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Program provides mentoring, training and a grant for food startups

January 5, 2016

The City of Toronto and Province of Ontario are launching the Food Venture Program to support food startups focused on processing or catering in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

The GTA food sector is the largest in Canada – and second largest in North America. To help continue to grow this sector, the Food Venture Program will assist entrepreneurs with a specific focus on food processing and catering businesses. Working with Food Starter and CaterToronto, the City of Toronto will deliver the Food Venture Program and provide food entrepreneurs with the following resources:

  • Training – participants will undergo four weeks of intensive business training.
  • Mentoring – participants will have access to food sector mentors.
  • Grant – participants will have the potential to receive a grant of up to $5,000.
  • Ongoing Advisory Services – throughout the program participants will have access to advisory services to help them launch and scale their business.

In order to qualify, food entrepreneurs must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicants must be a food company – either delivering a food product for market or a catering business.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.  However, there are restrictions on the location of applicants and their businesses. Applicants that are between the ages of 18 and 29 are only eligible if they are located in the City of Toronto (must have a postal code that starts with a M); while applicants that are 30 and over can be from Toronto or the broader Greater Toronto Area (must have a postal code that starts with a L).
  • Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Ontario.
  • Applicants must not be in a full-time education program.
  • Applicants must be starting a new food business or expanding an existing food business.
  • Applicants contribute at least 25% of the grant amount – this can be in-kind contributions, such as equipment, or cash contributions towards the business’ operations. This 25% can be waived in circumstances where there are special needs or financial pressures.

To learn more about the program please contact us, or start completing your application today.

The deadline for applications is February 5th, 2016.