Business programs

Self-Employment Program

Self-Employment As a Career Alternative

Self-employment offers the chance to do what you love, be your own boss, and reap the rewards for your efforts.  It can give you flexibility, independence, and freedom.  But running a successful business requires hard work, dedication, and keen business sense.  While hard work and dedication are up to you, Community Futures can help you develop your business sense.

CFTC offers a variety of programs and services designed to help individuals and small businesses in Thompson Country to access the skills, information, and financing they need to be successfully self-employed. 

If you would like to start a new business and meet EI eligibility requirements, you could be eligible for the Self-Employment Program.  This program provides coaching, training and financial support to entrepreneurs in starting and operating a full time business.  

The Self Employment Program is funded by the Province of British Columbia through the Labor Market Development Agreement with the Federal Government. The program provides financial assistance to eligible applicants who want to start their own business or purchase an existing business, in which they have had no prior ownership. The Self Employment Program provides income support, business skills development workshops, one-on-one mentoring and counseling.

To be eligible for the Self-Employment program you must:

To be eligible, you must have a referral from WorkBC Employment Service Centre (Open Door Group)

  • Be currently on Employment Insurance (EI) or have had an EI claim in the past 3 years or a parental claim in the past 5 years (Persons with Disabilities also qualify)
  • Be unemployed or underemployed
  • Want to start a “new to you” business
  • Have a controlling interest in the business
  • Be legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Propose a business concept that would be suitable for public funding – the business concept must be legal and not exploiting sex, politics or religion
  • Have completed the Self Employment Program Orientation
  • Plan to work full time (minimum of 35 hrs/wk) in your business.  Persons with disabilities have a minimum of 20 hrs/wk requirement.

The Self-Employment Program does not provide start up financing. Individuals requiring a business loan to start their business are referred to the Community Futures Loans Officer and other financial institutions. To learn more about the Self-Employment Program please visit WorkBC or contact us to learn what services they provide.

Kamloops, BC

The new location for all employment services will be administered by Open Door Group at their location at 100 - 275 Landsdowne Street or 795 Tranquille Road in Kamloops, BC  Telephone (250) 377 3670 or info [at]

Chase, BC

The location for all employment services administered by the WorkBC Employment Services Centre will be administered by Open Door Group located at 822 Shuswap Ave., Chase, BC (250) 679 8448 or chaseemployment [at]

Merritt, BC

The location for all employment services administered by the WorkBC Employment Services Centre will be administered by Community Futures Thompson Country at 2099 Quilchena Ave., Merritt, BC (250) 378 5151 or info [at] (subject: Self-Employment%20Information%20Request) .

Lillooet, BC

The location for all employment services administered by the WorkBC Employment Services Centre will be administered by Open Door Group at 639B Main Street., Lillooet, BC (250) 256-7758 info [at] 

Business Coaching

If you are currently operating a business or planning to go into business and need some support in writing a business plan, doing effective marketing, or just getting started, our knowledgeable staff can assist you.  Click here for details.

Entrepreneurs With Disabilities

Persons with disabilities may face unique barriers to business creation and development.  In recognition of this, The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP) was established in 1997 through funding from Western Economic Diversification and the support of the Community Futures network.  At Community Futures, we see the business and the person’s ability first, and then strive to provide extra support to those entrepreneurs who are also managing disability and health issues.  The goal of the EDP is to increase access to business services and repayable business financing to level the playing field for these entrepreneurs.

The EDP loans program, Bizable is available for people who self-declare a disability or health condition and who have completed a viable business plan.  Business loans are repayable and through the EDP, loan terms are designed to be flexible and are tailored to meet your needs.  Contact us and speak with our Loans Manager.



Through the EDP, specialized support and mentorship may be available for entrepreneurs in need of additional business skills training. This support is for people with disabilities who have a viable business concept and are in need of enhanced services to move their business forward.  edp [at] (subject: EDP%20Information%20Request) (Contact the EDP Provincial Coordinator).

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Communities Served

Avola, Barriere, Blue River, Chase, Clearwater, Kamloops, Little Fort, McLure, Pritchard, Sun Peaks, Vavenby, Westwold

Self-Employment Communities Served

Chase, Kamloops, Lillooet, Merritt


330 Seymour Street
Kamloops, BC
V2C 2G2

T: 250.828.8772
F: 250.828.6861