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Self-Employment Assistance

Self-Employment Assistance is an employment program that provides financial and entrepreneurial assistance to eligible individuals to help them create jobs for themselves by starting a business.

Information for Individuals

Am I Eligible?

You are eligible if you are an unemployed individual:

  • Who has a current EI claim; or
  • Whose EI benefit period ended within the last three (3) years; or
  • Who has established a benefit period within the past five (5) years prior to the date of requesting assistance, was paid parental or maternity benefits, and are re-entering the labour force after having left it in order to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.

Other criteria may apply.

How do I Apply?

Key Facts

Qualification Date:

  • The date your completed application is received by the Department of Advanced Education and Skills is the date when you are considered to have requested assistance.
  • This date is used to determine whether you qualify as an "insured participant" within the timeframes outlined above.

Extended Benefits:

  • If you are currently receiving Employment Insurance benefits, you may continue to receive these benefits until the end of your benefit period, after which you may be eligible to receive a living allowance to the end of your Self-Employment Assistance agreement.
  • If you are not in receipt of Employment Insurance benefits, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance for living expenses.

Financial Assistance:

  • Assistance may be provided in exceptional circumstances to cover all or part of the following costs related to participation (e.g., dependent care, disability needs, transportation and accommodation).


  • The maximum duration of an agreement with a participant is 52 weeks, and 78 weeks for persons with a disability.

Information for Organizations/Sponsors

Is my Organization Eligible?

Businesses, organizations, municipalities, band/tribal councils, public health and educational institutions are eligible to receive funding as Self-Employment Assistance Coordinators.

How do I Apply?

Sponsors/coordinators seeking funding under Self-Employment Assistance should complete the Self-Employment Assistance Coordinator application and submit it to the nearest Advanced Education and Skills office.


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Contact Information

Advanced Education and Skills LMDA Delivery Office Locations

General enquiries: 1-800-563-6600

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