Hiring yourself
Fledgling program expected to be busy

Dane Gibson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 13/99) - The Self-employment Option Program may be able to assist former Giant mine workers who have a business idea of their own.

Akaitcho Business Development Corp. general manager, Cathy MacDonald, said their organization was contracted last April by Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) to manage the program.

"We have two levels of government and a community organization representing Dettah, Ndilo and Yellowknife working together to help businesses develop in the Yellowknife area," MacDonald said.

"Right now we anticipate an increase in clients due to the Giant closure. For us, that's exciting because our job is to help businesses start or expand by providing repayable loans, counselling, and business advice."

In order to qualify for the program, you must be on Employment Insurance (EI). Most of the 250 laid-off workers from Giant have applied for EI, which is why MacDonald expects to see their client list rise above the current number of 14.

MacDonald said they expect to see everything from people wanting to start consulting companies to construction and retail business ideas.

Once a person has met with ECE, they are often directed into the Self-employment Option Program. They then work with program co-ordinators to complete a business plan.

"In the advising stage of the process at the government level, it might be learned that a client has a business idea. If that's the case, their name is forwarded to us," MacDonald said.

"We then go through an assessment stage. We discuss the idea with Resources, Wildlife, and Economic Development and ECE, then make recommendations."

For more information about the program, contact the Akaitcho Business Development Corporation.