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Get help to turn your idea into a successful business. 


The YMCA’s Self Employment Program (SEP) takes participants from business concept, all the way to running day-to-day business operations. Our highly skilled team of experts will provide blended support through 1:1 coaching, email, and the use of a Learning Management System along with virtual and in-person workshops. Our Teams will coach participants to translate business concepts into viable business launches and each participant will create and deliver a comprehensive business plan at course completion.


"You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great"

Program Features:

  • 1:1 support from a professional Business Advisor to work with you along the way
  • Learn skill sets such as: Business Operations, Cash Flow, Forecasting, Accounting Principles, Marketing, Social Media, Networking, How to develop and present a Business Plan
  • Live virtual training with industry experts
  • Our web-based training provides participants in rural or urban communities with new opportunities in building their business
  • You will gain the confidence and skillsets to move your self-employment concept forward


Check your eligibility and register today! 


Get help starting your business.

Join one of our online information sessions to learn more!


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An array of images depicting people working in different vocations. Includes the YMCA Self Employment Program logo and "Celebrating Small Business Week" as a tagline

Strengthening Communities Through Small Business Support

The YMCA of Greater Vancouver offers support and solutions for more members of our community to become small-business owners. 

For more details, please view our recent media release by clicking here.



A mobile device playing the self-employment podcast episode referenced on the Self Employment Program page


Many people dream about being their own boss, opening up their own business and being self-employed. A recent survey found that 30 per cent of “traditionally employed” Canadians expect to transition to self-employment in the next two years. But where do you start?

There’s so much to know about starting your own business and making it successful. What many people don’t know is that if you are unemployed or under-employed, there are various programs and resources you can access in BC. Self-employment support is among them. 

In this episode, Vancouver Work BC chats with Lynne Brisdon (Manager, Self Employment Program at YMCA of Greater Vancouver), Mike Plumb (Owner at Dusk N Dawn Adventure Co and WorkBC Centre alumni) and Andrea Welling (Regional Director BC at Futurpreneur Canada) about self employment and entrepreneurship in Vancouver, and where you can go to get help getting your business off the ground.




Our Funding Partners

Thank you to our partners helping to make the YMCA of Greater Vancouver's Employment Services programs possible!