Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

May 17, 2010 09:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps People With Disabilities in Waterloo Become Self-Employed

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - People with disabilities will get help starting their own business as a result of the Government of Canada's support for Lutherwood, an employment services organization. Mr. Stephen Woodworth, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"This program is a great example of how our community invites participation from everyone, regardless of special needs," said Mr. Woodworth. "I'm proud our government is lending a helping hand."

Lutherwood will receive $110,925 under the Self-Employment component of the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. This project will help 16 people with disabilities gain the skills they need to become self-employed.

"It is exciting to see New Frontier participants overcome challenges as they realize their dream of self-employment," said Ms. Cathy Harrington, Director of Employment Development Services for Lutherwood. "These new business owners grow and flourish along with their ventures. This funding will enable us to continue to help individuals with disabilities start and operate their small businesses, which ultimately results in social and economic benefits for our entire community."

The federal government is working with the provinces and territories, community organizations and other stakeholders to provide Canadians with the training, skills and opportunities they need to get jobs and contribute to the their communities.

The Opportunities Fund helps support an array of activities, such as increasing employability skills, providing work experience and preparing individuals for self-employment. The Government of Canada is committed to breaking down barriers that prevent Canadians with disabilities from reaching their full potential with a wide range of effective policies, programs and services. 

The Fund is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to create the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world. The Government underscored its commitment to this strategy in Canada's Economic Action Plan. A key component of the Plan is to create more and better opportunities for Canadian workers through skills development. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


Lutherwood, a not-for-profit organization located in the Region of Waterloo, has a mandate to help people of all backgrounds build and sustain better and more hopeful futures. The organization offers services for people with disabilities and seniors, and provides employment services. From May 3, 2010, until April 29, 2011, Lutherwood's New Frontier program will help 16 people with disabilities become self-employed by providing them with assistance in developing and implementing a business plan, in addition to other services.

The Self-Employment component of the Opportunities Fund is designed to help Canadians with disabilities who have little or no work experience, and who are not eligible for Employment Insurance benefits. The Fund is available to eligible organizations that provide technical and consultative expertise to eligible participants to help them assess, develop and implement their business plan.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office