Paid Start-up Program

The paid start-up program assists young people between 18 and 29 years old to develop their business ideas in Saint John, NB. The six month program provides successful applicants with a strong support network and learning path to help take their business ideas from validation to launch while receiving a financial incentive.


What to Expect

Each participant will receive the following:
  • The opportunity to work full-time towards the start-up of a business while receiving $11.25 per hour for 26 weeks for 30 hours per week.

  • A co-working space in a collaborative environment including individual workspace and access to meeting space. (Participants must bring their own laptop).

  • Small business skills training with a small cohort of other aspiring entrepreneurs. Training will be delivered by subject matter experts and typically will take place twice a week in 3-hour sessions. Training sessions cover topics including business pitching, business validation, market research, small business finances, marketing etc.  

  • Networking opportunities and individual small business counselling throughout the start-up process.

The following will be required of each participant:
  • Must devote at least 30-hours per week to working towards a business launch business during the 26-week duration of the program.

  • Must commit to attending all business skills training sessions provided to the cohort. Business training sessions will cover topics including business pitching, business validation, market research, small business finances, marketing etc. Training sessions will generally consist of two 3-hour sessions per week.

  • Must commit to meeting business development progress deadlines as determined by the program coordinator following program acceptance.


Selection Process

  1. Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted based on the selection criteria outlined below as there are only 9 seats available for the program.

  2. Applications will be considered on a first come first serve basis, based on selection criteria until the cohort is full. 

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Business viability.

  2. Applicant’s commitment and passion to make their business a success.

  3. Applicant’s skill set acquired from their education, work, and volunteer background.

  4. The potential for business growth and export.


Program Eligibility

Eligibility Criteria 
  • Must be legally entitled to work in Canada. 

  • Must be unemployed, underemployed, or working less than 15 hours per week. 

  • Must be a resident of New Brunswick or willing to relocate to New Brunswick. 

  • Individuals must be between 18-29 (at least 18 years old but less than 30 years old at the time of application). 
  • Have not previously participated in a Youth Employment Fund placement and meet requirements for the Province of New Brunswick’s Youth Employment Fund.


Application Process

1. Provide the following personal information on your application: 

  • Name: 

  • Phone Number: 

  • Email: 

  • Address: 

  • Age:

2. Submit resume.

3. Provide a written Business Overview OR submit a personal video Business Overview and provide a link for viewing it online.  Your Business Overview should include the following:

  • Describe your business idea.

  • What assets, skills, or competitive advantages do you bring to your business? 

  • Who do you believe will be the target market for your product or service?

  • What steps have you taken to develop your business idea?

  • What makes you believe your business will be a success?


Submit completed applications to Michele Lodge at the following email address:

NEXT Program start date: Coming Soon!