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Ask The Expert

New student to Canada wants to open a restaurant

By Rachel Matthews |

Joanne asked:

I work at a school for newcomers. One of the students is 18 years old and wants to open a restaurant with his mother. She has a great deal of experience with cooking. He is from a country in Africa and he says there are very few restaurants of this kind. What are his chances of securing a loan or grant?

Rachel Matthews answered:

Thank you for your interest in the CYBF program. It is with great pleasure that I provide you with additional program information and next steps to follow in order to become a CYBF entrepreneur.

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is a national charity providing pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring to help you start your own successful business.

1. Determine your eligibility – Newcomer Program:

  • Between 18-34 years old
  • Are a permanent resident of Canada
  • Reside full-time in Canada
  • Have been in Canada for less than 36 months or less
  • Have a social insurance number that does not begin with a “9”
  • Eligible to work in Canada (work permit holders not eligible)
  • Produce a complete and viable business plan
  • If already in business, you must be fully operating for less than 12 months
  • Lives in or operates the business in the community which offers the CYBF program
  • Has some training / experience related to their business idea
  • Agrees to work with mentor for a period of two years
  • Has a business idea that creates full-time sustainable employment for the applicant
  • Must hold at least 51 per cent voting share in the business (if a partnership)
  • Not a full-time student
  • Loan proceeds may not be used for refinancing of existing debt
  • Loan proceeds may not be used to fund businesses that are sexually exploitive or that are inconsistent with generally accepted community standards of conduct and propriety, including those that feature sexually explicit entertainment, products or services; businesses that are engaged in or associated with illegal activities; businesses trading in countries that are proscribed by the Federal Government; and any other commercial activities inappropriate for government funding.
  • Credit check will be completed. (Bankruptcies must be discharged for more than five years)

2. Writing your Business Plan

In order to apply to CYBF, you will need a business plan. Please see below for resources that you can use to put this plan together. Please note that all financials must be submitted on the CYBF template.

On our website, you will find the Business Plan Guide as well as the Financial Statement Examples that you will need when putting together your business plan. Please visit the online Business Resource Centre and scroll down to “Stage 2: Starting your Business” to access these documents:

Please contact your local Community Partner to discuss your business idea and determine whether they offer services related to creating the business plan. You will find a list of all of our Community Partners here:

You may also wish to utilize the CYBF Interactive Business Planner. Please follow this link for more information:

3. Submit your CYBF application:

Once your business plan is complete, please contact the CYBF Community Partner closest to you to discuss your business idea and next steps for application. Once you are ready to move forward, your Community Partner will provide you with a CP Code which will allow you to access the online application.

You will find a list of all of our Community Partners here:

4. Loan Terms

  • Amortized over three years if loan is $7,500 or less
  • Amortized over five years for loans over $7,500
  • Interest-only payments in the first year
  • Principal repayments are made in equal monthly installments together with interest, over the remaining two to four years, depending on the amount borrowed
  • No penalty for early re-payment

Interest Rates

  • First year, CIBC prime rate plus two per cent
  • Second year, conditional on timely payments, CIBC prime rate plus one per cent
  • Third and subsequent years, conditional on timely payments, CIBC prime rate


  • $50.00 CYBF loan administration fee
  • $15.00 CYBF monthly administration fee
  • Additional Community Partner fee may apply

Please do not hesitate to contact me at the information provided below should you have any other questions.

If you are not already a member of CYBF's Social Media groups, I would also encourage you to visit for more information as these tools can help connect you to CYBF Entrepreneurs, Mentors and entrepreneurship champions across the country.

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