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PowerUP: Small Business Training Program

Plan, Build and Grow

PowerUP: Small Business Training Program

Develop your skills to successfully start, run and grow your business.  

YWCA Hamilton Women’s Enterprise Centre of Southern Ontario’s PowerUp Small Business program supports women entrepreneurs to develop strategies and tactics to keep moving their businesses forward.  Our PowerUP workshops are held bi-weekly through Zoom and feature topics such as starting your business, building resilience, business planning, marketing, finance, operations and legal. Accepted small businesses will attend a free, intensive 10 week training program including lectures provided by trained business advisors and industry experts. Upon business plan completion, interested participants will be paired with a business mentor for further coaching for up to 6 weeks.

By the end of the program, women entrepreneurs are able to present their businesses to stakeholders interested in supporting their businesses.


  • Friday, September 16th at 10:00 a.m.
  • Monday, September 19th at 1:00 p.m.



Application Deadline: September 26th, 2022
Pitch | Interview Dates: October 3rd & 4th, 2022
Acceptance Date: October 5th, 2022
Business Leadership Webinar: October 6th, 2022
Date Cohort begins Webinar Series: October 11th, 2022
Date Cohort Ends: December 15th, 2022

Ready to apply? Click here to fill out our program application form.

For more information about our French Program, click here!

Program Overview

✓ 10 weeks of interactive training workshops, twice per week
✓ Mandatory Attendance: 2 days a week webinars 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Tuesdays – Thursdays
✓ Weekly 1:1 sessions with a business coach
✓ Access to mentor program upon training and business plan completion
✓ Within the 10 weeks – Creation of a business plan
✓ Please note this program includes Assignments, a Draft Business Plan and a Final Business Plan to be submitted by deadlines for review by Business Advisors
✓ You will be expected to participate during sessions and group activities and to have assignments prepared and submitted to Business Advisors in a timely manner
✓ Stay focused and positive and be open to coaching and feedback

Is this program right for me?  Please carefully consider the following:          

✓ Is my business idea clearly defined and viable based on current labor market information?
✓ Do I have the skills, certification, background and network to perform the business activities?
✓ Do I have the financial resources to start and sustain the business?
✓ Have I considered the lifestyle impact of self-employment?
✓ Do I have the need for the training and support from this Program?
✓ Do I have the ability and/or willingness to promote and sell?
✓ Am I fully committed to run this business?

Who qualifies for the Women Entrepreneurship Centre (WEC) program? You can apply if you’re:

• Applicant is the primary business owner(s)
• Cis and Trans Women and non-binary individuals over 18, not attending school
• Small business based in Southern Ontario
• Open to feedback and new ideas
• Open to provide regular constructive feedback to the program
• Ready to launch and grow your business.

Note: No franchise operations can apply, and no multi-level marketing businesses can apply.

PROGRAM UPDATE DURING COVID-19: There are no in-person workshops at this time.  Workshops are being held through Zoom.

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