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Young Entrepreneurs

The Young Entrepreneurs Program encourages Manitoba’s young people to start their own full-time, viable businesses, and in the process pursue self-employment as a career choice. Applications are accepted on a year-round basis from youth aged 18 to 29 years. Under the Young Entrepreneurs program, approved applicants are eligible for a grant of up to $4,000 to help defray business start-up costs and capital expenditures.

All youth interested in applying to the program must submit the following before an application can be assessed and reviewed for grant consideration:

Eligibility Criteria

Please note: Businesses that are currently in full operation are not eligible to apply.

Please go to program definitions for a list of words shown in italics.


  • Youth 18 to 29 years of age are eligible to apply. (Proof of age will be required.)

  • Must be Canadian citizens or have received landed immigrant status.

  • May be required to attend the Business Planning Workshop through Entrepreneurship Manitoba (depending on the location of your residence and proximity to training). Some applicants may be exempt if they are able to demonstrate past attendance at similar business training or related education.

  • Where more than one business partner or investor is involved, the principal applicant to the program must be significantly involved in the management of the business. Not all business partners must be eligible youth, but the principal applicant must be 18-29 years of age and meet all eligibility criteria.

  • The applicant must plan to work at the business on a full-time basis (min. 30 hours a week) and may not be employed elsewhere more than 20 hours a week or attending school on a full-time basis.

  • The applicant must be actively involved in all aspects of the business on a day-to-day basis.

Business Ventures:

  • Must be year-round and permanent in nature. Proposals to initiate part-time or seasonal businesses will not be considered.

  • Must provide the principal applicant with full-time self-employment (min. 30 hours a week).

  • Must be based within Manitoba.

  • Must be a business created for the purpose of making a profit and providing the applicant with at least a minimum wage income.

  • Must demonstrate through the business plan that the venture has a reasonable chance of success.

  • Must not be an expansion of an existing business.

  • Where existing business ventures and/or assets are being purchased, the applicant must demonstrate that all business transactions will be/are completed at fair market value.

Those not eligible to apply to the Young Entrepreneurs Program include:

  • Applicants who are full-time students or planning to return to school on a full time basis.

  • Applications to support business ventures that are in full operation prior to applying to the program for assistance.

  • Applications to expand existing businesses.

  • Businesses that cannot provide the applicant with a living wage (provincial minimum wage).

  • Applicants who are receiving grant funding from any other Federal or Provincial program. Loans and loan guarantees are not considered to be grants.

  • Applicants who have received Young Entrepreneurs program support in the past.

  • Applications to support the purchase of existing business ventures or assets that have received Young Entrepreneurs Program grant support within the previous two years.

  • Business ventures that provide regulated professional services in self-governing professional occupational categories in Manitoba.

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How to Apply

  1. Review the Young Entrepreneurs application. 

  2. Submit a completed application form. The application form must be received prior to the start of the business venture. 

  3. Submit a completed business plan. Completed business plans may be submitted to the program after the initial program application has been forwarded.

    • Entrepreneurship Manitoba (contact information on page v of this application) can assist applicants with the development of their business plans.

    • Register for the Business Planning Workshop at  Some applicants may be exempt if they are able to demonstrate past attendance at similar business training or related education.

    • Review the Business Plan Overview checklist at the end of this application to ensure all key sections have been included in your business plan and application.

    • Make a copy of your Young Entrepreneurs application, business plan and all correspondence for your records.

    • Submit your application to the MB4Youth Branch, located at 310-800 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB  R3G 0N4.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the
Young Entrepreneurs Program Consultant, Stephanie Choy, at (204) 945-6282.

Please Note:

  • It is recommended that all applicants maintain a log of daily business activity and hours worked at the business venture. If the application is approved, this documentation will be required by the program. A sample log is included at the end of this application.

  • You should keep your receipts for all business-related purchases made during business start-up. If the application is approved, receipts will be required by the program in order for a claim to be paid out. Receipts will also be required for tax purposes and for some other business grant or loan programs.

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Financial Assistance

The Young Entrepreneurs Program provides grant funding to reimburse approved applicants for eligible business start-up costs and capital expenditures. The Young Entrepreneurs Program grant is based on the ability of the applicant to identify a shortfall in start-up capital to properly establish the business, either for capital or operating expenditures. The program will provide a contribution of up to $4,000 based on 50% of start-up costs.

Example 1:
Approved applicant spends $8000 to set up the business.

  • Grant amount would be $4000.00

Example 2:
Approved applicant spends $7500 to set up the business

  • Grant amount would be $3750

Eligible Startup Costs

License fees, space rental, telephone installation, utilities, office supplies, equipment rental, business travel costs, etc. Inventory costs are not eligible.

Eligible Capital Cost Expenditures

Recent purchases of land, buildings, office equipment and other significant equipment and fixtures.

Please note:

  • Inventory costs and "good will" are not eligible expenses under this program.

  • In cases where existing business ventures and/or assets are being purchased, the program will require additional information to verify receipts and demonstrate the transactions were completed at “arms-length” or fair market value.

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Assessment Process

When an application and comprehensive business plan has been submitted to the Young Entrepreneurs Program:
  1. Applications will be assessed for program eligibility and the business plan will be assessed for viability.

  2. Applicants will be contacted by the Program Consultant or another government representative to discuss the following:
    • Any additional information needed for the assessment of the application/business plan. 
    • Resources and supports available to assist with business plan development.
    • Attendance at a Business Planning Workshop (where applicable).

  3. Application Review and Assessment
    • The Young Entrepreneurs Program Consultant will review the application and business plan to determine program eligibility.
    • When the applicant meets eligibility requirements, the business plan will to forwarded to Entrepreneurship Manitoba for assessment.
    • Review and recommendation regarding approval will be completed by Entrepreneurship Manitoba and forwarded to the Young Entrepreneurs Program for final decision.

  4. Applicants will be notified by letter of the funding decision for their application.
    • If an application has been approved for grant funding, information on the claim for reimbursement process will be sent to you.
    • If an application is not selected for grant funding, program staff will identify the basis for this decision in the notification letter. You may contact the Young Entrepreneurs program at (204) 945-6282 for further information and clarification if needed.

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Approval Categories

Your application will be placed in one of the following categories after assessment:

Approval - Your application meets all eligibility requirements and your business plan has been assessed as viable. No further information or documentation is required to proceed to the grant reimbursement stage.

Conditional Approval - Additional information or documentation is required to confirm that you meet all eligibility requirements and that your business plan is viable. You will be provided with a deadline to submit the requested information or documentation before a final determination of your application’s suitability for funding can be assessed.

Rejection - Your application does not meet eligibility requirements and/or your business plan has been assessed as unviable. No grant funding will be paid.

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Grant Reimbursement Process

Prior to the release of the grant funding, a government representative will conduct an on-site monitor at your place of business and a Claim for Reimbursement form will then be submitted. Only those ventures that have been in full operation for the minimum ten-week period are eligible for grant payment at this point.
  • Approved applicants will receive a letter outlining this process in greater detail.
  • Approved applicants are required to maintain and submit a log of the daily hours and activities spent in operating their businesses for the first 10 weeks of business operation. As the applicant is required to work at the venture on a full-time basis, the program anticipates that a minimum of 300 hours will be worked during this period.
  • Approved applicants will be reimbursed upon completion of the Claim for Reimbursement form. This claim form can be submitted only after 10 weeks of full-time business operation.
  • Young Entrepreneur grants may be withheld if the applicant's contribution does not meet the minimum $500.00 in eligible business start-up costs, if the applicant does not work at the business full-time, or if any other program condition is not met.
  • All approved applicants may be subject to monitoring throughout the program duration.

Claim forms will not be processed until the applicant has been monitored at their place of business, has completed a log of daily hours, and has completed the Business Planning Workshop (if applicable).

Please note, the Claim for Reimbursement form will be required to detail your business start-up costs and must be supported by:

  • copies of point of sale receipts and invoices (with proof of payment)
  • copies of financial account statements that correspond with purchases
  • copies of credit card account statements that correspond with purchases

NOTE: Most applicants should be able to develop a business plan without the assistance of a private business consultant or other professional. There are a number of business development related resources and support staff available throughout the province that can assist with the development of their business plans at no charge. Additional reference materials can be obtained from Entrepreneurship Manitoba in Winnipeg and Brandon. As well, information and templates for creating a business plan can be found on the Futurpreneur website:

Applicants who choose to use the services of a fee-for-service private business consultant or other professional are advised that the business consultant or professional have no influence or connection with the Young Entrepreneurs Program or the Provincial Departments responsible for this program.

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Terms and Conditions

  1. Officers of the program will make all necessary investigations in reviewing this application to ensure the information provided is true and complete.
  2. Applicants may be requested to provide additional documentation that is required to verify program eligibility requirements.
  3. Young Entrepreneurs may make a public announcement related to the approval of this grant.
  4. Approved applicants agree to provide information that will assist in the review and evaluation of the Young Entrepreneurs Program. 
  5. Applicants may receive future contact from the Young Entrepreneurs Program that relates to workshops or other training opportunities for young entrepreneurs.
  6. The officials responsible for the Young Entrepreneurs Program have the authority to assess each application on its individual merits and will exercise their absolute discretion in determining the amount of grant funding approved for each business.
  7. Payment made to the applicant/business will be taxable income in the year issued to the individual/business.

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Important Contacts

Entrepreneurship Manitoba

For numerous resources on creating a business plan and starting a business, the opportunity to meet with a business consultant, and registration for the 3-day Business Planning Workshop.

Main Office
Suite 250-240 Graham Avenue, Winnipeg, MB 
Phone: 204-945-8200 Toll-free: 1-855-836-7250

Western Regional Office
Room 157, 340 - 9th Street, Brandon, MB
Phone: 204-726-6250 Toll free: 1-855-542-5113
Fax: 204-726-6403

Manitoba Companies Office

To register your business with the province.
1010-405 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3L6
Phone: 204-945-2500 Toll-free: 1-888-246-8353

Canada Revenue Agency

To obtain a Revenue Canada Business Number and information on employer/employee contributions to E.I.C. and C.P.P.
Phone: 1-800-959-5525

Workers Compensation

To inquire about compulsory and non-compulsory registration.
Phone: 204-954-4505 Toll-free: 1-888-504-1339

Employment Standards

If you have any questions regarding your obligations as an employer in the Province of Manitoba, for example payment of overtime, vacation pay, minimum wage or construction wages.
Phone: 204-945-3352 Toll-free: 1-800-821-4307

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Program Definitions

Capital costs
As a general rule, capital costs are objects that you can see and touch (car, building, land and furniture). These assets will often have a longer useful life and therefore may include depreciation allowances for tax purposes. Computers and software are considered eligible by the program.

Full operation
The Young Entrepreneurs program uses a number of criteria to define full operation of a business. This program looks at the date that the applicant began making purchases and other details related to the delivery of goods or services on behalf of the business.

The program will determine when the owner(s) began to be fully engaged in the operation of this enterprise (ie: leaving previous employment or completed area of study) demonstrating a change in employment activity. Additionally, the program will review the dates used for tax purposes, to indicate official business start date.

Fair market value
The value of the asset if it were to be re-sold. This may also include an examination of the replacement cost of the assets and determination that the value of the asset is real and has not been over or under-represented for the purpose of the program application.

Full-time basis
Personal involvement by the youth business owner for a minimum of 30 hours per week in the provision of services, development of products, and administration of the business that directly relates to the venture.

A non-monetary cost which may be added to the purchase price of an existing business. This cost may include actual customer or client lists, but may also include intangible items such as community relations and profile.

Principal applicant
The principal applicant is the person who submits the program application on behalf of the business venture. If the business is not a sole proprietorship, this principal applicant must be at least an equal partner or share holder in the business and have a role in the management and administration of the business activities. The program will request supporting documentation to verify partnership and corporate ownership.

Self-governing and self-regulating professional occupational categories
In Manitoba there are 24 self governing professions and occupations. Manitobans in these professional occupations are not eligible to apply to the Young Entrepreneurs program for assistance to operate a business venture providing these professional services.

  • Agrologist
  • Architect
  • Chiropodist
  • Dentist
  • Denturist
  • Engineer
  • Geoscientist
  • Land Surveyor

  • Lawyer
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Midwives
  • Naturopath
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Ophthalmic Dispenser/Optician
  • Optometrist

  • Pharmacist
  • Physician or Surgeon
  • Physiotherapist
  • Psychiatric Nurse
  • Registered Nurse
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Speech & Hearing Therapist
  • Veterinarian

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Office Location

Manitoba Children and Youth Opportunities
Young Entrepreneurs Program
310-800 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB  R3G 0N4
Phone: 204-945-6282 or toll-free 1-800-282-8069 ext. 6282

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