Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie & Area
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ontario Self Employment Benefit

Unfortunately, on May 15, 2015, we were advised by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities that the Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program (OSEB) will cease effective March 31, 2016. 

No new applications to the program will be accepted beyond the May 15, 2015 announcement date. This does not affect those that are currently on the program.  We will continue to assist you in making your business a success.


The Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program (OSEB) provides entrepreneurial skills development support to approved participants to help them develop and implement their business plan and become self employed.

The program provides various types of entrepreneurial support during the contract (up to 42 weeks). Services provided include skills development, ongoing technical advice, business plan preparation and financial support. Skills development will be tailored to client needs and may include advice on accounting, marketing, use of computers, and other small business services.

The Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program (OSEB) is a program of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) with business support services to approved participants delivered by the Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie & Area (CDC).

Eligibility Criteria

The applicant must be considering:

  • a new business or an existing business, of which the individual had no prior ownership and
  • a business that is suitable for public funding in the opinion of the ministry

The applicant must be an insured (unemployed) individual:

  • for whom an Employment Insurance (El) benefit has been established, or
  • whose EI benefit period has ended within the last three years (Reachback), or
  • who has received maternity or parental support within the past five years and now plan to re-enter the workforce.

The applicant must also:

  • Be legally entitled to work in Canada
  • Work full time at the business for the duration of the SEB contract
  • Retain controlling interest in the business
  • Provide personal investment, cash or in-kind, of at least 25% of the allowance to be received under the program.


Entrepreneurial Skills Development Benefits

As a participant of the Ontario Self Employment Benefit (OSEB) program, you can take advantage of the following services offered to you by the CDC:

  • Assistance with the preparation of the business plan
  • Training and skill enhancement:
    • Marketing and communications
    • Sales and customer service
    • Bookkeeping and accounting
    • Time management and organizational skills
    • Internet marketing and social media
  • Access to an extensive Small Business Resource Centre, which includes print and electronic resources
  • Access to computer workstations with internet access for business research, telephone and colour photocopier
  • Workshops, seminars and guest speakers are planned on a regular basis
  • Monthly Coffee Club meetings which give the participants the opportunity to network with other small business owners
  • Monthly newsletter
  • One-on-one counseling

Financial Benefit            

Approved participants may receive up to 42 weeks of income support.

How to Apply


•E—mail the OSEB Staff –  or or stop by our office anytime.

•Contact your local Employment Ontario Service Provider to make an appointment with an employment counselor to complete an Employment Service Plan and an El eligibility check.


  • A completed Employment Service Plan will be forwarded from an employment counselor to the CDC Self Employment Benefit staff and the individual will be contacted to arrange for a one-to-one orientation session.
  • The Self Employment Benefit staff will assist the individual in completing the OSEB application forms in addition to the business plan, which will be forwarded to the MTCU with a recommendation based on business eligibility and suitability.
  • MTCU will approve/decline an individual’s application and notify in writing.
  • If approved, financial assistance is provided in conjunction with entrepreneurial skills development.

The CDC hosts a monthly Self Employment Awareness Session on the Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program.   All El eligible individuals are welcome.  Contact the CDC to sign up for a session 705 942-9000.

Want to read some client success stories? Visit our success stories  our website.

This Employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada.