must also meet these eligibility requirements:
- Be unemployed or underemployed*,
- Live in the Central Kootenay Region**,
- Want to start a business that is ‘new to you’,
- Have a minimum 51% controlling interest in the business,
- Be legally entitled to work in British Columbia,
- Propose a business concept that is legal and suitable for public funding,
- Demonstrate a minimum personal investment in the business showing that you are investing in the start-up of your business, and
- Plan to work a minimum of 35 hours per week in your business. Or, for PWD/ PPMB, plan to work a minimum 20 hours per week.
*An underemployed worker works on average, 20 hours or less per week. For clarification on underemployed status please contact your local WorkBC Service Centre.
**If you live outside Central Kootenay, contact your local Community Futures office to see if they offer the Self Employment Program. Three are Community Futures offices in Trail, Grand Forks, and Revelstoke, across British Columbia.