Eight Peterborough-area entrepreneurs receive $5K micro-grants through Starter Company Plus

Several local entrepreneurs have been given the tools — and funds — to help launch their budding businesses after completing the Starter Company Plus business training course through the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Business Advisory Centre.

The online program, provided by Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development, trained 12 small business entrepreneurs over a five-week period.

After learning the tools of the trade during the course, with the insight of industry professionals, each participant presented a final business plan and pitch. Of the dozen hopefuls, eight were selected based on the strength of their pitches.

Each entrepreneur received a micro-grant of $5,000 through the provincial government’s Starter Company Plus Program to support sustainable business growth.

It’s the largest number of micro-grants doled out through PKED to burgeoning business operators since the program’s launch half a decade ago.

“This intake of the Starter Company Plus program saw many new businesses that were referred from past participants. Now in its fifth year, the program has directly contributed to the growth and development of small businesses in Peterborough and the Kawarthas and has allowed us to support the largest cohort to date,” stated Madeleine Hurrell, manager of the Business Advisory Centre, which oversees the Starter Company Plus initiative.

“In Peterborough and the Kawarthas, we are lucky to have thriving and growing small businesses. We have seen our communities rally around entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

The eight micro-grant recipients run a variety of area businesses, from a vintage clothing store and provider of quality, everyday leather items, including wallets, belts and purses — both located in downtown Peterborough — to an outdoor getaway oasis in Aspley and a specialized mental health counselling agency.

The Starter Company Plus program, offered through the BAC, has supported more than 215 local entrepreneurs and over 174 small businesses since its inception in 2017.

More 200 jobs have been generated in the local economy through to the program, according to the agency.

The Starter Company Plus program is meant to provide training for entrepreneurs — from upstarts to more experienced businesspeople — aged 18 and over in Peterborough city and county who are aiming to launch a business or broaden an existing enterprise that’s been operating for five years or less.

The following entrepreneurs received micro-grants:

  • Jacquelyn Craft: The Neighbourhood Vintage
  • Ineke Turner: Turner and Pooch
  • Nathan Truax: Nate’s Leather Works
  • Lisa Burkitt: Burkitt’s Gardening and Home Services
  • Kate Griffin: Mental Wealth Counselling
  • Jena Trimble: Zen Home and Cottage Cleaning Services

  • Vanessa Bruce: Vanessa Bruce Virtual Services


Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.


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