Our history

It started as a startup, for startups

Futurpreneur started with an imaginative and ambitious idea: filling a gap in the Canadian financial marketplace by providing financing, mentorship and business resources to young aspiring entrepreneurs with dreams of launching their businesses.

The history of Futurpreneur

Since 1996, Futurpreneur and our dedicated partners and team members have empowered over 18,700 young entrepreneurs, helping diverse Canadian startup founders’ creativity and aspirations become reality. These Futurpreneurs have made a difference in their communities and helped strengthen inclusive prosperity across the country.

At Futurpreneur, we are more committed than ever to empowering the next generation of young entrepreneurs across Canada as a key member of Canada’s incredible entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Starting out

In 1996, Futurpreneur, then known as The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), launched to support young entrepreneurs with foundational support from CIBC and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), with John Risley as our founding chair. Our first startup loans were provided to aspiring startup founders in London, Ontario.

Founding support from the government & BDC

We could not have the impact we do today without governmental support and our wonderful partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). In 2001, the Government of Canada contributed $7.5 million which enabled CYBF to expand its operations across the country. 

BDC began its partnership with CYBF in 2008 by matching its loans to eligible young entrepreneurs. Two years later BDC doubled their co-lend to $30,000 increasing the total loan to up to $45,000. When Futurpreneur increased their loan amount in 2019, BDC followed suit, bringing the total amount to up to $60,000.

Expanding our programs

In 2009, CYBF became the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), later becoming Canada’s annual host. One year later, CYBF hosted the inaugural G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit and continues to represent Canada as a founding member.

In 2011, CYBF and Spin Master launched the Spin Master Innovation Fund which later evolved into the Growth Accelerator. In 2016, we launched Rock My Business Plan, which later evolved into our 3-part series of “Rock My Business” workshops and awards.

Continuous growth & commitment to inclusive practices

Futurpreneur has gone from supporting 5,000 young entrepreneurs in 2012 to 18,700+ as of 2024. 

More recently in 2019, the federal government expanded its funding with $38 million, including new, dedicated support for Indigenous entrepreneurs. 

In 2018, the first entrepreneur in Nunavut was onboarded, marking our support of startup founders in every province and territory in Canada. 

In 2020, Futurpreneur provided financial and programming support to its entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19 and publicly announced its commitment to Diversity & Inclusion. In 2021, the Black Entrepreneur Startup Program was officially launched. 

We are looking forward to empowering even more young entrepreneurs in the coming years as we continue to help them reach their business dreams and drive inclusive Canadian prosperity.

Celebrating our success stories

We have collected a series of success stories celebrating our rich and diverse history and growth since our founding. These inspiring stories exemplify the hard work, perseverance, joys and challenges of our young entrepreneurs across Canada.

Futurpreneur really gave me a chance at my dream. They took me right on and they gave me a ‘yes’ when everyone else said ‘no…’ Futurpreneur really is a catalyst for young entrepreneurs that don’t have the means to get the loans from big banks and big institutions. Thank you, Futurpreneur!

Adesola Ogunsakin

The Retro Bag Canada


London, Ontario

The Futurpreneur loan […] I received when I first started Twenty One Toys, not only did it allow us to start our first production run of empathy toys, it gave me the confidence I needed to believe that even though I was a toy designer with no prior business experience, I was also allowed to be an entrepreneur.

Ilana Ben-Ari

Twenty One Toys


Toronto, Ontario

So many young entrepreneurs who are Indigenous can find it a bit daunting to approach an organization they don’t know much about, right? But, I tell them, Futurpreneur really made an effort. I felt my message and my business idea were very well-received. I got a lot of feedback, a lot of encouragement. I felt welcome.

Lorne Blesse Jr.

Kiwetin Clothing


John D’Or Prairie, Alberta

Futurpreneur gave me not only the funds to start my business – the company showed me support, guidance and direction. Having a mentor and all the connections I’ve made so far is helping me build my business in a healthy and consistent way.

Paulo Trindade

Paulo’s Cake Shop


Toronto, Ontario