Assistance for Small Businesses and Startups in Vaughan


The City of Vaughan encourages small businesses and entrepreneurship.

Are you considering starting a small business or a startup in Vaughan? Entrepreneurs and small business owners are the backbone of Vaughan’s economy. Approximately 80 per cent of all businesses in Vaughan are small businesses, started by entrepreneurs.

There are many resources provided by the City of Vaughan to help your small businesses or start-up, and get you on the track to success! Have a look at some of the valuable resources we offer in Vaughan.

The Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre

The Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre (VBEC) provides one-stop services for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing Vaughan business owners. 

VBEC offers information, resources, training and hands-on assistance. Entrepreneurs can access VBEC services by booking one-on-one or group consultations, by phone or e-mail, or attending VBEC business seminars and events.

VBEC Services Include:

  • Business Consultation and Mentorship
  • Market Research, Intelligence and Business Information
  • Entrepreneurship Programs
  • Business Workshops, Seminars and Events

Contact VBEC at ecd@vaughan.ca or 905-832-8526 for more information. For information on consultations click here.

Ready to develop an idea? Attend one of the upcoming “Intro to Entrepreneurship” group sessions.

Vaughan Business Cafe

Have you ever had a question that you wish you could ask another entrepreneur or business leader?  

Diverse connections are at the core of innovation and company growth. This is why City of Vaughan is excited announce a new way that entrepreneurs, small business owners and corporate partners can connect to ask questions, share ideas and form new professional relationships.

How does the Vaughan Business Café work?

  • You’ll receive a monthly introduction to a fellow member based on your interests and goals.
  • Suggest a time to chat, in-person at a coffee shop or online from the comfort of your home, to share your advice and experience.
  • Once you join, all introductions are sent directly to your inbox with your match’s email, so you don’t need to use another tool!

Connect with business leaders and entrepreneurs in Vaughan.

  • Join the online community and get matched with business experts
  • Find a mentor or strategic partner
  • Become a mentor and share your expertise
  • Engage and share ideas to help your business grow

Register online for the Vaughan Business Café.

Business Listening Tour

The City of Vaughan’s Economic and Cultural Development staff will be visiting businesses across the city through to October. They will be sharing information on their business services, offering ways to connect with other business leaders in the community and listening to valuable feedback.

​Thornhill (Centre St./Yonge St.)​July 26
​Vaughan Enterprise Zone​August 30
​Vaughan Metropolitan Centre​September 27
​Maple Village​October 25

Starter Company Plus

The Vaughan Starter Company Plus program is designed for you and your business. Receive tailored training, mentorship and the opportunity to apply for a provincial grant of up to $5,000 to help your business grow. The Starter Company Plus program is offered at VBEC through the support of the Government of Ontario and the City of Vaughan. Qualified applicants to Starter Company Plus will receive:

  • Mentoring from successful local entrepreneurs
  • Training tailored to your specific sector
  • Advice services for business
  • Access to business workshops and valuable networking opportunities
  • Opportunity to apply for a grant of up to $5,000 in provincial funding

York Mastermind Networking Event

  • June – November – Seminar events at Vaughan City Hall.
  • Notable speakers – The speakers are well-regarded entrepreneurs that will share their stories, challenges and strategies in business to educate and inspire you.
  • Peer Collaboration – You are invited to engage in an organic discussion and open communication about your business challenges.
  • Networking – After each seminar, you will be presented a network workshop unlike any other. These workshops are designed to build stronger relationships between you and your peers in the local business community.

To register for events, please click here.

Artrepreneur Contest

Artrepreneur is a business accelerator program for artists and creative entrepreneurs, and it is coming back to Vaughan! Are you an ARTIST or CREATIVE? Be your own BOSS and turn your passion into a business. Artrepreneur is a 40-hour program designed to equip artists & arts administrators with vital business skills, and to connect them with other creatives!

Program Details:
Tuesdays from Sept. 10, 2019 to Dec. 10, 2019
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Final Expo: Jan. 14, 2020
Vaughan City Hall
2141 Major Mackenzie Dr. W., Vaughan, ON

Submit your application by: Sunday, July 28, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. For more information or to apply online, click here.

Yedi Fall 2019 Incubator Program

Calling all leaders and innovators! YEDI is now accepting applications for the Fall 2019 Incubator Program. Receive extensive education, ongoing mentorship and the chance to showcase your venture to industry representatives. Apply online by August 15th, 2019 at:  yedinstitute.org/apply/incubator.

All Programs and initiatives made in partnership with the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs.

Whether your business is in need of guidance or it’s just getting started, the City of Vaughan has resources that can help you. Get involved in one of the many programs, events, or seminars offered by the City of Vaughan and their partners today. Find more information on our website.