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Hi everyone,

 

I've seen the odd post on here regarding the SEB program for those of us who live in Canada; just wanted to let any others know that it is a possibility for VAs. I'm in the business plan phase of the program and it will be handed in for final approval (or not) this wednesday, the 19th. Thank goodness for Tawnya's business plan template, it was a huge help and I was FAR ahead of all of the folks in my wee little class, most of whom had never seen or heard of a business plan before. I'm going through the local Community Futures office, and the last business plan meeting I had with them went well and they think everything looks good, so they will have their big meeting on the 25th to decide which plans get approved or not. Cross your fingers for me! I'll keep everyone posted on the outcome......

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Guest bette

Good Luck. I finished the SEB programme last December 2007. I was lucky someone before me had already broken ground (thanks Yvonne) with my business advisor so I didn't have much convincing to do, just had to do my homework (busines plan). Don't forget to ask about the 10 week extension, it really helps during slow times.

 

Bette Creek

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I will be thinking of you Sarah and hope you get accepted. It is the ideal way to start up a new VA business and get paid for it too ;)

 

Glad the business plan was helpful. It was the same one I used to get accepted into the SEB program a few years ago myself so I know it works!

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Congratulations, Sarah!

 

I just graduated from the classroom/practical part of the SEP program this past month. It has been an amazing experience and I would love to go back and start all over again, I enjoyed it that much!

 

Good luck, keep us posted as to how its going! :thumbup:

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Congratulations Sarah!

 

I had no idea so many VAs had been/are going through the SEB program. I too am in the program (I've completed the in-class portion). I am in Phase 4 - aka the real world/business building phase.

 

All the best!

 

Elizabeth

 

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I was very interested to see this post here - as I am trying to get into the same type of program here in NS. WEejust moved and I am on EI because I quit my job to move to another province with my husband. Glad to see others have set the standard thata VA business can be considered for this.

 

I am hoping to hear from SEB office Monday - the EI office was useless in getting info and I keep getting told I need a referral from EI but their exact words were "Yeah we don't know anything about it except that they do that. Here's a paper and you have to see someone in one of these office to get in the SEB thing" The list of offices they gave me was bizarre - places like "Alternative pathways for youth (which I am not) or other ones for mi'kmaq people or those with disabilities.

 

Anyhow I did get in touch with the SEB manager via email and am waiting more info - but I am curious how you all got your foot in that door - what was the process you had to go through to get to the SEB part and apply with them.

 

My other concern is that it is a 40 week program and I do not want this startup to take 40 weeks - I am hoping to be ready to roll by end of summer at the latest. DId you have to go through all 40 weeks or if you were ready with clients did you stop - or stop getting ei but keep up with their programs/classes?

 

Any info would be appreciated!

 

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Kathi, my program here in Ottawa went like this:

 

* In class full time during day hours 6 weeks.

* Overall program 50 weeks.

* after 6 weeks you have about 4 more weeks to get your business plan into your counsellor.

* for the rest of the program you work on your business and can make as much money as you want.

* we go to a networking session once a month for a few hours.

* we have access to our counsellors anytime we need them.

 

I wish you luck!

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Hi Kathy,

 

My experience with SEB has been similar to that of Frances.

 

* In class portion - 7.5 weeks (usually 9-3:45pm). Saturday (yes - Saturday), Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. We got Friday and Sunday off.

* Overall program 48 weeks.

* At the conclusion of the in-class portion we were to have a fully working business plan and present it to the SEB committee.

* For the balance of the program we are building our businesses and we can make as much money as we are able without losing our right to EI contributions.

* Currently we have a minimum of once a month physical meetings with our business advisor (this can be more often - one member (non-VA) has to meet once every two weeks).

* We have access to our counsellors anytime we need them.

 

It is a great program. As a wife and mother of three, it has been a HUGE investement in every possible way (my children had to start daycare so I could go to full-time school just for starters). That said, it is a great program and well worth the investement.

 

Very best of luck!

 

Elizabeth

 

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Hi Yoana,

 

Sorry for using initials!

 

The SEB I am speaking of is actually the 'OSEB program', which stands for the 'Ontario Self-Employed Benefit' program. The program is operated through the government and, in my case, is funded in part by the Employment Insurance (EI) Reach-Back program.

 

The program is faciliated through a number of different organizations and in many Cities.

 

Elizabeth

 

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Hello again,

 

My program is not quite as robust as the previous ladies mentioned - it would have been great it if was! Here's how mine is structured:

 

1. If you're eligible then you start with a 2-day orientation/marketing info seminar. You have market research homework to do and a bit of initial business paperwork to fill out.

2. If your business idea is approved then next is a 4 day business plan seminar one month after the 2 day (they say to give you time to see whether you still want to continue) Benefits begin here.

3. Within a month the committee will convene and decide which business plans look viable or not. If yours passes, you're in the program. From this point you must be ready to open your doors as soon as they say you're approved, and the benefits will now continue for 48 weeks.

4. There are always ongoing seminars available to take for free in the evenings

5. You have acceess to your counsellor at all times

6. There is one meeting on-location one month after the business is up and running, and then another 5 months down the road

 

That's pretty much it. I went through my local community futures office to access this program, there is no other way to do it up here, and they are the ones that put on all the seminars and supply the counsellors and all that jazz.

 

It's a great program and a great opportunity for anyone that has the desire and drive to start their business but still need a little bit of financial help to pay the bills in the beginning. Don't we all! Some of us are just lucky enough to qualify for this program. (I too moved with a partner).

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Hello again,

 

My program is not quite as robust as the previous ladies mentioned - it would have been great it if was! Here's how mine is structured:

 

1. If you're eligible then you start with a 2-day orientation/marketing info seminar. You have market research homework to do and a bit of initial business paperwork to fill out.

2. If your business idea is approved then next is a 4 day business plan seminar one month after the 2 day (they say to give you time to see whether you still want to continue) Benefits begin here.

3. Within a month the committee will convene and decide which business plans look viable or not. If yours passes, you're in the program. From this point you must be ready to open your doors as soon as they say you're approved, and the benefits will now continue for 48 weeks.

4. There are always ongoing seminars available to take for free in the evenings

5. You have acceess to your counsellor at all times

6. There is one meeting on-location one month after the business is up and running, and then another 5 months down the road

 

That's pretty much it. I went through my local community futures office to access this program, there is no other way to do it up here, and they are the ones that put on all the seminars and supply the counsellors and all that jazz.

 

It's a great program and a great opportunity for anyone that has the desire and drive to start their business but still need a little bit of financial help to pay the bills in the beginning. Don't we all! Some of us are just lucky enough to qualify for this program. (I too moved with a partner).

 

Thanks everybody for your info!

I am glad to see this one as I think that is what is involved in the program I am looking into. The full day ones would turn me off as I am getting into this line of work so I can be here for my kids at lunch and after school. I am still waiting to hear from them on how to start off, but very glad to know there are others who have done something like this and happy doing it. Again, I am lucky as I am on EI now which makes me eligible to apply.

I hope I can make it work as it does help to have the safety net of benefits while starting out. For those looking at starting - I think each province pretty much has something, but you generally have to search it out.

Kathy

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