11 New Businesses Benefit from Microgrants to Grow Their Business

Kingston, Ontario – March 8, 2024 – Kingston Economic Development is excited to announce the remarkable accomplishments of 11 ambitious entrepreneurs who have successfully completed the Starter Company Plus program. This program funded by the Government of Ontario has empowered these entrepreneurs with essential training and financial backing to launch or expand their business ventures.

The participants of the program took part of in a week-long business bootcamp, covering crucial topics such as market research, digital marketing, small business financing and hiring practices. Through these comprehensive sessions, the entrepreneurs acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the competitive business landscape.

The Starter Company Plus program offers successful applicants personalized coaching and tailored business training to address their specific needs. Moreover, participants have the chance to present their business plans to a panel of esteemed community judges for an opportunity to secure microgrants of up to $5,000.

“Starter Company Plus is a program that gives us the opportunity to support four categories of people. The first category is someone with an idea but not sure how to make it a reality. The second category is people starting their business and looking for funding support. The third category is existing businesses looking to innovate and grow as a business. The fourth category are people not looking for funding but interested in the training this program provides. It doesn’t matter which category you fall in, we’re always excited to support you with funding, training and mentoring,” says Norman Musengimana, Business Development Manager – Start-ups & Entrepreneurship, Kingston Economic Development Corporation

“I felt like Starter Company Plus fell into my lap at just the right moment! I needed everything they offered, the learning, the structure, the coaching and community. I wrote a big business plan, made a pitch and received a grant! I have felt supported, and it’s really helped with my professional confidence,” says Emily West, Emily West Coaching –Starter Company Plus participant.

Applications for the 2024 Spring Starter Company Plus cohort are open until March 15. To learn more visit investkingston.ca/startercompanyplus 

Meet the Past Starter Company Plus participants:

Wellness Within Therapy by Kyla Balderson
Wellness Within Therapy and Counselling Services is a collaborative, client-centered group mental health practice. As a group therapy practice, they offer a wide range of services for individuals, couples and families using a combination of talk therapy and skill building interventions.

Cher-Mère by Aba Mortley
Aba Mortley is leading an extension of the well-known brand by introducing a new learning program to provide advanced training for estheticians to provide hair care services for members of the BIPOC community. Cher-Mère has also partnered with Corrections Canada to provide this program in correctional facilities, as a method of skill training.

FrontLine Fire & Life Safety Inc. by Chadwick Wansbrough
FrontLine Fire & Life Safety certified experts handle all aspects of fire and life safety from installation to emergency services with solutions to all you fire prevention and management needs. FrontLine Fire and Life Safety offers 24-hour service to all customers, so their customers can have confidence that their facilities’ occupants and property is protected.

Moxie and Mine by Kendra Allen
Moxie and Mine is a consignment and thrift shop housing Kingston’s only preowned bridal wear, a small selection of vintage wedding gowns, and second-hand vintage and designer fashion. With many options on vintage and designer fashion, Moxie and Mine is the eco and budget friendly approach for the modern girl.

In Your Stead by Mathieu Gandmaitre
In Your Stead strives to provide the highest standard of care, farm sitting and pet sitting service for homes and small farms in Kingston and area. We rely on our experience with a wide variety of animals to build relationships with our clients. This helps ensure a safe and happy environment for all.

Mo’s Dainty Bites by Olanike Gbadamosi
Mo’s Dainty Bites is an exciting start-up snack and finger food business rooted in the vibrant culinary traditions of Nigeria. Their business will bring a taste of Nigeria to Kingston by providing fresh, high-quality, and affordable finger foods and snacks.

Venture Growth by Jeff Hewitt
Venture Growth Co. offers innovative social media management and exclusive Content Spotlight Services, delivering compelling brand stories that drive customer engagement and business growth. Founded by a veteran marketer with extensive industry experience, their company stands out through a unique blend of creative storytelling and strategic marketing, tailored to amplify their clients’ digital presence.

Maritime Surface Maintenance by Riley Wetmore
Specializing in concrete & stone rejuvenation, with complimentary anti-slip coatings, Maritime Surface Maintenance provides professional cleaning and/or replacement of all surfaces, horizontal & vertical. We do siding & roofing replacement, eavestrough cleaning, and deck cleaning & staining.

Lovebugs Farm by Rebecca Granville
Lovebugs Farm is an innovative and sustainable agri-venture poised to redefine the food industry by introducing cricket-based products to the market. With a focus on ethical farming practices, environmental responsibility, and community engagement, Lovebugs Farm envisions a future where insect consumption becomes a mainstream and eco-conscious choice.

Emily West Coaching by Emily West
Emily West Coaching offers experiential relationship and intimacy coaching. In sessions, the coach and client(s) create a clothes-on, safe and professional space in which to discuss, practice and resolve, intimate relationship and sexual concerns, issues, goals and dreams. Emily has become qualified to provide this coaching to realize a long time dream of helping humans lead honest, open and fulfilled lives.

Gunguo Art & History Farm by William Suk
Gunguo is a sculpture garden and painting gallery specializing in traditional and contemporary African and Canadian art. Their 80-acre property displays contemporary art on an 1820s Canadian farmstead complete with a limestone farmhouse, a large lilac grove and century barns. Through their outdoor art farmstead, they are shining a light on traditional art styles from Africa and Canada.

Media Contacts:
Nour Mazloum
Marketing & Communications Manager
Kingston Economic Development Corporation