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Ontario government reinstates the Self-Employment Benefit program

By CO Staff @canadaone |

The Ontario Self-Employment Benefit program (OSEB), frozen by the McGuinty government in 2009 due to funding inconsistencies and questions around its success, has officially been reinstated.

The program - slight variations of which exist in other provinces as well - helps qualified applicants, primarily people in receipt of Employment Benefits (EI), start a business with in-class training and follow-up consulting.

Selected through a competition, successful candidates receive:

  • 10 weeks of comprehensive business training;
  • 32 weeks practical advisory assistance; and
  • income support for up to 42 weeks.

Getting started

In order to gain entry, all individuals must meet with an Employment Service (ES) Provider and complete an ES needs-based service determination. The initial screening process determines their eligibility and suitability for the program and whether self-employment is the most appropriate option.

To be considered, an applicant must:

  • be legally authorized to work in Canada (citizen or permanent resident); and
  • be eligible to receive or already receive Employment Insurance (EI); or
  • have been on EI in the past 36 months (60 months for those who had maternity/parental benefits).

Where is the OSEB available?

The OSEB is offered in various locations across Ontario in areas where delivery agents are available. Employment Ontario can help potential applicants find out if the program and/or delivery agents are available in their region.

There are three different delivery agents across the GTA alone: Centennial College, the Toronto Business Development Centre, and Job Skills, which also runs a number of programs outside of Toronto in Newmarket, York Region, Mississauga and Brampton.

Centennial College is offering an upcoming information session and will be evaluating candidates. The program is delivered at both their Ashtonbee Campus and their Progress Campus. Anyone who is interested in applying for the OSEB should attend the information session.

The next information session will be held:

           July 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm 
           Centennial College Ashtonbee Campus Auditorium
           75 Ashtonbee Road (North of Eglinton at Warden)

To find out about information sessions in your area, contact your regional Service Canada office.

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