Workforce Development

Young Entrepreneurs Grant

The Young Entrepreneur Grant program is now closed.
Watch for updated program information in the near future.


The Young Entrepreneurs Grant encourages Manitoba’s young people to start their own full-time, viable businesses, and in the process pursue self-employment as a career choice.

The Young Entrepreneurs Grant is a non-repayable grant, up to $10,000, for youth age 18 – 29 who are starting their own business, or have started a business in the last 12 months, that can assist with eligible start up, inventory and capital costs.

Eligibility Criteria

Businesses that have been in full operation for up to twelve months of submitting the application are eligible to apply.


  • Youth 18 to 29 years of age.
  • Must be Canadian citizens or have received landed immigrant status.
  • Where more than one business partner or investor is involved, the principal applicant to the grant must be 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 be involved in all aspects of the business on a day-to-day basis.
    • The applicant may be employed full-time elsewhere, or attending school while the business is being launched and becoming established. The applicant must dedicate a minimum of 15 hours per week to the business.
    • If the applicant is not working and their main focus is establishing their business, it is expected that a minimum of 30 hours per week will be dedicated to establishing the business.

Business Ventures:

  • Must be year-round and permanent in nature.
  • Must ultimately provide the principal applicant with full-time self-employment.
  • Must be a Manitoba-based business.
  • 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 business will be viable.
  • 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.
  • Approved applicants are required to maintain and submit a log of the daily hours and activities spent in operating the business for the first 300 hours of operation.

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

  • Expansion of the applicant’s existing business.
  • 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 Grant in the past.
  • Purchase of existing businesses that provide regulated professional services in self-governing professional occupational categories in Manitoba.

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How to Apply

  1. Review and fill out the Young Entrepreneurs Grant application.
  2. 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.
  3. Make a copy of your Young Entrepreneurs Grant application, business plan and all correspondence for your records.
  4. Submit a completed application and business plan.

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.
  • Applications to the Young Entrepreneurs Grant are accepted year round.

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Financial Assistance

The Young Entrepreneurs Grant provides funding to reimburse approved applicants for eligible business start-up costs and capital expenditures. The Young Entrepreneurs Grant is based on the ability of the applicant to identify a shortfall in start-up capital to properly establish the business, for either capital or operating expenditures. The program will provide a contribution of up to $10,000 based on 25% of start-up costs.

Grants can be up to $10,000, with a required minimum contribution of 25% from applicants.

Examples for Grant Contributions
Overall Business Start Up Costs Young Entrepreneurs Grant – maximum $10,000
(based on eligible expenses)
Business Contribution – minimum 25%
$12,000 Up to $9,000 $3,000
$25,000 Up to $10,000 $15,000
$2,000 Up to $1,500 $500
minimum contribution to be eligible for grant


Eligible Startup Costs

License fees, space rental, telephone installation, utilities, office supplies, equipment rental, business travel costs, etc. Inventory costs (consisting of finished goods/raw materials) eligible up to 50% of the expense.

Eligible Capital Cost Expenditures

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

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Assessment Process

  1. When an application is received, the Young Entrepreneurs Grant Coordinator reviews applications and business plans to determine eligibility and viability.
  2. If required, applicants will be contacted by the Grant Coordinator 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.
  3. 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 included.
    • If an application is not selected for grant funding, program staff will identify the basis for this decision in the notification letter.

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Approval Categories

Applications are placed in one of the following categories after assessment:

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

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

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Additional Information

  1. Applicants may be requested to provide additional documentation to verify program eligibility requirements.
  2. Public announcements may be made in regards to the awarding of Young Entrepreneurs Grant and recipients.
  3. Recipients of the Young Entrepreneurs Grant are required to participate in an evaluation of the Grant, including providing outcomes related to business viability and sustainability.
  4. All applicants, to the Young Entrepreneur Grant, may receive future correspondence related to workshops and/or other training opportunities related to young entrepreneurs.
  5. Government staff responsible for the Young Entrepreneurs Grant have the authority to assess each application on its individual merits and will exercise absolute discretion in determining the amount of grant funding approved for each business.
  6. Payment made to the applicant/business will be taxable income in the year issued to the individual/business.

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Important Contacts

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


For additional information on financing, mentoring and support tools for business owners aged 18-29.

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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 Grant uses a number of criteria to define full operation of a business, including.

  • the date that the applicant began making purchases and other details related to the delivery of goods or services on behalf of the business.
  • when the owner(s) began to be fully engaged in the operation (i.e.: leaving previous employment or completed area of study) demonstrating a change in employment activity.
  • 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 grant application on behalf of the business venture. If the business is not a sole proprietorship, the 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. Supporting documentation may be required 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 Grant 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 Economic Development Investment and Trade
Young Entrepreneurs Grant
230-800 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3G 0N4

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