The Business Start Program (BSP) is a loan guarantee program offered by the Government of Manitoba to assist entrepreneurs in starting and growing new businesses.
The Business Start Program (BSP) provides loans to new owner-managed businesses through participating financial institutions and guaranteed by the Manitoba Government. 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.
- be a Manitoba resident, age 18 or over, and eligible to work in Canada.
- develop a sound business plan.
- 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.
- not have owned a similar business in the past 12 months.
- be approved by a participating financial institution after applicant credit rating and debt capacity are reviewed.
New businesses must
- be operated in Manitoba.
- be a business created for the purpose of making a profit.
- 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).
- 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.
- employ the applicant for a minimum of 20 hours per week on average.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
Applicants to the program must demonstrate that they have received basic business training in the areas of:
- business plans and business planning,
- understanding financial statements, and
- small business marketing.
Seminars on these topics are offered by a variety of service providers throughout Manitoba. For a listing of business service delivery organizations, visit our Education Options page.
How to Apply
- Business Start Loans are administered by participating financial institutions. Participating financial institutions are banks and credit unions in Manitoba.
- 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.
- 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.
Participating Financial Institutions (as of September 2018)
- Business Development Bank of Canada
- Royal Bank
- Access Credit Union
- Assiniboine Credit Union
- Caisse Group Financial
- Casera Credit Union
- Catalyst Credit Union
- Crosstown Civic Credit Union
- Niverville Credit Union
- Noventis Credit Union
- Portage Credit Union
- Prairie Mountain Credit Union
- Steinbach Credit Union
- Strathclair Credit Union
- Sunrise Credit Union
- Swan Valley Credit Union
- Vanguard Credit Union
- Westoba Credit Union
Forms for Lenders
The following documents are for Lenders who receive an application for a Business Start Loan:
- Processing Instructions for Lenders (PDF file)
- Manitoba Business Start Program Regulation (PDF file)
- Statutory Declaration (PDF file)
- Applicant Equity Requirements (PDF file)
- Business Evaluation Form (PDF file)
- Application Declaration Form (PDF file)
Manitoba Business Start Program
Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade
1040 – 259 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 3P4