Centennial College

Centennial College

March 04, 2009 12:26 ET

Centennial College: Self-Employment Program can be a Rewarding Alternative to Looking for Work

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 4, 2009) - With the manufacturing sector and others shedding jobs in the present economic downturn, recently unemployed Ontarians may be contemplating self-employment as an alternative to seeking work, but are unsure of where to turn for help.

The Centre of Entrepreneurship at Centennial College has been turning out well-prepared entrepreneurs and small-business owners for almost 20 years, and is a major partner in the Ontario Self Employment Benefit (OSEB) program, funded by Employment Ontario.

The OSEB program at the Centre of Entrepreneurship teaches sound business principles and practices over eight weeks in the classroom, followed by one-on-one advisory support for 10 months, enabling participants to overcome their hurdles and give their venture a solid footing. Students receive $423 per week during their year of training to ensure they have some income while they grow their business.

"Participants receive training in small-business sales/marketing, online development, operations, law and taxes, bookkeeping, communications and more," says Program Coordinator Rae Cowan. "The lessons appear to stick: 84 per cent of those who start the program are running a sustainable business at the end of the first year."

The program is available to Ontarians who are unemployed and eligible for, or collecting, Employment Insurance benefits. Applicants must have a viable business idea. As part of the selection process, they will complete a small market research study of their entrepreneurial idea. Typical businesses that have taken flight at Centennial include restaurants, flower shops, importers/exporters and niche retailers, such as a sewing-machine shop.

Centennial College is hosting an information session for prospective entrepreneurs at 4 pm on Tuesday, March 10 at Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough. The OSEB program at Centennial has five intakes per year. For more information, visit www.centennialcollege.ca/coe/oseb or call the Centre of Entrepreneurship at 416-438-2216, ext. 8582.

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