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Are you aged 16 to 29, with a business idea, but you’re not sure where to start? The Youth Small Business Program is a free10-week virtual mentorship and skill-building program to help you transform that idea into a business plan.

Apply Now

  • https://www.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 school, our Youth Small Business Program can help jump–start 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 week. You will work together with your classmates, learning business strategies and concepts to enhance your entrepreneurial skills and explore 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 mindfully and 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 may be eligible to apply for a low-interest small business loan through the Rise Small Business Lending Program.

Program Details:

Who:  Open to youth ages 16 to 29 

Where: Virtual delivery accessible across Canada 

When: New program session dates coming soon

Cost: The program is free of charge to all participants 

Interested in a little more flexible, independent learning? Check out our EnterpRISEing You Program. 

Program Eligibility:

  • 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 issue
  • Have difficulty accessing traditional bank financing for your small business​
  • Be between the ages of 16 to 29

Still Want to Learn More?

  • 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.