The Canadian Youth Business Foundation

Jul 18, 2011 | Chamber News, Corporate Member News

Receiving the Certificate of Recognition from Minister Peter Bjornson that declares 2011 as the Year of the Entrepreneur in MB: (L to R) Catherine Swift, Chair, President & CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB); Marilyn Braun-Pollon, Vice-President Prairie & Agri-business, CFIB; Honourable Peter Bjornson, Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade; Joelle Foster, Director of Manitoba, Nunavut and NWT, Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF); Scott Bowman, Director of Government Relations, CYBF

A gateway for entrepreneurs. 

That’s the slogan for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), Canada’s ‘Go To’ place for entrepreneurship. 

Founded in 1996, the national charity has a long history of helping young people make their first steps into small business ownership.  They have invested to date in more than 4,200 young entrepreneurs, whose businesses have created more than 17,800 new jobs and $123.9 million in tax revenue.  Through CYBF offices and partnerships with local organizations, support is available to young people between the ages of 18 and 34 all across Canada.

CYBF prides itself on being available to those who may not be able to receive funding from traditional methods.  The charity chooses to focus on character, rather than collateral when reviewing business plans and loan applications (though a good credit rating is a requirement.) Working in conjunction with the Business Development Bank of Canada, successful CYBF applicants can receive up to $45,000 in seed financing, a much-needed boost to any aspiring entrepreneur with dreams of opening their own business. 

CYBF support goes beyond just start-up financing, although the investment is obviously important. Those involved in the program also benefit from pre- and post- launch coaching from the charity’s “Entrepreneur-In-Residence,” online resources, start-up tools and a business mentor that is matched with them for a minimum of two years. 

Mentors and entrepreneurs are placed together based on location, business and personality or mentoring style. While some entrepreneurs might be matched with a mentor in a similar business field, others are paired based on complimentary skills. All pairings based on a series of interviews between CYBF, the potential mentor and the entrepreneur. 

To learn more about CYBF, visit or call 1-800-464-2923.

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