Youth Entrepreneurship Funding and Programs

Every year, the Markham Small Business Centre is proud to help develop, and celebrate, the entrepreneurial achievements of Markham's Youth. A number of funding programs are available for Markham's High School, College and University students.

  • Summer Company Program
  • Business Plan Competition
  • Futurepreneur Loan Financing
  • Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch - High School Video Pitch Contest

Summer Company Program

Be Your Own Boss!

Apply before May 19, 2019

Get hands-on training, mentoring and funding of up to $3,000 to start your summer company.
Here’s what you need to qualify:

  • 15-29 years old
  • Markham high school or post-secondary student 
  • Launch-ready business idea
  • Comprehensive business plan
  • Ability to work over the summer
  • Entrepreneurial spirit

If you’ve got a winning idea for starting a new business and are a student who is not afraid of hard work, then you should consider applying to Ontario’s Summer Company Program. Spots are limited. Apply as soon as possible! If you are interested in the program, please go through the province's Eligibility Checklist and fill out the Application Inquiry form here.

Important: Select, “Markham” when asked about which office you want to work with.

For more information e-mail or call 905.477.7000 x 6722.

Business Plan Competition, Markham

What’s Your Big Idea?

Enter the competition now until May 22, 2019

Got a winning idea?  Submit your business plan for a chance to win up to $600! The Business Plan Competition will encourage you to develop an idea, undertake research and write a business plan. You can work individually or as group (up to three students) to create and submit a business plan. A panel of judges from the business, government and educational communities will determine the winners.

Here’s what you need to qualify:

  • Markham high school or post-secondary student 
  • A great business concept
  • Entrepreneurial spirit

There are cash awards for the top submissions:

High School Students
Post-Secondary Students
BDO Award of Excellence for First Prize
$600 / group
Seneca First Prize
$600 / group
Finalists (2 awards)
$300 / group
Seneca Award of Innovation
$200 / group
Seneca Award of Innovation
$200 / group
 *NEW*Video Pitch Winner
$200 / group
*NEW*Video Pitch Winner
$200 / group

You may submit your finished business plan in person or by email. For more information on the Business Plan Competition, Markham 2019, please contact:

Markham Small Business Centre
3600 Steeles Avenue East
Markham, ON
L3R 9Z7
905.477.7000 x6722

Learn more

Futurepreneur Loan Financing

From Idea to Reality

Futurpreneur's Start-up Program is designed get your business off the ground. Futurpreneur provides young entrepreneurs aged 18-39 with:

  • Start-up resources for perfecting your business plan
  • Mentoring – Futurpreneur will hand-match you with a mentor in your community
  • Loan financing of up to $45,000
  • Expertise and resources to help you get connected and grow a successful business

Learn more

Entrepreneur Summer Camp

This program provides an opportunity to learn the foundations of entrepreneurship. You will learn skills such as marketing, business planning, team building and budgeting. Participants will also gain real-world experience from hands-on product development, market research and a chance to showcase their products to the public in a final market day. 

  • Date: Week of August 12 -16
  • Ages: 12-14
  • Location: Thornhill Community Centre
  • Registration
    • Reference the Course Barcode: #339825 to register online or by phone 905.475.4731

Additional Youth Entrepreneurship Opportunities

Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch

Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch is a competition that challenges Ontario high school students to pitch their business ideas in a two-minute video. Videos are judged through a combination of online public voting (40%) and expert judges (60%).

Twenty finalists will be chosen to present their ideas in front of a judging panel at OCE’s Discovery at Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Deadline: Thursday, March 21, 2019
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Learn more

Y2 Conference

The Y2 Conference will help students in grades 9-12 build problem-solving, entrepreneurship and leadership skills with hands-on workshops led by business experts.

  • Date: February 23, 2019 | 9:30 AM- 8:00 PM & March 2, 2019 |9:30 AM-7:00 PM
  • Register by: Thursday, February 21, 2019
  • Location: Seneca College – Markham Campus

Learn more

Pitch It! 2019

Pitch It! is an annual business pitch competition hosted by the Prime Leaders Youth Collaborative for high school students across York Region. Participants have a chance at winning over $600 in cash prizes for their business ideas!

Learn more

Artrepreneur Youth March Break Program

The Artrepreneur Youth Program is a one-week intensive program designed for youth who are interested in entrepreneurship and the arts. Participants will learn how to ideate creative solutions for problems through design thinking, and turn ideas into a business through business plan training.