Funding Small Business 2022: Available Opportunities
One of the major challenges faced by small business owners is obtaining the funding they require. Fortunately, there are many sources to turn to and several programs that can offer assistance when you need a small business grant, even if finding the right ones might be another challenge of its own.
What Are Canadian Small Business Grants?
For many, funding will be found in the form of standard government loans for small businesses. They may also seek capital from banks, turn to venture capital firms, or have a private investor who can provide financial backing. Another alternative, however, is to apply for Canadian small business grants.
Grants are typically non-repayable funds provided for a specific purpose. In this case, funding small businesses. Don’t be fooled by the term “non-repayable” however, because this is not meant to imply that it is free money, as we will discuss.
Grants provide you with funding that doesn’t require the accumulation of debt or giving up a stake in your company, but there are several things that you should be aware of prior to making any applications:
- They Come With Restrictions: Because grants are awarded for a specific purpose, they are restrictive. Not only will you have to meet eligibility, but there also will be requirements outlining which costs they can be used to cover.
- Applications Take Time: Receiving a grant is not a speedy process—the application process is rigid and they require time to process. When making your application, you need to not only be very thorough but also find a way to stand out from the many other applicants. Applications can take months of planning and hours of writing.
- The Response Time is Often Slow: Even after all the time and effort put into making your application, your work is not done; now you have the difficult job of waiting patiently. Weeks or months may pass before you hear anything.
- There is Significant Competition: Because grants are widely sought after, there is a great deal of competition and you may be up against others who have more experience with the process and have perfected their application skills.
- They Come With Strings Attached: As mentioned above, grants have various requirements, often coming with a contingency to supplement the grant with matching funds or a loan. You will be contractually bound to abide by the conditions of the grant, meaning that you will only be awarded the grant if the government feels that your goals are aligned with theirs. You will often have paperwork and reports to submit so that the government can track the use of the funds, ensuring that you are adhering to your obligations.
How to Get a Small Business Grant in Canada
Because funding programs often have strict policies regarding who can receive funds and what those funds can be used for, you will need to create a detailed business plan to include with your application.
When you find a grant that matches your needs, carefully read all of the fine print in the application guidelines. You can also contact the local government representative specified in the grant documents and they can confirm whether your company meets the requirements.
You may be required to provide the funding body with a statement of intent, which is a brief outline of what your company does and why you believe you should receive funding. This is used by the funding body to determine whether you should apply for the grant. If not, they can save you time by informing you that you are not an appropriate candidate.
Available Opportunities For Funding Small Business 2022
Here is a list of grant opportunities for small- and medium-sized enterprises for your consideration.
- Canada Media Fund (CMF): Experimental Stream. Provides funding for businesses developing Canadian interactive digital media, offering funding up to 75% of the project’s eligible costs.
- Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC). A program offering up to $150,000 in support to develop a proof of concept.
- SDTC Tech Fund. Supports pre-commercial projects dealing with environmental issues such as climate change, clean air, and clean soil.
- CanExport SMEs. Support for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) registered in Canada to develop export opportunities.
- Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) Soft Landing Program. For mature technology startups, to open new markets, close international sales, and connect with new partners abroad.
- Environment and Climate Change Funding Programs. Offers funding for non-profit organizations. Funding projects include Climate Action and Awareness Fund, Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund, Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk, and many others.
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Provides funding for health research.
- Canada Council for the Arts. Distributes grants to non-profit arts organizations.
- Canada-Ontario Job Grant. For those wishing to invest in short-term training for existing and new employees.
- Canada Summer Jobs. Provides wage subsidies to employers with fewer than 50 employees to create summer work experiences for those ages 15-30.
- Housing Internship for First Nation and Inuit Youth. Provides financial aid to assist First Nations and Inuit businesses and organizations creating housing-related internships for youth.
- Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). Funds entrepreneurs who are starting, expanding, or modernizing their business.
- Women Entrepreneur Fund (WEF). Designed to help women grow their small businesses and develop new global opportunities.
- The Women in Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund. For non-profit organizations. Intended to “strengthen capacity within the entrepreneurship ecosystem and close gaps in service for women entrepreneurs.”
- Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada Grants. Supports research and discussion on Canada’s relationship with Asia.
- Community Support for Black Canadian Youth Initiative. Provides funding to businesses and non-profit organizations that support black Canadian youth. Funding is available for several projects such as mentorships, developing programs, skill development, and more.
- CGLCC LBBT+ Youth Entrepreneur Program. Aims to empower LGBTQ youth between the ages of 18 and 39, providing support in the creation of their own business.
- Cartier Women’s Initiative (CWI). Assists female entrepreneurs who lead businesses with the potential for significant growth.
- FedEx Canada Small Business Grant Contest. Annual small business grant contest providing small businesses with support and financial resources.
- Telus Business Solutions $100,000 Grant Contest. Annual nationwide business pitch contest. Winners can use the money to accelerate the growth of their business.
One or more of these opportunities may prove suitable for your business and others exist on the Government of Canada website.
You may wish to consider hiring grant writers like us, who have the knowledge and experience to substantially improve your chances of submitting a successful application. Obtaining a grant can be a great way to help establish or grow your business, even if the process is lengthy and occasionally difficult.