Self Employment Services

About Self-Employment Services

Self-Employment Services provides eligible participants with the opportunity to receive financial assistance and entrepreneurial support in both the development of a business plan and launch and operations of a new business.

Income earned from the business operations will not reduce the amount of a participant’s Self-Employment funding. Self-Employment Services also provides entrepreneurial/business training and on-going business counselling. Additional Employment and Labour Market Service information is also available at the Employment Program of BC website. The province of British Columbia also produces the Starting a Small Business guide as an additional resource for new entrepreneurs.

Community Futures works in partnership with the Greater Trail Community Skills Centre and the Ministry of Social Development to deliver Self-Employment Services. We evaluate Self-Employment Services applications to ensure proposed business concepts are viable and sustainable. For more information and to investigate your suitability for Self-Employment Services please contact:

Greater Trail Community Skills Centre
Phone: 250-368-6360
Email: jobs(at)

Applicant Criteria

To apply for the Self Employment Benefit you must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently unemployed or underemployed (total employment is less than 20 hours per week) and are:
  • In receipt of Employment Insurance benefits or have received EI benefits within the last three years (up to five years for a maternity or paternity claim).
  • or,
  • Are British Columbia Employment and Assistance (BCEA) Clients with a Persons with Disabilities (PWD) designation or Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) status or,
  • Are other Clients with Disabilities who are not EI Clients or BCEA Clients, including those who meet Allowable Exceptions to Eligibility Criteria and who have had their disability confirmed through a Disability Related Employment Needs Assessment (DRENA).
  • And,
  • Have never owned/operated this same business before, and
  • Plan to establish a full time business in the Greater Trail area, and
  • No outstanding issues with the Government of Canada before coming to the program, (i.e. ei overpayments, student loan arrears, family maintenance disagreements, unfiled income tax and/or amounts outstanding), and
  • Show that you are able to personally invest in your business.

For more information and to investigate your suitability for the Self-Employment program please contact:

Greater Trail Community Skills Centre
Phone: 250-368-6360
Email: jobs(at)

Application Process

To apply for Self Employment Services you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Schedule a meeting with an employment counsellor at the Greater Trail Community Skills Centre to discuss your eligibility for the program. Contact information – jobs(at) or call 250-368-6360.
  • Attend an Self-Employment Services orientation session at Community Futures of Greater Trail, and complete an Entrepreneurial Aptitude Survey.
  • Following orientation and completion of the survey, you will set up an appointment with the Entrepreneurial Services Coordinator to discuss your business idea, stage of application and application deadlines.

In general the initial Stage 1 Funding Application will provide 10 weeks of support to allow for the completion a business plan. This is based upon acceptance into the program after submission and approval of your business proposal by the volunteer Self-Employment Committee.

Applying for the program

Application requirements include completion of the following forms:

  • Self-Employment Services Application
  • Self-Employment Services Business proposal
  • Authorization to release information form
  • Assessment of financial supports
  • A copy of your most current resume

Acceptance into the program

If your funding application is approved and you chose to proceed with the business, you will then be asked to sign and enter into a formal agreement with the Province of British Columbia, which involves completion of the following forms:

  • Client application of general financial supports
  • General client financial agreement
  • Direct deposit application
  • Self-Employment Services agreement contract

Continuation of funding support

You are required to submit and present your business plan to the Self Employment Committee at the end of week 10. If your business plan is approved, you will then be able to continue with Self-Employment Services for the launch and implementation phases of your business, up to a maximum of another 38 weeks (subject to the terms of the program).

Business courses

You will be required to attend 5 mandatory business courses and up to 5 elective courses during this time.


Business Training

Participation in the following core business training modules are mandatory for all Self Employment Program participants. Additional optional training modules will be available to SE participants based on client training needs. More training options are available in our Business Resources section.

Managing Business Operations

Managing Business Operations is key to the success of any business. Defining your product or service, knowing what’s unique about your offering relative to your competitors, and setting realistic goals along with a measureable action plan are essential to growth. This course will help participants to focus on developing the following sections of their business plan:

  • Business Overview
  • Goals, Objectives & Implementation Plan
  • Location and Facilities
  • Defining Product & Service offering
  • Understanding their industry sector
  • Analyzing the competition

Financial Management

Financial Management is one of the most essential ingredients to the long term success of any enterprise, and is related to all facets of business development, planning, and budgeting. The financial part of a business plan is one of the most reviewed sections by potential investors, partners, key personnel and lending institutions. It is to the entrepreneur or business owner, what a compass is to the navigator. This course will help participants to focus on developing the following sections of their business plan:

  • Cash flow projections & seasonality
  • Budgeting
  • Projections for Product or service mix
  • Defining a charter of accounts that works
  • The importance of finding the right accountant
  • Key financial statements (Income statement, Balance sheet & Cash flow)

Marketing & Sales

Having a great product or service mix is one thing, however, without a solid and flexible marketing and sales plan behind it, a business cannot move forward for long. This course will help participants to focus on developing the following sections of their business plan:

  • Defining Primary and Secondary target markets
  • Determining their Sales and Distribution Strategy
  • Conducting a Competitive analysis and determining their competitive position
  • Investigating and determining the most cost effective tools for website, blog publishing and social media strategies

Human Resource Development

Creating a work culture that is supportive, nurturing and challenging, while communicating a safe and supportive environment is a constant challenge for any business. Recruiting and retaining the right people for the job is paramount to the success of any business. This course will help participants to focus on developing the following sections of their Human resource plan:

  • Determining whether someone is an Employee or Self-Employed and Canada Revenue Agency guidelines
  • Organizational charts for your business
  • The importance of job descriptions
  • Training opportunities and resources
  • Understanding your leadership style
  • Best practices in Human resource development for Small Business

Succession Planning & Selling a Business

A Business Succession Plan is a detailed strategic approach to guide the transition of business ownership, and allows the business owner to plan for, communicate and effectively manage change. It is a necessary part of initial and ongoing business development as it involves many aspects of:

  • Financial management
  • The development of an exit strategy as part of long-term business goals
  • Business Evaluation
  • Human Resource Development
  • Estate planning
  • Generating positive cash flow after retirement
  • Evaluating when to sell, how much to sell for

The course will provide participants with the tools to complete an initial succession plan and exit strategy for their business.


Register for an Orientation

Self-Employment orientation sessions are normally scheduled for the third Thursday of each month, with the exception of June in 2017. The full day sessions go from 9:00 am to 4:00 PM, and are held in Community Futures offices at 825 Spokane Street in Trail, BC. Our offices are located on the top floor of the Federal Building above the post office (Canada Post). You may register for our upcoming orientation sessions using the form below.

Please note: All attendees are required to have first met with a Career Facilitator from the Community Skills Centre, in order to assess their eligibility for Self-employment. If you`re interested in the Self-Employment program and have not already done so, please contact the Skills Centre at 250 368 6360 or visit them online at


Business Plan Outline

A business plan is probably the single most important document in an entrepreneur's toolkit. It is a written document that is used to describe the viability of a business, and is much like a blueprint for a building. Blueprints are drawn up to visualize a building and avoid costly mistakes, and like a blueprint, a business plan is drawn up on paper to help visualize business operations and avoid costly mistakes. There is a saying - "Nobody plans to fail, they just fail to plan". The success of your new business will be in direct proportion to the effort you put into researching and preparing your business plan. Nine out of ten businesses without a business plan fail, seven out of ten businesses with a business plan succeed!

At a bare minimum, a business plan will state: the goals of the business, why the goals are believed to be attainable, and how those goals will be attained. A well-constructed business plan can help the entrepreneur set:

  • Realistic and timely goals
  • Allocate resources
  • Prepare a marketing strategy
  • Forecast income and expenses
  • Secure external financing if required
  • Start the business
  • Measure success at specific intervals

Business plans are considered to be a living and breathing document. Firms of all sizes use these plans to communicate business goals and objectives to all stakeholders, and update appropriate sections as business environments change. A good business plan is like having a roadmap or compass when traveling into unknown territory.

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all business plan, and for the uninitiated the best starting point is to begin with a business plan template.

The following Microsoft Word template was created by Community Futures of Greater Trail and has evolved over time to ensure contents remain current and relevant to the local business environment. To save the plan to your computer, right click here and select the save option.

Funded in whole or part through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement