Self Employment Assistance

Self Employment Assistance helps individuals in St. John’s and Mount Pearl who are eligible for or in receipt of Employment Insurance Benefits, and would like to start their own business. This program enables eligible individuals to create jobs for themselves through self-employment by providing financial assistance, on-going business advice and support, and access to business skills development opportunities for a maximum of 52 weeks. 

  • Financial Support for up to 52 Weeks
  • Optional 10-Week Concept Development Period
  • On-Going Business Advice and Support
  • Access to Business Skills Development Workshops
  • Available to Entrepreneurs in St. John's and Mount Pearl

Program Support

Financial Support:

If the program participant is receiving or eligible to receive Employment Insurance Benefits (EI), they will receive these benefits under the Self Employment Assistance Program until their claim period ends. Once their EI benefits period has ended, they will then receive the government established benefit rate for the remainder of the Self Employment Assistance Program.

Business Plan Guidance:

The entrepreneur will receive valuable guidance and feedback on their business plan from staff at Metro Business Opportunities. This will ensure the business venture is feasible and the entrepreneur is setup for success. The entrepreneur will also be able to access introductory business skills development workshops and presentations, on such topics as: bookkeeping, marketing, sales, and more. 

Counselling and Support:

Metro Business Opportunities staff can provide ongoing business advice and support throughout the entrepreneur's participation in the Self Employment Assistance Program. Advisory meetings can be scheduled at the participant's request to discuss any business problems or concerns. MBO staff will be alongside during business startup, providing feedback and support, while helping the entrepreneur anticipate challenges and needs.  


Application Process

For those in St. John's and Mount Pearl interested in beginning the Self-Employment Assistance Program with Metro Business Opportunities, please contact us through the form on this page and a Development Officer will reach out to setup a private program orientation session.

Required Assessment Documents:

  • Referral from Department of Advanced Education and Skills Confirming EI Eligibility
  • Submit Application for 10-week Concept Development Period OR Submit Completed Business Plan 
  • Submit Self-Employment Assistance Program Application
  • Submit Current Resume
  • Submit Completed Equity Statement
  • Submit Proof of Required Financing
  • Submit Copy of City Business Permit 

There are several steps to the application process, which includes a MBO Development Officer assessing your business plan for feasibility and competitive impact. Once Metro Business Opportunities receives all required documents, as outlined above, they will assess all information according to the eligibility requirements for Self-Employment Assistance and make a recommendation to the Department of Advanced Education and Skills. The Department will then notify the applicant and they must then sign a contract for Self-Employment Assistance with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Learn More About the Self-Employment Assistance Program:

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Are you currently receiving EI benefits from the government of Newfoundland and Labrador?