smART, a Starter Company program, is a great opportunity for creative, enterprising young people aged 18 – 29 who want to start, grow or buy a creative industry small business. The program provides hands-on business coaching and training, as well asmentoring from local business leaders under a placement following 10 weeks of in-class workshops. These inspiring individuals and companies will help make your creative business a reality.
The program is intended for individuals working at the intersection of art, design and innovation. This closely follows local and regional priorities to attract and retain talent and build aninnovative, vibrant place to live work and play. This is your opportunity to shape not only your future, but the future of your community.
smART is a collaboration between the Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre, the City of Vaughan’s Economic Development & Culture Department and the York Region Arts Council.
Successful grant applications
Once you have completed your business plan, you have the option to apply for a Starter Company grant. If your grant application is approved, you will be eligible to receive up to $5,000 in funding, provided that you can match the funding with a 25% contribution. The matching contribution may include cash or in-kind assets, assessed at fair market value, such as equipment or machinery required to run the business.
Approved grant applicants will receive an initial award of up to $3,500 to put towards the start-up or expansion costs and up to $1500 upon successful completion of the program.
Application Process & Submission Requirements
Note: If accepted based on the above application criteria, you will be required to fill out an additional form as well as submit a business plan and financials to be eligible for the $5,000 grant. The smART training sessions will assist participants in developing these items in preparation for the grant application.
The application process is exclusively online. It is mandatory that you input all of the above submission requirements in the online form with the exception of support material in the form of JPGs or PDFs, which can be emailed to Dustin Fox at Dustin [dot] Fox [at] vaughan [dot] ca. The subject line of your support material submission should read “smART Support Material.” Complete submissions are due before midnight on September 5.
Click here to apply today!
All applications will be reviewed by the program providers. A maximum of 20 applicants will be accepted for the program based on meeting eligibility criteria, full completion of application, ability to participate for the full duration of the program, creative merit and business viability.
Faculty will consist of small business and creative industry subject matter experts.
Notification of the Results
Acceptance notifications will be issued by email or phone after all applications have been reviewed. Due to the volume of submissions, only those accepted into the program will be contacted.
Location & Time
Weekly sessions will take place at Vaughan City Hall, 2141 Major MacKenzie Drive, Vaughan, ON L6A 1T1 from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Post-program placement locations will vary.