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Business Start Program (MB)

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The Business Start Program is a loan guarantee program with an educational component. Loans to new owner-managed businesses are provided through participating financial institutions and guaranteed by the Manitoba government.


Business Start Program (MB)

The Business Start Program is a loan guarantee program with an educational component. Loans to new owner-managed businesses are provided through participating financial institutions and guaranteed by the Manitoba government. The five-year term loan is a $30,000 maximum amount with an interest rate of prime plus one percent and a one-year deferral of principal repayment. Loan proceeds can provide funds for business registration or incorporation costs, equipment and inventory purchases, promotional costs and working capital needs.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must

  1. be a Manitoba resident, age 18 or over, and eligible to work in Canada.
  2. develop a sound business plan.
  3. complete a three-day Business Planning Workshop before loan funds will be disbursed.
    (The workshop must be completed in the five year period prior to the loan application date).
  4. contribute equity equal to 40% of the loan amount requested. The equity contribution can be cash or assets for use in the business that have been purchased in the last six months.
  5. not have owned a similar business in the past 12 months.
  6. be approved by a participating financial institution after applicant credit rating and debt capacity are reviewed.

New businesses must

  1. be operated in Manitoba.
  2. be a business created for the purpose of making a profit.
  3. not have operations in any of these categories: financial services, insurance, real estate services, professional services and primary production (oil and gas, pulp production, mining or farming).
  4. be starting up or have been operating less than 12 months before the date of application. A part-time business expanding to full-time is also eligible provided net income from part-time operations was less than $15,000 in the last 12 months.
  5. employ the applicant for a minimum of 20 hours per week on average.
  6. meet the program’s small business definition of less than 20 employees and less than $2 million per year in gross sales (both criteria have to be met in year one).
  7. be a business that is substantially different from other businesses operated in Manitoba in the same market area by an associate (spouse, common-law partner, parent or child) of the applicant.
  8. be reputable and appropriate in nature.

Note: If you buy an existing business it is not considered a new business. You must start a new business.

Educational Component

The three-day Business Planning Workshop is designed for those who are considering starting and operating a new business in Manitoba. Topics covered include business plans, financing options, forms of business organizations, financial statements, PST/RST, GST and employee deductions, product definition and marketing strategies. To register for this workshop, visit our events and seminars page. For more information, please call 204-945-8200.

How to Apply

  1. Business Start Loans are administered by participating financial institutions. Participating financial institutions are banks and credit unions in Manitoba.
  2. Lenders at participating institutions will receive and evaluate the application for a Business Start Loan. An administrative fee of $250 will be charged to successful applicants only.
  3. Apply for a Business Start Loan by directly contacting a participating lender. A formal business plan must be submitted with the Business Start Loan application.
  4. A workshop certificate is issued to all participants completing the three-day Business Planning Workshop. This certificate must be submitted with your Business Start Loan application.

Participating Financial Institutions (as of March 2017)

  1. Business Development Bank of Canada
  2. Royal Bank
  3. Access Credit Union
  4. Assiniboine Credit Union
  5. Belgian-Alliance Credit Union
  6. Caisse Group Financial
  7. Casera Credit Union
  8. Catalyst Credit Union
  9. Crosstown Civic Credit Union
  10. Niverville Credit Union
  11. Noventis Credit Union
  12. Portage Credit Union
  13. Prairie Mountain Credit Union
  14. Steinbach Credit Union
  15. Strathclair Credit Union
  16. Sunrise Credit Union
  17. Swan Valley Credit Union
  18. Vanguard Credit Union
  19. Westoba Credit Union

Forms for Lenders

The following documents are for Lenders who receive an application for a Business Start Loan:


Manitoba Business Start Program
Entrepreneurship Manitoba
Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade
250 – 240 Graham Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0J7
Phone: 204-945-8200
Fax: 204-948-1558
Email: embinfo@gov.mb.ca
Website: www.entrepreneurshipmanitoba.ca