#110 - 198 East Island Hwy, Parksville, BC V9P 2H3      Tel. 250.248.3205   Fax. 250.248.4154


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Be Your Own Boss

The Self-Employment Program is oriented to individuals who have been unable to secure sustainable employment with their current technical and transferable skills, and it is determined that self-employment is the fastest and surest route to earning a sustainable income. The Career Centre administers the Self-Employment Program on behalf of WorkBC.

Prior to being accepted into the program, candidates must be referred by their Employment Consultant. Participants will have access to business coaching, entrepreneurial support and financial assistance while they develop and implement a business plan, creating their own employment opportunities.


Unemployed individuals may be eligible provided they:

  • live in the Parksville/Qualicum Beach area
  • be legally entitled to work in Canada
  • demonstrate access to capital or in-kind assets required to launch the business
  • be unemployed and receiving Employment Insurance (EI), OR
  • have received EI benefits in the past (reachback EI client or former EI claimant), OR
  • have earned more than $2,000 in insurable earnings and paid EI employee premiums on those earnings in at least 5 (consecutive or non-consecutive) of the last 10 years, OR
  • have received EI Maternity or Parental benefits that began in the past five years, OR
  • have BCEA PWD/PPMB designation, OR
  • have a general disability designation.

NOTE: Individuals who have quit their jobs cannot generally be approved for Self-Employment Services.

To be eligible for Self-Employment Services, your business proposal must be:

  • a new business, OR
  • an existing business in which you have had no prior ownership, AND
  • a business that will not result in putting another individual out of business.

NOTE: Individuals who have already implemented their business (e.g. have been advertising or providing revenue generating products or services) prior to approval for Self-Employment Services would be considered already self-employed and would not be eligible.


To be considered for Self-Employment Service, and as part of the Self-Employment Orientation and Assessment process, participants will demonstrate:

      • an entrepreneurial aptitude
      • sufficient product/service knowledge
      • experience related to their business concept
      • a business concept that is viable in the local labour market that will not negatively impact the community
      • a lack of entrepreneurial skills, training and/or experience.


While participating in the WorkBC Self-Employment Program administered by the Career Centre, individuals currently in receipt of EI may continue to receive their EI benefits, or a regionally determined rate, whichever is higher. Eligible individuals not currently in receipt of EI benefits will receive the regionally determined rate. Individuals may also be eligible for personal supports, such as dependent care while enrolled in the program. Participants may work part time in a position unrelated to the self-employment opportunity.


The video below has been prepared to help you explore the concept of self-employment and raises good questions you will benefit from asking yourself as you consider self-employment as a career option.

Contact Us

For further information about the Self-Employment program, please us at 250.248.3205.

Career Centre

#110-198 East Island Hwy,
Parksville, BC V9P 2H3
Tel. 250.248.3205
Fax. 250.248.4154

Mon-Tues 8:30am-4:30pm
Wed 8:30am-6:00pm
Thurs-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm

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Career Centre logo

#110-198 East Island Hwy
Parksville, BC V9P 2H3
Tel. 250.248.3205
Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8:30am-4:30pm