The Business Works program assisted qualified participants to start a business by evaluating business ideas and assessing suitability for self-employment; providing advice and support (business coaching and workshops) in developing and implementing business plans; and providing temporary financial support through to business implementation.

The program assisted 517 eligible individuals on Central Vancouver Island (Nanaimo, Duncan, Parksville and surrounding areas) to develop and start (business implementation) a business by evaluating their business idea and assessing their suitability for self-employment. Where the business idea was assessed was viable, business coaches provided advice and support to the client in developing and implementing a business, including directing the client to specialized business expertise or training where required or helping the client obtain sources of business financing. Business Coaches provided coaching and mentoring after business start-up and mentoring was offered by individuals in the communities to accelerate the growth of high-performing businesses.

Many of these businesses are still doing well today.