Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program

Helping entrepreneurs with disabilities build their business future

Western Canadians who have a disability can access a network of business professionals and a world of resources through Western Economic Diversification Canada's (WD) Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP). The EDP program provides business information, training and development, mentoring and one-on-one counseling services.

In rural communities, the program is delivered through Community Futures offices. In urban areas, WD works with a number of partners to deliver the program. For more information on the program and the services available contact the organization listed below that is nearest to you.

In British Columbia

VanCity Savings Credit Union
Telephone: 604-709-6930
Website: https://www.vancity.com/BusinessBanking/Financing/Loans/SmallBusinessAndStartup/ACED/

Rural British Columbia
Community Futures British Columbia
Telephone: 604-289-4222
Website: http://www.communityfutures.ca/edp

In Alberta

Distinctive Employment Counseling Services of Alberta
Telephone: 780-474-2500
Website: http://www.decsa.com/

Telephone: 403-272-9323
Website: http://www.momentum.org/

Rural Alberta
Community Futures Network of Alberta
Telephone: 1-877-482-3672
Website: http://albertacf.com/find-your-nearest-community-futures-office

In Saskatchewan

North Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre
Telephone: 306-665-5508
Website: http://www.nsilc.com/ 

South Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre
Telephone: 306-757-7452
Website: http://www.ssilc.ca/ 

Rural Saskatchewan
Community Futures Saskatchewan
Telephone: 1-877-851-9997
Website: http://cfsask.ca/contact

In Manitoba

Independent Living Resource Centre
Telephone: 204-947-0194
Website: www.ilrc.mb.ca

Rural Manitoba
Community Futures Manitoba
Telephone: 1-204-943-2905
Website: http://cfmanitoba.ca/directory.cfm

What does the program offer?

The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP) provides access to business services across Western Canada, including:

  • mentoring and one-on-one counseling services;
  • access to business training and development;
  • business loans (in some locations); and
  • help to identify requirements for specialized equipment.

Who is eligible?

Entrepreneurs meeting the following basic criteria may be considered for support through the EDP:

  • have been unsuccessful in acquiring sufficient funding for business from other sources;
  • are restricted in the ability to perform at least one of the basic activities of entrepreneurship or self-employment;
  • are disabled due to physical or mental impairment;
  • have a viable business plan and are a new or current small business owner with a disability; and
  • reside in Western Canada.

What loans are available?

The program provides entrepreneurs with disabilities who are unable to obtain financing from a traditional financial institution access to business loans. The loan terms are flexible and tailored to meet your needs. Contact the organization serving your area for more information on loans and services available.

What can the loans be used for?

The types of projects supported by this program include:

  • starting or expanding a business;
  • purchasing and applying new technology;
  • upgrading facilities and equipment;
  • developing marketing and promotions materials; and
  • establishing working capital for anticipated sales increases.

What other services may I be eligible for through Western Economic Diversification Canada?

Small and medium-sized businesses in most rural and urban centres can easily access a range of business services through WD's Western Canada Business Service Network. This network includes Community Futures offices, which deliver the EDP in rural areas; Women’s Enterprise Initiative offices; Francophone Economic Development Organizations and Canada Business service centres. All of these organizations provide entrepreneurs in targeted groups with the expertise they need to start a new business or expand their existing company.

They offer various services from marketing and funding options to counseling and support. For more information on the services our network provides and the network member nearest you, visit WD’s Business Service Network.