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Our Peer Supported Startup Program is an 8-week program that will provide you with educational, business advisory, and mentorship support.

Registration for Fall and Winter PSSP cohorts will open in early June. Please check back regularly for updates.

Interested in self-directed learning?



  • Peer Support Start Up Program Client

  • “Rise has focused my business strategy, provided motivation, and helped to open the door to opportunities for me. That’s been thanks to my mentor.”


There’s strength in numbers. This program begins with free small business training to support you as you develop your business plan, entrepreneurship skills, and the confidence to launch and grow your business. To encourage your progress and success, you’ll work with a group of 2 to 6 entrepreneurs for built-in peer support, and together, you will have access to the support of Rise volunteer coaches. It’s a great way to grow your business while gaining knowledge through shared experiences. 

What does the program include?

  • Training:  Eight weeks of practical, hands-on workshops focused on developing business skills and producing a viable business plan.
  • Peer Business Coaching: During the program, you will breakout in groups of 2 to 6 people. You will meet with your peer group and a business coach for critical business support and guidance as you bring your idea to life.
  • Financing: The program is FREE to participate in, and once you graduate, you will receive a $300 start-up grantYou 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).
  • Networking: Network with like-minded individuals and build connections with local entrepreneurs.
  • Coaching: Our coaching program is designed to provide you with the necessary business support and guidance to bring your idea to life. 
  • Financing: Successful grads may be eligible to apply for a low-interest small business loan through the Rise Small Business Lending Program.

Program details:

Who: Adults 30+.

Where: Virtual delivery is accessible across Canada 

When: New program session dates coming soon

Cost: The program is free of charge to all participants.

*Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will close approximately one week before the cohort start date* 

Program Eligibility:

  • Be over 30 years of age. 
  • Have a practical idea to start or grow your own for-profit small business (any size, full or part-time). 
  • Self-identify as having experienced mental health and/or addiction challenges. 
  • Be unable to access traditional bank financing for your small business. 
  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. 

Registration for Fall and Winter PSSP cohorts will open in early June. Please check back regularly for updates.

Interested in self-directed learning?


Still Want to Learn More?

Idea Generator Workshop:

This workshop will take you through interactive activities that allow you to explore ideas and possibilities to start you on your entrepreneurship journey. During the workshop, facilitators will hopefully help participants answer a few questions like:

  • What are the pros and cons of self-employment?
  • What can I do to turn the things I love into a business?
  • Is running a business even right for me?
  • How can I harness my creativity to come up with innovative ideas?

You’ll also receive more information about our upcoming training programs and how you can sign up.

Currently, there are no upcoming dates for the Idea Generator. Please check back on this page for future updates.