Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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Working with young entrepreneurs

The Young Entrepreneur Development Initiative (YEDI) program provides support to partners who promote entrepreneurship to young people in Atlantic Canada. YEDI helps make possible the delivery of business skills and tools to aspiring and existing young entrepreneurs so they can successfully create and grow their businesses.

Young entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada

Young people are dynamic. They are creative, ambitious and willing to take risks. They are among Atlantic Canada’s business leaders. Individually and collectively, young people represent a tremendous asset to the region’s economy. They are making significant contributions to the wealth of Atlantic Canada by creating jobs in their communities. With more than 90,000 young people intending to start a business, the region is poised to welcome a new generation of entrepreneurs.

What is YEDI?

YEDI is an ACOA program designed to expand and enhance the entrepreneurship training, information and support services available to Atlantic Canadians younger than 35 years of age. ACOA works in partnership with not-for-profit and non-commercial organizations to develop projects and programs that help young people start and build these businesses.

How can YEDI help more young people?

Young Atlantic Canadians need to develop the right skills to succeed in business. YEDI provides assistance to ACOA partners for the delivery of skills-building projects for youth such as:

  • entrepreneurship courses and workshops
  • business planning competitions
  • youth business camps

Can YEDI help existing young entrepreneurs?

Getting a business started can sometimes be the easy part! Along the way, young entrepreneurs may need assistance with marketing strategies, human resources, and learning how to manage growth effectively. YEDI can help ACOA partners develop projects such as:

  • mentorship programs
  • business skills workshops
  • learning conferences that bring young entrepreneurs together

How can YEDI help my community develop an entrepreneurship culture among young people?

Communities are instrumental in planning initiatives for aspiring and existing young entrepreneurs. Through YEDI, ACOA works with these community partners to help develop broad-based support by assisting with such initiatives as:

  • roundtable discussions
  • local support networks for young entrepreneurs
  • strategies to use entrepreneurship to address youth out-migration

Who can apply?

Not-for-profit and non-commercial organizations – such as business and economic development associations, educational institutions or municipalities – can apply for funding under YEDI.

Funding and eligible costs

Through YEDI, ACOA provides non-repayable assistance, which is limited to a percentage of eligible costs necessary for the project to proceed.

Want to learn more about YEDI? Contact the ACOA office nearest you.

Head Office 1-800-561-7862
New Brunswick 1-800-561-4030
Prince Edward Island 1-800-871-2596
Newfoundland and Labrador 1-800-668-1010
Nova Scotia 1-800-565-1228