Self-Employment Benefit – Workforce Expansion

By mmuise

The Workforce Expansion Self-Employment Benefit Program provides various types of support during the initial development phase of the business including financial assistance, coaching and ongoing technical advice to unemployed individuals to create a job for themselves by starting a new business.

Comments on Funding:

Applicants who are receiving or are eligible to receive Employment Insurance benefits, will continue to receive these benefits until their claim ends. At that time, they will receive support at a provincially established rate for the duration of time remaining on the program.
If they are approved for the Self-Employment Benefit Program but not receiving Employment Insurance benefits, they will receive a weekly allowance at a provincially established rate.
Revenue from the business will not be deducted from your benefits while you are participating in the Self-Employment Benefit Program.

Deadline: Continuous Intake

The applicant must:

  • be legally entitled to work in Canada,
  • reside in New Brunswick, or be willing to establish residency in New Brunswick,
  • not be a full-time student,
  • be unemployed and EI eligible,
  • present a business plan,
  • work full-time at the business (at least 35 hours per week),
  • have decision-making control over the business operation and have 50% or more ownership,
  • agree to and have an acceptable credit review,
  • be able to provide additional capital to the business in form of cash or in-kind contributions at a minimum of 5% of total start-up costs,
  • not have started the business prior to being approved and signing a contract for the Self-Employment Benefit program,
  • not have received funding under the Self-Employment Benefit Program within the last five years.

    Business started under the Self-Employment Benefit Program must:
  • be a for-profit venture,
  • operate on a full-time basis for a minimum of 44 weeks per year,
  • be established in New Brunswick and begin operation within ten weeks of signing a Self-Employment Benefit contract,
  • demonstrate viability.
  • 50/50 Partnership businesses will be considered if a formal written agreement is provided, which details the business partners’ relationships. Both partners can apply to the program.
  • Businesses with a franchise fee of $50,000 or less are eligible.
Application Steps:

The applicant must:

1. meet with the local Self-Employment Benefit Coordinator in his area. The Coordinator will analyze his strengths and needs, and recommend whether or not self-employment is a viable option for him.

2. submit an application and, with the assistance of the Self-Employment Benefit Coordinator, prepare a business plan. He may be required to attend an orientation session provided in his community.

Documentation Needed:

The applicant must submit an application and a business plan.

Other Things to Note:

The Self-Employment Benefit Program is delivered in partnership with non-profit, private and/or public organizations. Services with these organizations are purchased in accordance with the New Brunswick Public Purchasing Act, Regulation 94-157.

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