Employ To Empower



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The Program. 

Residents in the Downtown Eastside who complete our Development program have the opportunity to join our Entrepreneurship program. Entrepreneurs in the program are supported by business professionals through personalized weekly mentorship sessions and have access to affordable microloans. Our goal is for our entrepreneurs to have a long-term sustainable economic effect on our members.

What You Get. 

Your Own Mentor

Low Rate Microloans

Business Development

Press Assistance

About Our Micro Loans. 

We understand that running a business costs money and sometimes it can be hard to afford what you need. We passionately believe in providing a hand up through microloans.

All members enrolled in Employ To Empower’s Entrepreneurship program have access to microloans ranging between $500 and $10,000, at a preferred interest rate of 5%.

Our Current Loan Rate.

Our Current Members.

Deirdre Pinnock


Deirdre Pinnock is a talented rughooker, ardent mental health advocate, aspiring entrepreneur, and self-identified woman of colour based in Vancouver, BC. Deirdre is passionate about fusing vivid colours, playfulness, and therapeutic qualities in her many pieces of creative work.

Sage Bullick


Sage Bullick is a capable and diverse artist, who identifies as being a “light bringer” and endeavours to spread joy and happiness, and promote genuine human interaction through her artistic pursuits. Sage is passionate about making wearable ears inspired by the fantasy world, as a means of expressing her emotions through creativity.

Am I Eligible? 

Our Entrepreneurship program gives you access to free, weekly business mentorship, as well as affordable microloans. To be eligible to join this program, you must have completed our Development course. The following requirements also apply:

Personal Requirements

  • Be a motivated entrepreneur 
  • Have photo ID
  • Have an address in Canada
  • Self-identify as an individual who has experienced mental health and/or substance use in the Downtown Eastside
  • Be unable to access traditional bank financing for a small business
  • Reside in Canada
  • Be a Canadian citizen/permanent citizen
  • Filed taxes for the previous year
  • Have a Notice of Assessment

Business Requirements

Have a business idea and proven track record of sales. No need to be incorporated.

Program Requirements

  • Must complete ETE  development courses. Must have access to internet. 
  • Must agree with terms of our Community Agreement
    • Weekly commitment with your business mentor / Cannot miss more than three meetings.
  • Must make weekly commitment to your business mentor

Have Questions?

Contact us for answers or to sign up for our services! We're always available to provide you with support.

Contact Us