Self Employment Program

The Self-Employment Program helps people who are unemployed and wish to start their own business.

The Self-Employment Program offers:

  • Assistance with writing your business plan
  • Income benefits (for up to 48 weeks) to assist new entrepreneurs with their personal living expenses while they are establishing their businesses. Income earned by the business can then be reinvested back into the business allowing it to become self-sufficient once the funding ends.
  • Counselling for the duration of the contract to assist new entrepreneurs in managing their business

To be eligible for the Self-Employment program you must:

  • Currently be on Employment Insurance (EI) or have had an EI claim in the past five years or a parental claim in the past five years; or be a person with a disability; or someone who faces persistent barriers to employment
  • Be unemployed or underemployed
  • Reside within the Central Kootenay region
  • Want to start a “new to you” business
  • Have a controlling interest in the business
  • Be legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Propose a business concept that would be suitable for public funding
  • Have completed the Self Employment Program Orientation
  • Plan to work full time (minimum of 35 hrs/wk) in your business

The Self-Employment Program is delivered by Community Futures Central Kootenay. To learn more about transitioning from unemployment to business ownership, contact Marilyn Rivers, Business Counsellor at 250-265-3674 ext.201 or send an email to


The Employment Program of British Columbia is funded in whole or part by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.