If you have ever had visions of becoming an entrepreneur, but you do not know where to start, this free program is what you need! Start by booking an appointment with one of our Employment Counselors to see if you meet eligibility requirements. If so, the next step is to be referred to the Self-Employment Program offered in Kamloops at the Community Futures Thompson Country office (some travel allowance may be available. Eligible participants will receive:

  • An orientation session so that you can assess your opportunities, risk, personal suitability and financial capacity to become self-employed;
  • Assistance in developing your market research and developing the concept paper outlining your business idea;
  • Training to assist in developing your business plan;
  • Training to assist in managing your small business;
  • Ongoing encouragement and support in operating your small business;
  • Monitoring of the achievements of your business plus financial support for up to 52 weeks if your are selected for the Self-Employment Program.

The Self-Employment Program is available to Employment Insurance eligible persons legally entitled to work in Canada who reside in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and Lillooet areas who wish to become self-employed.


To qualify, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Must have a referral from a WorkBC Employment Service Centre.
  • Must attend an information session.
  • Must reside in (one of) the greater Kamloops, Chase, Merritt/Lower Nicola or Lillooet areas and agree to operate your business in one of these regions.
  • Must be eligible for Employment Insurance or have had an active claim in the past 3 years (5 years for maternity/parental claim) or quality for alternative supports as determined by your WorkBC Case Manager.
  • Must have a business idea or experience in a field of interest.
  • Must agree to work full-time in your business while you receive financial assistance.
  • Must meet the minimum equity contribution requirement, in cash or in kind, showing that you are investing in the start-up of your business.
  • Must not start the busienss until you get approved.
  • Must not leave an employment position to enter into the SE Program


For more information and to see if you qualify, contact the WorkBC Employment Services Centre (250) 378- 5151