I recently had a six month contract end, and I am out of work. I definitely have the number of required number of insurable hours needed to apply for EI, and since the reason for the end of employment was "other" (end of contract) I would imagine this makes me eligible since I would have been happy to stay if there was the work (funnily enough so would my employer have, but didn't have any more work for what he brought me in for). My question is whether I am still eligible if I decide to start up a business and find work that way. I expect that if I do this, I won't be making decent money for the first two to three months, and EI would be more than helpful while things get started. If after 3-4 months I haven't seen enough progress, I definite would be looking for employment again anyway.
If EI is unavailable with "full-time" self-employment, what happens if you both spend time looking for work as well as looking for self-employed business? Essentially, the availability of EI benefits will have a fair amount of impact in the decision I make regarding whether I look for self-employed work. Interestingly, this has the potential to be ironic. If self-employment precludes EI benefits it may prevent me from looking for self-employed work, which potentially could be more readily available and/or profitable than employment income.