Starting and running your own business can be a profitable and extremely rewarding way to make a living. It also tends to involve a significant amount of risk and hard-work, and is not for everyone.

Is this really what I want?
Are you determined, self-reliant, resilient, motivated by achievement, and have a high tolerance for uncertainty? The Government of Canada provides resources to begin exploring if entrepreneurship is for you.

Do I have a (good) business idea?
Does your idea fill a niche or solve a problem, or can you do something in a new or better way than it has been done before?

What are my options?
Are you looking to start a business from the ground up, to buy an existing business or franchise, or to work free-lance?

What are the next steps?
Do you have a business plan? Have you consulted with experts and others who have started their own business? How will you arrange financing?

Where can I find help and learn more about entrepreneurship?

  • Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs – expert advice on starting and funding your business
  • CUSA Hatch – student-led entrepreneurship centre which aims to bring people together to transform, and innovate.
  • Futurpreneur Canada – provides expertise, financing, mentoring and business resources.
  • Invest Ottawa – carries out economic and business development programs and initiatives.
  • Start-Up Ottawa – regularly holds networking & workshop events, and provides insights as to how best to get your business off the ground in Ottawa.
  • Canada Business Government Service for Entrepreneurs – provides information on government programs, services, and regulations to help start a new business.
  • Legacy Conference – an annual entrepreneurship conference held at the Shaw Convention Centre.
  • Ontario Summer Company – you can get start-up money to kick-off a new summer business and/or advice and mentorship from local business leaders to help get the business up and running.
  • YMCA Youth Entrepreneurship Project – helps youth to start a small business by developing a business plan, increasing business skills and personal skills in order for them to succeed.
  • Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – becoming incorporated