How to Get Free Money to Fund Your Startup: Programs and Grants for Young Entrepreneurs
Perhaps one of the strongest deterring factors in becoming a student entrepreneur is the monetary aspect of starting a business. Luckily, there has been an increasing number of government support programs for young entrepreneurs throughout the past few years, some of which are highlighted below:
- Summer Company – Summer Company is a program sponsored by the Ontario government where students between the ages of 15–29 can receive up to $3,000 to operate their own business. Applicants must submit a business plan to their local Summer Company provider, and if accepted, will receive funding as well as mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs.
- Starter Company – Starter Company is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-29 who are currently not in school full-time. This program allows entrepreneurs to receive up to $5,000 in funding, mentorship, workshops, and networking events.
- Youth Investment Accelerator Fund – This is a seed fund managed by MaRS that invests in tech start-ups. Entrepreneurs can apply for up to $250,000 in seed funding given that their company is headquartered in Ontario and has a minimum addressable market size of $100M. This is the perfect opportunity for companies that have not officially launched their product/service as MaRS seeks businesses that are close to commercialization and have no significant assets and revenues.
Of course, another option is applying for the Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition. The QEC awards over $75,000 of no-strings-attached funding to its winners, and offers invaluable networking and mentorship opportunities. Applications for this year’s QEC close on Monday, October 30, 2017. Apply now!