Community futures Westman is offering a program to assist local youth interested in starting or growing a business.

Side Hustle is a microgrant program that provides up to $500 in a non repayable grant to the applicants to start a side hustle and test a business concept.

Community Futures Westman is a community-based, volunteer-driven organization that strengthens the economy of southwestern Manitoba by operating a Business Development Centre, and by cooperating with individuals, communities and other agencies to encourage community economic development.

Wendy Petersen is a community development analyst with Community Futures Westman and she says so far about 10 youth have applied.

“We’re really thankful to Community Futures Parkland for developing the program and now they're sharing it with us. They’ve had great success with the program and last year they had 35 young entrepreneurs come through the program.”

The program allows youth between the ages of 15 and 29 to present their ideas. “We’ve got youth doing everything from designs to computer building, power washing and a driving school. The application is a simple process and includes filling out a two page application.”

Petersen says the name of the program is appropriate and there's no shortage of youth wanting to get into business.

“Our youth is our future and I certainly see that when I’m seeing the applications. Many youth have a real passion when talking about what they’re doing with their business. We make them go through the proper process of starting a business and coming up with a business plan and thinking abut things like marketing.”

The goal of the program is to provide financial assistance while helping youth to take their business idea to the next level.

Application deadline is June 10th.