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RFQ: Youth Small Business Curriculum Review

Youth Small Business Program
Curriculum Review Project Summary




Since 2013 Rise has been delivering self-employment training to people experiencing mental health and addictions challenges across Canada. One of those is the Youth Small Business Program (YSBP).

Rise’s Youth Small Business Program is a 10-week classroom-based education program geared toward youth (ages 16-29) who have a practical business idea but lack a business plan, guidance, support networks and access to traditional financing options.

The Youth Small Business Program curriculum is delivered by facilitators who have expertise in entrepreneurship, as well as experience working with people who face barriers to employment.

Rise’s Youth Small Business Program is unique in significant ways. First, our design thinking based curriculum is specifically developed for people with mental health and addiction challenges and incorporates accommodations for our clientele, including an extended timeline of support. Further, while other programs provide various supports, none provide all the supports that Rise does, including business plan training, support, mentorship, refurbished computers and access to low-interest loans.

Rise recently received funding to review and refresh the Youth Small Business Program curriculum, which has not been done since the program launched in 2013. As the program expands, we want to ensure our curriculum reflects current thinking and best practices in entrepreneurship and self-employment education, youth learning and, most importantly, that it includes accommodations for our unique audience of learners.

To support this curriculum refresh, we are looking for a Curriculum Developer with experience in the following areas:

• Entrepreneurship programming and curriculum development for youth experiencing barriers to employment/financing
• Instructional design best practices
• Design thinking based curriculum development
• Self-care practices for entrepreneurs
• Mental health/Addictions challenges and accommodations
• Equity/Anti-oppressive frameworks for program design

Desired Project Outcomes


Curriculum review and refresh to incorporate youth education best practices, accommodations for learning barriers, and updated tools/skill building for entrepreneurship, self-employment and small business management.

The curriculum should be in the form of a digital toolkit and include 10 weekly in-class sessions and guidelines for a minimum of 3 coaching sessions. Topics to include, but not limited to:

• Checklists and guides for starting a business
• Writing your business plan
• Grants and financing
• Social impact and entrepreneurship
• Marketing and sales
• Using technology in business

Scope Of Work

1. Review and assess existing Youth Small Business Program (YSBP) curriculum
2. Conduct research using Instructional Design best practices, as well as interviewing YSBP staff, clients and volunteers
3. Make modifications / updates to existing YSBP curriculum
4. Work with the Mental Health Consultant and Training Programs Manager to incorporate Rise Mental Health Guidelines into updated YSBP curriculum
5. Design and produce a digital YSBP toolkit for use by Rise staff, contract facilitators and partner agencies delivering training programs.

a. Toolkit should be designed for classroom-based learning and in a format that is
youth-friendly, engaging and informative

Rise will provide:

• Access to current curriculum and support materials
• Access to Rise staff who have delivered the previous curriculum for interviews
• Access to some YSBP Program graduates for focus groups/interviews
• Access to some YSBP Program volunteer coaches for focus groups/interviews
• Honoraria to youth, volunteers, or previous facilitators to participate in focus
• Evaluation & Data collected from previous cohorts


$15,000 – $18,000 (including tax)


Project start date: July 2020
Deadline for Deliverables: October 2020

Quote Delivery Instructions

Quotes should be submitted by e-mail in PDF or other digital formats to Jay Baker
(jbaker@risehelps.ca) by June 22nd, 2020