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Starting a Business

Thunder Bay Ventures partners with various agencies to deliver information and consulting services for start-up entrepreneurs and small businesses.


The Entrepreneur Centre

Housed in the City of Thunder Bay CEDC (Whalen Building at 34 N. Cumberland St.) the Entrepreneur Centre provides information and consulting for those wishing to start a business and young entrepreneurs.

The Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre exists to provide free and confidential business counselling services to both new and existing small businesses.The following tools and guides, along with other resources, can be found at the Entrepreneur Centre.

  • Starting a Business
  • Business Planning
  • Market Research

PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise

PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise is a not-for-profit charitable organization - a unique grassroots, community economic development organization with members involved in decision-making at every level. It provides programs and services designed to increase the economic independence and self-sufficiency of women and their families.  Popular business development programs include:

  • Gateway - A Path to Self Employment (SEB)
  • Making a Difference -  (Investing in Women's Futures)
  • The Accelerator -  enhancing the growth of women's businesses
  • NOW on the ROAD - A Regional Outreach and Awareness
  • PARO Centre -  An incubator; a resource centre providing office and equipment rental and other resources for women entrepreneurs
  • Women's Community Loan Fund:  30 peer lending circles in NW Ontario  

Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NWOIC)

The Innovation Centre acts as a pivotal player in growing Northwestern Ontario’s innovation capacity. By encouraging ongoing cooperation between business, education and government, the Centre is a driving force to improve economic vitality. In addition, the Centre seeks out new approaches to improve, enhance and invigorate a commercialization system in our region.

Business Development Bank of Canada


BDCprovides small and medium-sized businesses with flexible financing, affordable consulting servicesand venture capital. BDC supports the needs of entrepreneurs at every stage of growth.


Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund

Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) is an aboriginal owned and controlled organization delivering business and financial services to the member First Nations of Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

NADF currently manages a range of programs: Aboriginal Business Canada, Retail Services, Loan Fund, Leasing Division, Aboriginal Buying Circle, Aboriginal Business Service Network, Partnership Development Advisor, Community Futures Development and the Northern Access Centre for Native Business.

See PARTNER LINKS for other resources in finding business related information related to your business idea or expansion.  Or call us and we can advise you.  807-768-6650

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