Self Employment

Employment Opportunities through Business Development

This program seeks to help Cree beneficiaries achieve self-employment by fostering business creation and bolstering the private sector in Eeyou Istchee.

They say entrepreneurs work 12 hours a day for themselves so they don’t have to work 8 hours a day for someone else.

If you’re going to put all your time and energy into starting your own business, ASD wants to help.  Our Self-Employment program will help you to work hard, and seize the many opportunities available for entrepreneurs in Eeyou Istchee!


For Entrepreneurs

ASD wants to help entrepreneurs by funding new business activities through the Self-Employment program. 


ASD will make a partnership contribution of:

  • 50%, for Year 1
  • 40% for Year 2
  • 30% for Year 3


up to $35,000.00 per year. This will help to cover the costs of participants wages, as well as other costs related to the creation and implementation of a business.

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Eligible participants must satisfy all criteria above, as well as:

  • Act as both applicant and recipient
  • Present a professional business plan
  • Have a business bank account
  • Have a registered business number, permit or license, as required


Recipients are eligible for a minimum of 52 weeks of funding, with an option to renew for a second and third year.

If you are starting your own business, or know someone who is, come speak to one of our Program Officers or Career Counsellors at your local ASD office to learn more about our Self-Employment program.


Eligible Activities

Activities that: 

  • Are for a full-time job of a minimum of 35 hours per week; 

  • Offer a reasonable opportunity for permanent business;  

Expected Results
  • Lead as much as possible to regular full-time employment  

  • Improved functioning and development of the Cree labour market leading to: 

  • Increased skills levels and self-employment outcomes for Cree participants 

  • Better workforce balance between public and private sector. 

Eligible Participants
  • Be at least 18 years of age or hold a Secondary School Diploma 

  • Be unemployed 

  • Be a JBNQA Beneficiary 

  • Have a background and/or have completed a business course or a course in the related field 


Additionally, the participant must: 

  • Act as applicant and recipient 

  • Present a business plan, prepared with the help specialized resources in the field, with its application. 

  • Have a business bank account 

  • Have a registered business number or other permit or license required by the federal and/or the provincial governments 

  • For a maximum of 52 weeks, renewable upon reapplication for a second and third year 

  • Hours per week in accordance with federal and/or provincial regulations 

Eligible Expenses
  • The applicant/owner must make a partnership contribution of 50% of the project’s costs for Year 1, 60% for Year 2 and 70% for Year 3. 

  • A maximum annual contribution of $35,000 per participant 

  • Participant wages and mandatory employment related costs or owners withdraws must be within maximum of $35,000 per year. 

  • Other costs related to the creation and /or the implementation of a business 

Non-Eligible Expenses
  • Capital costs for the construction or purchase of a building 

  • Expenses which would have otherwise been incurred by the Applicant 

  • Capital expenses, such as computers and equipment, not related to the project 

  • Expenses incurred before the application is submitted 

Document Downloads

Please click on the buttons below to download our forms. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Competencies & Skills

This program assists individuals in acquiring the competencies and skills required for a given job or receiving training that leads to a form of accreditation.
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Job Creation

This program provides meaningful employment for unemployed persons through the support of job creation initiatives.
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Support for Persons with Disabilities

This program helps people with disabilities increase their economic participation and independence by preparing for, finding and keeping rewarding jobs.
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Research & Development

This program aims to boost the capacity of Eeyou Istchee organizations in innovative labor market initiatives through research and development funding.
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Start your career here!

We are here to help you with any questions. Please use the form to contact us for information about our programs or any other services we provide. Alternatively, you could also contact us through our various offices across Eeyou Istchee or connect online with our social media channels.