Build Your Own Future Program

Business program for technicians & trades affected by mill closures.




Upcoming Dates: Houston, BC on May 29th and Chetwynd, BC on June 12th

These workshops  can be attended in-person OR online.  Inquire to learn more, or sign up here.

What is the Build Your Own Future Program?

The Build Your Own Future Program offers free business start-up workshops, a dedicated business coach, and up to $5,000 in grant funding, to help workers affected by mill closers and curtailments start their own businesses.  The program will be offered in-person at various locations and dates across several B.C. communities, as well through online video conferencing platforms.  

The program includes:

      • A 5-day (one week) “business foundations” workshop series,
      • Monthly ongoing coaching support through business start-up, and
      • Monthly 3-hour workshop over a seven month period.


Mill closures and curtailments are affecting workers more often and for longer periods.  The Build Your Own Future program from Innovation Central Society – Hubspace helps affected forestry workers to transition into building and operating a successful service business in their region or community.   

This program seeks to provide foundational business skills integrated with capacity skills to prepare the tradesperson or technician to build a successful business when affected by a mill closure or prolonged curtailments.

Using an expedited approach to business start-up, skilled workers will transition quickly into operating their own service business in their own community or region.  An additional benefit will be that participants who return to the work force will have a more business focussed mindset creating a more valuable employee.

How it works

The BYOF program includes training in core business skills to get you started, coaching & mentorship to guide you along the way, and a $5,000 grant to help offset your start-up costs.

1. Training

1 week of study and application of foundational business skills training (in person or online) will propel participants into action and to start their business.

The BYOF program will include training on topics such as: finances, marketing & sales, operations, project management, health & safety, customer service, leadership, diversity, and more. 

2. Coaching & Mentorship

Intense coaching and mentorship will be available throughout the first 3 months of launching their business, and continue as needed through the last 5 months of the program.

Participants will attend 7 capacity building workshops (one per month, in-person or online). Core business and capacity building skills will be integrated, diving deeper into core subjects; this will prepare participants to scale their business, develop further employment and set them up ongoing success. 

3. $5,000 Grant

Elgible participant will receive a $5,000 grant to help cover start-up costs. 

Half of this grant ($2,500) will be provided to program participants upon completion of their 5 day training session. Participants will receive the second half of this grant (and additional $2,500) upon completion of the program. This grant reimburses a wide range of business expenses, offsetting the costs encountered when starting a new company. 

Want to learn more?
Attend an upcoming info session

Info sessions will be held every Tuesday, from 12:30 to 1:00pm

Register for an info session here.

Upcoming info session dates:

  • May 30th, 12:30-1:00pm
  • June 5th, 12:30-1:00pm
  • June 12th, 12:30-1:00pm
  • June 19th, 12:30-1:00pm
  • June 26th, 12:30-1:00pm

  • July 4th, 12:30-1:00pm
  • July 11th, 12:30-1:00pm
  • July 18th, 12:30-1:00pm
  • July 25th, 12:30-1:00pm

Start building your own future, today.

If you’re interested in the Build Your Own Future Program, please fill out the form below. We’ll get in touch to provide you with the details and next steps for enrolment. Or, contact our office at (250) 563-2663 to speak to a staff member.

Are you currently on E.I.?

Ready to get started?
Register for the BYOF program today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of workers qualify for this program?

This program is for tradespeople and technicians. If you’re not sure whether you qualify, please contact us. Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. Call 250-563-2663 or email us at info@hubspace.ca .

Is there a cost to participating in the Build Your Own Future (BYOF) program?

This is a free program for eligible participants, thanks to funding from the Provincial Government of British Columbia.

Do I need to have my business idea concretely decided before starting this program?

Nope! This program will help you identify opportunity and find the best fit for your skills and training, while providing you with the business knowledge needed to succeed as an entrepreneur in that space.

How can this program help me?

This program will provide you with the resources, support, and training needed to help you launch your own business with confidence with a supportive team behind you.

Is this program open to the whole province?

Yes, tradespeople and technicians in any BC community that experiences a mill closure or extended curtailment qualify for this program.

What can I expect after I apply?

You can expect to hear back within 3-5 business days. Once you submit the BYOF application form, it will be reviewed by one of our staff. Please do not hesitate to reach out, if you wish to speak to a human. Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. Call 250-563-2663 or email us at info@hubspace.ca 

How long will this program last?

The program is currently funded until 2026; the duration of each cohort is 8 months.

Who is delivering the program?

The program is delivered by a team of Hubspace employees, program coaches, and mentors. 

What are the roles of coaches and mentors?

Coaches and mentors provide ongoing support and suggestions, help participants overcome adversity, and ensure the bigger picture is carefully considered throughout planning, launching, and scale-up.

What kind of training do mentors have?

Our Mentors have extensive experience in their respective industries. In addition to understanding their trade/respective skillset, they have experience in entrepreneurship and can guide participants through challenging real-world scenarios as they arise.

Who is eligible for this program?

Tradespeople and technicians who are directly affected by a closure or extended curtailment.

When do I get the grant?

Tradespeople and technicians who are directly affected by a closure or extended curtailment.

How long is the BYOF program?

The total program length is 8 months It begins with 5 days of intensive business training, followed by ongoing coaching and mentorship (as needed), and 7, 3hr capacity building workshops – one per month until program end.

How much of a time commitment is it?

8 hours a day for 5 days, 3 hours per monthly capacity building workshop (for a total of seven workshops), ongoing coaching (minimum 1 hour per month), and mentorship (as needed). Participants are required to spend time between workshops working on their business models and getting started in their industry at their own pace.


Is there a limit to the types of industries people can have their businesses in?

Yes, this program is specifically designed for tradespeople and technicians to start businesses, putting their existing technical skills to use in their community or region. If you have a question regarding the eligibility of your business idea, call us at 250-563-2663 or email us at info@hubspace.ca.


When is the next cohort and where will it be?

Our upcoming cohort date and location is posted on the top of the Build Your Own Future webpage (link here) and will be updated frequently. To register for an upcoming info session, scroll down on the BYOF webpage to access the link, or click here: Build Your Own Future – CLIENT APPLICATION (office.com)


Where can I go to learn more?

To register for an upcoming info session, scroll down on the BYOF webpage to access the link, or click here: Build Your Own Future – CLIENT APPLICATION (office.com). If you would like to speak with Hubspace staff, our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9 to 5; Call 250-563-2663 or email us at info@hubspace.ca


This Program Is Sponsored By:

Our Supporters.

We wouldn’t be where we are today without the generous support of our sponsors.