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The Cost of Retraining

Expert: CanadaOne

Darryl asked:

I am currently employed and enjoy making wood furniture as a hobby. Through word of mouth more and more people have expressed that they'd like me to make furniture for them and this has opened up the possibility of starting my own business. But, this will mean quitting my current job to acquire further training to become a professional woodworker. It will also mean that during my apprenticeship I will be earning 50% of what a journeyman makes. My wife will also be on maternity leave for one year and I'm going to be needing additional funding for tuition and supplies. Who will I need to talk to about obtaining funding until such time that I gain an adequate salary or my wife is able to go back to work and what will be required of me to become eligible for this funding?

CanadaOne answered:

Starting a new business is like starting a new family: a great deal of energy is required and there are actual and hidden costs involved. That said, there are resource pools you can tap into to seek additional funds to supplement your income.

For example, you might like to try the "love money" route. Recent statistics in Walter S. Good's book, Building A Dream, indicate that love money (or money from friends, family and close personal relations) makes up more than 90% of the new business start-up capital in Canada.

There are also a host of government financial assistance programs that you might qualify for including: the Program for Export Market Development ( and the Community Futures Program (CFP) (

You could also talk to your local Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) office to find out if they have any programs that would help you pay for the cost of your retraining.

For more information on specific federal and provincial programs, check out the Industry Canada Strategis Web site at

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