Business Start Program (MB)

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The Business Start Program (BSP) is a loan guarantee program with an educational component. Are you a new business owner ready to begin your journey? Access this three-day business workshop and loan guarantee program to start things off right.

Applicable Audience

New owner-managed businesses in Manitoba. 


The Business Start Program (BSP) 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 capital needs and working capital purposes.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must

  1. Be Manitoba residents, aged 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 the applicant’s credit rating and debt capacity are reviewed.

New businesses must

  1. Be operated in Manitoba.
  2. Be created to make a profit.
  3. Not be operating in any of these categories: financial services, insurance, real estate services, professional and primary production (oil and gas, pulp production, mining or farming).
  4. Be starting up and 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.

Application process

  1. Business Start Loans are administered by participating financial institutions. Participating financial institutions are banks and credit unions in Manitoba. New business owners apply directly to a lender and fill in a loan application form at the bank or credit union.
  2. Lenders at participating institutions will receive and evaluate your application for a Business Start Loan.  An administrative fee of $250 will be charged to successful applicants only.
  3. A formal business plan must be submitted with your 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 2016)

Business Development Bank

Niverville Credit Union

Royal Bank

Noventis Credit Union


Portage Credit Union

TD Canada Trust

Prairie Mountain Credit Union

Access Credit Union

Steinbach Credit Union

Assiniboine Credit Union

Strathclair Credit Union

Belgian-Alliance Credit Union

Sunrise Credit Union

Caisse Group Financial

Swan Valley Credit Union

Casera Credit Union

Vanguard Credit Union

Catalyst Credit Union

Westoba Credit Union

Crosstown Civic Credit Union


Forms for lenders

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


Entrepreneurship Manitoba
Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade
250-240 Graham Ave
Winnipeg, MB  R3C 0J7
Phone: 204-945-8200 or 1-855-836-7250
Fax:  204-948-1558