Our last two blogs have showcased programs designed to help youth get a strong start in small business– Summer Company and Starter Company. This week we’d like to conclude the series by talking about the third of our three programs for young entrepreneurs.
The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CBYF) is a national not-for-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 39 who are prepared to work in their business full time. They help by providing pre-launch coaching, mentorship, access to up to $45,000 in start-up loans and online resources.
A highlight of the CYBF program is its exceptionally high success rate. We believe the above average success of their entrepreneurs is fostered through two important elements of their program: a detailed loan evaluation criteria and mentorship.
While being closely evaluated might seem like a deterrent, there is a substantial risk to starting a business if no one has read your business plan (this might happen if you were funding a business from your own savings or were simply borrowing money against a secured asset). Discussing and writing out your ideas before putting them into action is a great way to confirm that others support your business concept, while ensuring you haven’t missed something important.
All CYBF funded businesses are automatically paired with a community mentor for at least the first two years of operation. Mentors can add exceptional value by helping entrepreneurs see and understand new opportunities that appear in the early years in business and also help identify and troubleshoot upcoming challenges before they get out of control.
The Halton Region Small Business Centre launched their partnership with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation in 2012. As a community partner, staff at Halton Region can inform applicants of program details including processes and terms, coach clients as they write their business plan, review applications before they are formally submitted and help applicants gather all of the paperwork needed for the program’s regulatory conditions.
Since establishing this partnership, young entrepreneurs who have applied to CYBF through the Halton Small Business Centre have launched 14 businesses which have in turn created 40 jobs.
Are you between 18 and 39 years old and have a great business idea? We’re here to help! Visit the Small Business Centre to attending information sessions about all of our youth programs and other free services.