Self Employ PEI


Self Employ PEI is an employment program developed to help job seekers who want to launch their own business. This program provides financial support and business counseling to new entrepreneurs during their first year of operation. SkillsPEI offers Self Employ PEI information sessions for interested job seekers to find out more about the program.
Who is eligible to participate?

If you are unemployed and looking for full time employment you are eligible to apply.

• You must be legally authorized to work in Canada (Canadian citizen or permanent resident);
• You must have a current claim for Employment Insurance benefits; or
• Have a previous EI claim whose benefit period ended in the preceding 36 months; or
• Have a previous benefit period that began in the preceding 60 months, during which the individual was paid maternity or parental benefits, after which they left the labour market to care for a newborn or newly adopted child and are now seeking to re-enter the labor market;
• You must not currently be operating your own business ;
• Other criteria may apply.

How do I apply?

Please contact your local SkillsPEI office in order to attend an information session and meet with a Program Officer in order to complete an needs assessment and develop a Return-To-Work-Action-Plan in order to apply for the Self Employ PEI Program.  

To be approved, we will need the following:
• Self Employ Suitability Assessment questionnaire
• Return to Work Action Plan prepared by the Program Officer
• Application for funding for Self Employ PEI
• Detailed business plan
• Proof of investment or financing
• Resume
• SkillsPEI Consent Form

Your business plan must demonstrate that your business will provide the potential for long term viability. There are many types of eligible business that qualify for funding: manufacturing, food and beverage, information technology, trades, retail, etc.

Once you submit your completed application package, SkillsPEI will review your information. Once you receive confirmation that your application has been approved for the Self Employ PEI program, you can open your new business.

When is my application due?

There is no deadline for applications under the Self Employ PEI program as we accept applications on a year round basis.

How does the Program work?

During the first year you are in business you will devote a minimum of 35 hours each week to implement your business plan.

Each week you will receive a weekly living allowance or EI benefits, or a combination of the two. You may also be eligible for a $1000 consulting grant.

Where can I get more information?

You can visit our website at or call SkillsPEI’s General Inquiries Line at 1-877-491-4766 or visit one of the SkillsPEI Offices

Delivered by the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning and funded in whole or part through the Canada-PEI Labour Market Agreements


Business Plan Worksheet

Self Employ PEI Individual Application

Financial Templates