Self Employment

The Self Employment Program Objective

The Self-Employment program is an Employment Program of British Columbia initiative that provides financial assistance and entrepreneurial support and training to eligible individuals while they develop and implement their business plan.

This program assists unemployed eligible individuals who are creating jobs for themselves by either starting a new business or purchasing an existing business in which they are not already an owner.

Who’s Eligible?

To be eligible for participation in the Self Employment Program (SE), you must be an unemployed individual and:

  • You are currently receiving E.I. or your E.I. has ended within the 36 months (3 years) prior to  the date of requesting assistance; or 
  • You had a maternity or parental claim that ended within the 60 months (5  years) prior to the date of requesting assistance, after which you remained out of the labour market in order to care for a newborn or newly adopted child and are now seeking to re-enter the labour force.
  • Other criteria may apply.

 Financial Benefits

Individuals currently in receipt of EI may continue to receive their EI benefits, or a regionally determined rate, whichever is higher. While enrolled in the Self-Employment Program, eligible individuals not in receipt of EI benefits, may receive living supports and  may also be eligible for personal supports such as dependant care.

Application Process

  • Register at the Duncan, Ladysmith or Lake Cowichan Employment Service Centre
  • Meet with a Case Manager to determine suitability and eligibility

If you and your Case Manager determine Self Employment is the next appropriate step:

  • Attend an orientation session
  • Submit a business concept and application
  • If successful you may be eligible for up to 10 weeks of business development support
  • After the launch of your business you may be eligible for an additional 38 weeks of on-going support

For full details and complete definitions of eligibility and approval please contact your local WorkBC Services Centre, or visit the website of our partner Amber Education.

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