Enterprise Co-op

An Enterprise Co-op pitch winner with her cheque

Waterloo is world-renowned for its strength in innovation and co-operative education. A signature program at Waterloo, Enterprise Co-op (E Co-op) allows students to pursue an entrepreneurial co-op option in which students start their own business while earning a co-op credit.

After graduation, E Co-op students continue with their venture, begin a new one, or use their E Co-op know-how to obtain employment. E Co-op is a great experience that builds business knowledge, capabilities, and independence that employers value.

Application deadline notice

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis within posting cycles every term. The final application deadline is the last month of each term for consideration to join the next term: 

  • Fall term: August
  • Winter term: December
  • Spring term: April

Who should apply?

Have you been thinking about a new business concept? Whether it's no-tech, low-tech, high-tech, service, consulting, or more. If you have an idea you want to take to market and have the passion to build your venture, E Co-op may be for you. We are looking for students with:

  • a well-formulated idea
  • a strong understanding of the target market
  • the drive to excel as an entrepreneur

E Co-op is open to co-op students from all faculties at the University of Waterloo: Arts, Engineering, Environment, Mathematics, Science and Health.

How does it work?

As an E Co-op student, you’ll enter the program during a work term with a business idea and the drive to turn it into a business. Over your term, you’ll receive ongoing mentoring and feedback on your business development. You’ll be part of an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports and propels students to succeed. You will have:

  • a wide network of mentors, entrepreneurs, and professionals
  • the opportunity to apply for the Norman Esch Enterprise Co-op Awards
  • practical workshops and seminars to help you build your business
  • access to conference passes, distinguished guest speakers, and presentation

Want to get even more out of your Enterprise Co-op experience?

Our limited-enrollment BET 300 and BET 400 courses are only available to students who are committed to starting a venture through E Co-op, Concept, or on their own.

Remote video URL

E Co-op student testimonials

The Enterprise Co-op program was a truly valuable experience for my studio as it helped me legitimatize my side hobby into a fully-fledged business. The program provided numerous resources that taught me what it takes to take a business off the ground and has played a pivotal role in bringing in clients and design work.

NILOJAN JEGATHEESWARAN, Founder at studio nil, Architecture Student

Enterprise Co-op has been full of relevant workshops, tailored resources, experienced mentorship and most of all, like-minded individuals who share the same journey and struggles of entrepreneurship. The E Co-op program has helped me accelerate my business faster than I could have expected.

SAM DUGAN, Founder at VS Technologies, Mechatronics Engineering Student

E Co-op lets you build your idea. It gave me the freedom to prove myself wrong, the resources to find new paths forward, and connected me to a community of peers equally dedicated to improvement.

JACKSON MILLS, Co-founder of Zero Experience, Computer Science Student