Student Financing Key to On Campus Support

Key to promoting successful student ventures is access to early stage capital to launch these enterprises.  The bad news is that access to capital is not a common priority among many university/college entrepreneurship programs across the country(although Ryerson University has made it a major component of their program).  The good news is that creating such access is not has hard as one might think!

As Founder and former President of the Ottawa Community Loan Fund (OCLF) I have seen full well how small loans can make a big impact in the success of small business start -ups.  Great businesses can be started for as little as a $1000 loan.  A small revolving loan fund of even $50,000 is all that is needed to “get the ball rolling”. Once a student graduates, if they are between 18-34 and have not been operating the business for over a year full time, they are eligible to apply to the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) where they can actually access loans up to $45,000 (in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada).  Administering such a fund is not as complicated as one might think.  It is often possible to partner with a local financial institution to administer the loans.  In Ottawa, the OCLF has a very successful partnership with Alterna Savings Credit Union to do just that.  A local Ottawa start-up, Chide-it has developed an excellent system for organizations who wish to manage business plan competitions, applications etc.  All that is needed is the commitment!

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