Ownr, Staples, Shopify, Moneris launch $200,000 fund for entrepreneur hopefuls


Toronto-based startup Ownr, which offers a solution allowing users to register or incorporate a business in Canada, has partnered with Shopify, Moneris Solutions, and Staples to launch a $200,000 fund for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“For many of these applicants, $5,000 could be the difference between dreaming and doing.”

The fund, which is being called Canada Starts​, will provide $5,000 to 40 recipients, to cover startup costs such as registering a business, creating an online presence, purchasing supplies and materials, and marketing. A spokesperson for Ownr told BetaKit Shopify, Moneris Solutions, Staples, and Ownr each committed $50,000 to the fund.

“Small businesses are the heart of the Canadian economy, employing almost 70 percent of the private labour force in Canada. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that we do everything we can to support them,” said Shadi McIsaac, co-founder of Ownr.

“​Canada Starts​ is one way for us to provide direct financial assistance to new Canadian entrepreneurs,” McIsaac added. “For many of these applicants, $5,000 could be the difference between dreaming and doing.”

Launched out of RBC Ventures in 2017, Ownr claims it has helped start over 20,000 businesses in Canada. The company aims to help users determine what business structure works best for them and to help customers incorporate and register their business at what it claims is a fraction of the cost of hiring a lawyer.

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“Without the hard work and generous contributions from all our incredible partners, ​Canada Starts​ would not be able to make as big an impact as we hope to have,” added McIsaac. “It’s further proof that we all need to come together to enable entrepreneurs to not just exist but thrive during 2020 and beyond.”

The grant is open to any Canadian resident that does not currently own a corporation or business. Applications are open between September 15 and October 15. Recipients will be announced on November 1 and profiled on the ​Canada Starts​ website.

Applicants must provide their business concept, how the grant funding will be used, a copy of their business plan. Successful applicants of this first phase will receive $2,500 in grant funding and will be asked to demonstrate they have established an online presence for their business and to prove they have registered a business name in order to be eligible to receive the second tranche of $2,500 in grant funding.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Mario Gogh.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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