Self-Employment Benefits Program
- What is it?
It is a program, running up to 42 weeks, of self-employment assistance with financial support for people who are on, or who have been on Employment Insurance. Self-Employment Benefits are a tool that will help individuals to create jobs for themselves through self-employment, by providing them with various types of support during the period when they start up a business.
Assistance can include coaching, ongoing technical advice and financial support. Coaching will be tailored to your needs and can include subjects such as business plan development, accounting, marketing, use of computers, etc...
What Finance is Available?
- Under the Self-Employment Benefits program, if you are receiving or eligible for Insurance Benefits (IB), you will continue to receive these benefits for a period set by the Atikokan Economic Development Corporation. At that time, you will receive support at a rate either regionally, locally or individually determined for the duration of time you are on SEB; if your IB is lower than the established rate, it may be supplemented to established rate.
How to begin
- Contact the Atikokan Economic Development Corporation for the "Participants Guide" and the staff will walk you through the process and verify your eligibility with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).
This may mean coming up with several business ideas for offering products or services that fit your own unique skills, talents and interests.
Do some investigating to find out which idea has the best chance of success for attracting and keeping customers.
Prepare Business Plan
A business plan is really a summary of a business idea. It explains the products and services offered by the business, the customers, how it differs from the competition, and why the business will be successful.
The staff at the Atikokan Economic Development Corporation can coach you through the business concept and plan. Feel free to use the library at the office for help with it as well.
Who can apply?
To be eligible for Self-employment Benefits, you must meet the following conditions:
- Be unemployed
- Have an established Insurance Benefit (IB) claim, or one that has ended within the last three years, or have received maternity or parental benefits within the past five years after which you remained out of the labor market to care for the child and are now seeking to re-enter the labor force
- Be legally entitled to work in Canada
- Attend an orientation session with the Atikokan Economic Development Corporation
- Have no previous participation in the Self-employment program within the last five years
- Agree to provide a business plan within a reasonable period of time, showing potential for long term self-employment
- Start a new business or take over an existing business in which you had no prior ownership
- Agree to work full-time (minimum 35hrs/week) on your business while you receive financial assistance
- Be able to contribute equity, the amount of which will be determined in consultation with the Atikokan Economic Development Corporation
Why the Self-Employment Benefits Program?
More than 34,000 people have started businesses through Self-employment Assistance since 1992, and the demand is growing. The success rate of enterprises launched with Self-employment Benefits program rivals the success rate for most small businesses. According to a recent internal evaluation of SEB participants, eight weeks after graduation from the program, 83% of their businesses were still surviving. Participants are also less likely to end up back on Employment Insurance than Employment Insurance claimants who try to start their own businesses without the SEB program.
The underlying mandate is economic development within the local community and area. It means getting people off Employment Insurance and the possible hiring of employees of their own. Each program includes a training period in entrepreneurship and ongoing coaching from the staff at the AEDC, to ensure that each business has a higher success rate.
This fund is designed to assist disabled clients, who are not Employment Insurance eligible, in obtaining and maintaining employment or self-employment.
An MTCU official or the Coordinator can provide you with additional information on eligibility and financial support.
Atikokan Economic Development Corporation
214 Main Street
P.O. Box 218
Phone: (807) 597-2757 -or- 1.888.334.AEDC
Fax: (807) 597-2726