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Canadian Youth Business Foundation Programs

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) encourages entrepreneurship and minimizes youth unemployment by offering resources to convert ideas into viable businesses. Their programs target people aged 18 to 39 and assist them through their business cycle from conception through implementation to expansion by serving as mentors and offering financial assistance. There are a number of CYBF programs available but here are a couple of the more interesting ones in more detail.

CYBF Start-up Program


As would be evident from the name, this program offers the resources and support needed to launch a business. A Canadian citizen or permanent resident between the ages of 18 and 39 who is not a full-time student, living or running a business in a community offering the CYBF program through a community partner, and capable of producing a viable business plan is eligible to apply (complete eligibility criteria can be found here). The foundation offers the resources needed – including a mentor, financing and access to Entrepeer – to start a business and continues its support through post-launch help initiatives.


The foundation in conjunction with the Business Development of Canada offers up to $15,000 under the standard program (loans over $7500 are amortized over 5 years, while those less than $7500 are amortized over 3 years). The interest rate is tied to CIBC’s prime rate. Only interest payments are required in the first year with principal plus interest being required to be repaid in equal monthly installments over 2 or 4 years depending on the loan amount and there is no penalty for early repayment.

There is a nominal fee of $50 for initial setup and a $15 monthly administration fee charged for the duration of the loan. After being approved for financing under the standard program, a young entrepreneur may be eligible for additional funds (up to $45,000 in total) through the Business Development Bank of Canada partnership (please see terms). Eligible interested youth can begin their path to success from here.

CYBF Newcomer Program


This program is similar to the Start-up Program but it offers extra help to support the needs of newcomers. The program seeks to address the language and cultural barriers that typically stifle newcomers and help them understand the business practices of Canada. A credit history is not required to apply for financing under this program.

Most of the eligibility criteria for this program are the same as the Start-up Program. Key differences are that the applicant under the Newcomer Program must have lived in Canada for less than 60 months from the application processing date, provide 3 character-based references (with at least two being Canadian citizens) and can submit a business plan in English or French. A specialized mentoring program is offered to help entrepreneurs acclimatize to the Canadian business environment better; a Mentoring Checklist can be obtained here (PDF).


This program offers up to $7500 (amortized over 3 years) for young newcomer entrepreneurs. Only interest payments are required in the first year with principal plus interest being required to be repaid in equal monthly installments over 2 and there is no penalty for early repayment. An applicant may be eligible for additional financing (up to $15,000 in total) through the Business Development Bank of Canada partnership (please see terms).

Eligible interested newcomers can begin their path to success from here.

If you have used any of the CYBF programs, do you have any stories to share? Any general words of wisdom for young entrepreneurs?

About the Author: Clark works in Saskatchewan and has been working to build his (DIY) investment portfolio, structured for an early retirement. He loves reading (and using the lessons learned) about personal finance, technology and minimalism. You can read his other articles here.

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