Entrepreneurship Manitoba

Business Information

Business Start Program

Are you a new business owner/operator ready to begin your journey? Access our three-day business planning workshop and loan guarantee program to start your entrepreneurial journey.

The Business Start Program (BSP) is a loan guarantee program with an educational component. Loans to new owner-managed businesses are provided through participating financial institutions and guaranteed by the Manitoba Government.  The five-year term loan is a $30,000 maximum amount with an interest rate of prime plus one percent and a one-year deferral of principal repayment.  Loan proceeds can provide funds for capital needs and working capital purposes.

Applicable Audience

New owner-managed businesses in Manitoba. 

Eligibility criteria

A. Applicants must:

  1. Be Manitoba residents, aged 18 or over, and eligible to work in Canada.

  2. Develop a sound business plan.

  3. Complete a three-day Business Planning Workshop before loan funds will be disbursed.

  4. Contribute equity equal to 40% of the loan amount requested. The equity contribution can be cash or assets for use in the business that have been purchased in the last six months.

  5. Not have owned a similar business in the past 12 months.

  6. Be approved by a participating financial institution after the applicant’s credit rating and debt capacity are reviewed.

Top of the page B. New businesses must:

  1. Be operated in Manitoba.

  2. Be created to make a profit.

  3. Not be operating in any of these categories: financial services, insurance, real estate services, professional and primary production (oil and gas, pulp production, mining or farming).

  4. Be starting up and have been operating less than 12 months before the date of application. A part-time business expanding to full-time is also eligible provided net income from part-time operations was less than $15,000 in the last 12 months.

  5. Employ the applicant for a minimum of 20 hours per week on average.

  6. Meet the program's small business definition of less than 20 employees and less than $2 million per year in gross sales (both criteria have to be met in year one).

  7. Be a business that is substantially different from other businesses operated in Manitoba in the same market area by an associate (spouse, common-law partner, parent or child) of the applicant.

  8. Be reputable and appropriate in nature.

Note: If you buy an existing business it is not considered a new business. You must start a new business.

Top of the page Application Process:

  1. Business Start Loans are administered by participating financial institutions. Participating financial institutions are banks and credit unions in Manitoba. New business owners apply directly to a lender and fill in a loan application form at the bank or credit union.

  2. Lenders at participating institutions will receive and evaluate your application for a Business Start Loan.  An administrative fee of $250 will be charged to successful applicants only.

  3. A formal business plan must be submitted with your Business Start Loan application.

  4. A workshop certificate is issued to all participants completing the three-day Business Planning Workshop.  This certificate must be submitted with your Business Start Loan application.

Participating financial institutions:

Business Development Bank of Canada
Royal Bank
TD Canada Trust
Access Credit Union
Assiniboine Credit Union
Belgian-Alliance Credit Union
Caisse Group Financial
Casera Credit Union
Community Credit Union
Crocus Credit Union
Crosstown Civic Credit Union
Dauphin Plains Credit Union
Niverville Credit Union
Noventis Credit Union
Portage Credit Union
Prairie Mountain Credit Union
Steinbach Credit Union
Strathclair Credit Union
Sunrise Credit Union
Swan Valley Credit Union
Vanguard Credit Union
Westoba Credit Union

Top of the page Forms for lenders:

The following documents are for Lenders who receive an application for a Business Start Loan:

For more information:

Small Business Development
Entrepreneurship Manitoba
250-240 Graham Ave
Winnipeg, MB  R3C 0J7
Phone: 204-945-8200 or 1-855-836-7250
Fax:  204-948-1558

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