Small Business Advice

Navigating Small Business Grants in Canada

A tiny proportion – only 4% – of small business government grant applications are declined, but small business owners nevertheless underestimate the value and availability of these funds. So, to help you access the financial assistance you need, here we’re going to introduce you to the wonderful world of grants.

Source: Calgary Chamber of Commerce

Understanding Funding Types

Before we dive into the many different grants available to small businesses in Canada, we have to touch on the different types of funding available to businesses:

  • Grants (federal, provincial, municipal, and private)
  • Business loans
  • Other types of business financing
  • Governmental tax incentives
  • Other financial incentive schemes

Here we’re going to focus on government grants specifically, but it should be noted that small business owners have many options, each with unique advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your research to find out what will work best for your company’s needs.

What Is A Grant?

A grant is a financial award given out by any entity (government, private or charitable) to any institution or business, without expectation of repayment. Grants typically have strict eligibility criteria and specific application processes; many come with terms relating to how funds can be used, and on reporting. Some even have application fees. But the crucial difference between a grant and a loan is that grant funds never have to be repaid.

Notable Small Business Grants in Canada

As we discuss below, there are a plethora of small business grants available throughout Canada – both provincial and nationwide. Below we have highlighted just three of the most commonly used by small businesses, in three different key areas:

Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)

Digital adoption is a key issue for businesses of all types, so to help small-to-medium sized businesses in their efforts to remain relevant, this federal grant offers funding up to $15,000. There are two separate categories of funding under the program: “Grow Your Business Online”, and “Boost Your Business Technology”. The only eligibility requirements are that companies must have at least one employee, be in Canada, and have been incorporated for more than one year. For more on this grant, see here.

Canada Job Grant (CJG)

Small businesses needing to hire new or train existing employees may be eligible for financial assistance to do so via this program. Anywhere from 50% to 100% of costs (up to a maximum of $15,000 per individual) is available. Although the grant is available in every province and territory except Quebec, each region’s program is managed separately and has slightly different eligibility rules and funding maximums, so check out the CJG site specific to your location for more info and to apply.


For businesses looking to develop new export opportunities, up to $50,000 is available to help offset sales and marketing costs. Any small and medium-sized business incorporated in Canada and with revenue between $100,000 and $100 million can apply. That’s a pretty big range, meaning the vast majority of Canadian businesses are eligible for this program, aimed at supporting growth. 

A Comprehensive List of Canadian Business Grants

There are several hundred business grants currently available in Canada; you can see all in the table below, and search by geography and funding intent to find those that are relevant for you:

NameRegionMaximum Grant AmountCategoryDescription
Export Support FundAlberta$20,000Business ExpansionHelps reduce the cost of attending trade shows in new export markets
Access up to 50% of costs to a maximum $20,000 per application
Industry Commercialization Associate Program (ICAP)Alberta$120,000Business ExpansionSupports hiring an associate to perform technical commercialization activities
Up to $120,000 per eligible applicant
International Technology Partnership Program (ITP)Alberta$250,000Business ExpansionSupports Canadian SMEs in commercializing new product
Eligible applicants can receive up to $250,000 per application
Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA)Alberta$2.85 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports innovative technology projects, as well as infrastructure upgrades for Alberta businesses through funding programs and support services
Up to 50% of costs to a maximum $2.85 million in funding
ESB – Expanded Technologies Pilot Program (ETP)Alberta$250,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports small and medium-sized industrial and commercial businesses in reducing emissions and operating costs, growing their operations, and becoming more competitive.
Receive up to 50% of costs up to $250,000 in funding.
SCAP – Efficient Grain Handling ProgramAlberta$100,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports grain handling components and equipment that offer significant improvements over standard practices.
Access up to 50% of eligible costs up to maximum $100,000.
SCAP – Emerging Opportunities Grant ProgramAlberta$2 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionContributes to the Government of Alberta’s strategic objectives to grow and develop Alberta’s value-added agriculture sector.
Access up to 50% of costs to a maximum $2 million per application.
SCAP – Farm Technology ProgramAlberta$48,000Capital/Tech AdoptionEncourages farmers to adopt innovative technologies that minimize agricultural waste, maximize farm efficiency, and ensure farm security.
Access 50% up to maximum of $48,000 for eligible farm technology expenses, and up to 50% up to max, of $2,000 for eligible farm security expenses.
SCAP – Value-Added ProgramAlberta$250,000Capital/Tech AdoptionInvests in projects that expand market opportunities, increase company sales, and create jobs in Alberta’s value-added food and bioindustry processors.
Access up to $250,000 in funding support.
Agriculture Labour Task Force Grant Program (ALTF)Alberta$40,000Hiring/TrainingSupports recruiting, hiring, and retaining workers in the agriculture and agri-food industry
Access up to 80% of costs to a maximum $40K per eligible project
Alberta Aviation Skills Grant (ASG)Alberta$3 millionHiring/TrainingEmployers in the aviation industry can offset training costs to help fill jobs, address skills gaps, and support the expansion of Alberta’s aviation and aerospace workforce.
Access up to a maximum of $3 million per application.
Industry R&D Associates ProgramAlberta$67,500Hiring/TrainingSupports hiring an associate to perform technical research and development activities
Level 1 – Up to $52,500 annual stipend. Level 2 – Up to $67,500 annual stipend. Additional Expense Allowance of $7,000 annually
Accelerating Innovations Into CareAlberta$150,000R&DSupports the commercialization of health tech via collaborations of Alberta SMEs and public health providers
Up to 50% project expenses to a maximum $150,000 contribution
Agri-Food and Bioindustrial Innovation Program (ABIP)Alberta$500,000R&DSupports the R&D of tech that provides solutions to the agri-food and bio-industrial sectors
Up to 75% of total eligible costs to a maximum of $500,000.
Alberta Innovates: Industry Commercialization Associates ProgramAlberta$120,000R&DOffsets a portion of costs related to hiring an associate to perform technical commercialization activities.
Receive up to 75% to max. of $120,000 of the associate’s salary.
Alberta Innovates: Voucher ProgramAlberta$100,000R&DSupports Alberta businesses by offseting a portion of costs related to technology development and building a working prototype
Access vouchers to offset $10,000 to $100,000 in products or services received to accelerate technology development projects
Alberta Media FundAlberta$200,000R&DSupports organizations and individuals developing screen-based media, scripts, books, magazines, and sound recordings
Up to 18%-50% of eligible costs covered to a maximum $20k-$200k, depending on funding stream
Product Demonstration ProgramAlberta$150,000R&DSupports businesses located in Alberta that have commercialization-ready, innovative technology in a variety of fields.
Receive up to 50% to maximum of $150,000.
Product Demonstration ProgramAlberta$300,000R&DSupporting commercialization-ready tech in the industries of energy, nanotechnology, health, and more
Grants covering up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $300,000
Business Scale-up and Productivity Program – British ColumbiaBritish Columbia$5 millionBusiness ExpansionHelps businesses with high growth potential to adopt/adapt innovative technologies that support productivity, grow operations, and increase exports to global markets.
Access repayable funding for up to 50% of eligible project expenses to a maximum $5 million.
CleanBC Customs Program – Energy Study Incentive StreamBritish Columbia$20,000Capital/Tech AdoptionReduces GHG emissions from fuel-switching and other electrification measures to result in fossil fuel reductions.
Covers up to 50% of an energy study’s cost, up to a maximum of $20,000.
Commercial Vehicle Pilots Program (CVP)British Columbian/aCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports both deploying early market ZEVs and installing charging/fueling infrastructure, as well as collecting and sharing data on their projects.
Receive up to 33% of total project costs for eligible vehicle and infrastructure costs.
Food Processing Growth Fund (FPG)British Columbia$1 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionAims to increase food production and economic growth in B.C. by helping established B.C. food-processing businesses expand and evolve.
Up to $1 million in Cost-Share Funding.
British Columbia’s Project Feasibility Studies ProgramBritish Columbian/aR&DSupports the completion of feasibility studies related to emission-reducing projects for B.C. Reporting Operations.
Total funding is less than or equal to 75% of the proposal’s budget of eligible expenses.
Regional Quantum Initiative (RQI) in British ColumbiaBritish Columbian/aR&DHelps companies develop and market quantum products and solutions for domestic and international markets.
Access up to 90% of total project costs with no official maximum allotment announced.
AgriAssurance: SME StreamCanada$50,000Business ExpansionSupports businesses to meet certification standards in the agricultural and agri-food sector
Up to 50% to a maximum $50,000 in non-repayable government funding
Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF)Canada$1 millionBusiness ExpansionThe Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) is designed to support communities that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
CCRF will be delegating up to a maximum of $750,000 – $1 million in government funding to cover up to 75% of total expenses for a project
Canada Media Fund: Experimental StreamCanada$1.5 millionBusiness ExpansionSupports developing, producing, and promoting innovative, interactive software development projects including apps and video games
Up to $15k-$1.5M per project phase in grants
Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification ProgramCanada$700,000Business Expansionoffers a process through which the Government of Canada assumes financial risk, responsibility, and provides compensation for damage or losses to objects and appurtenances in eligible travelling exhibitions.
Receive up to $700K in Indemnification Coverage.
CanExport SMEsCanada$50,000Business ExpansionSupports global expansion projects including participation in trade shows and government-led trade missions
Up to 50% to a max $50,000 in grants
Commemorate Canada ProgramCanada$10,000Business ExpansionProvides support for initiatives that commemorate and/or celebrate historical figures, places, events, and accomplishments of national significance through funding.
Receive up to 100% of costs or up to $10K in grants.
Creative Export Canada – Export Development StreamCanada$90,000Business ExpansionOffers funding for new and early-stage exporters to build capacity and expand into international markets.
Up to 75% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $90,000 per fiscal year.
Creative Export Canada – Export Ready StreamCanada$2.5 millionBusiness ExpansionOffers funding for projects that generate export revenues and help Canadian Creative Industries reach more people around the world.
Access up to 75% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $2.5M in government contribution.
Creative Export Canada (CEC)Canada$500,000Business ExpansionSupports commercialization of technology and/or productivity improvements of businesses
Access up to 50% of costs to a maximum $500,000 per collaboration
DELIA – NCFDCCanada$15,000Business ExpansionIs a microloan fund for all Canadian Women entrepreneurs in need of funding support for start up, stabilizations and expansion.
Up to $15,000 in low-interest loan support
Museums Assistance Program (MAP)Canada$280,000Business ExpansionOffers support to workers, collections, skills, and more for museums, heritage institutions, and Indigenous communities.
Receive up to 70% of 400K in funding support.
SCAP – AgriMarketingCanada$10 millionBusiness ExpansionProgram will support national agricultural sectors to increase and diversify exports.
Up to 50% of eligible costs to a max. of $10M over 5 yrs (max. $2M/yr) in non-repayable funding.
Social Enterprises – Investment Readiness ProgramCanada$75,000Business ExpansionIs designed to assist social purpose organizations in their efforts to sell goods or services for revenue while achieving positive social, cultural, or environmental results.
Up to $75,000 in Loan Funding Support.
Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP)Canadan/aBusiness ExpansionDesigned to strengthen the competitiveness, innovation, and resilience of the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products industriesin Canada.
Funding varies by program.
Western Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) ProgramCanada$10 millionBusiness ExpansionHelps businesses with high growth potential adopt/adapt innovative technologies that support productivity and export expansion
Access up to 50% of costs to a maximum $5M per application and $10M per applicant
Women Ecosystem Fund (WEF)Canada$3 millionBusiness ExpansionSupports projects that will provide business supports for women entrepreneurs and strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Canada.
Up to $3M in funding for Canadian not-for-profit organizations or associations.
Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative (ARRI)Canada$10 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionDesigned to transition the Canadian aerospace sector into a leader on the global stage
Up to $10M per project repayable and non-repayable grants
African Swine Flu: Welfare Slaughter and Disposal StreamCanada$1 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionThe Welfare Slaughter and Disposal Stream funds regional preparation for welfare slaughter and disposal.
85% of total eligible costs, up to $1M over 3 years for eligible applicants (60% of costs for government applicants).
Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage – Local Festivals ProgramCanada$200,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports local groups for recurring festivals that present the work of local artists, artisans, or heritage performers.
Access up to 100% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $200,000.
Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF)Canada$7.5 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionSupport for projects that improve the physical condition of arts and heritage collaboration, creation, presentation, and exhibition spaces
Up to 50% to $500k-$15M depending on the project type. Up to 75% for rural and underserved communities
Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)Canada$15,000Capital/Tech AdoptionDesigned to support small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that need to make digital adoptions in their businesses to be able to remain competitive in this new digital age.
Up to 90% of eligilbe costs up to $15,000 grant
Canada Growth FundCanadan/aCapital/Tech AdoptionWill help Canada secure the significant private capital it needs to accelerate the deployment of technologies needed to reduce carbon emissions and grow its economy.
Funding amounts soon to be released.
Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP)Canada$1 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports business growth through business loans with competitive interest rates
Up to $1M for business expansion activities
Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) – Smart Farms ProgramCanadan/aCapital/Tech AdoptionProvides help for convergence of agriculture, equipment manufacturing and technology into real-world application.
Up to 40% of the total eligible supported expenses.
Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program (CASPP)Canada$1 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports projects that help the agricultural industry mitigate emerging issues and capitalize on opportunities
Up to 50% to a maximum of $1M in grants
Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities ProgramCanadan/aCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports project proposals that contribute to a variety or clean energy projects for rural and remote Canadian communities.
This program has no maximum funding amount.
DIGITAL – Horizon AI’s Technology CommercializationCanada$5 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionThe Horizon AI’s Technology Commercialization will co-invest in the early stages of commercialization and adoption of 10-15 projects
Up to 50% of costs to a maximum of $5M in Canadian government funding
DIGITAL – Technology Leadership Program (Cycle 6)Canada$7 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionDIGITAL has a Call for Proposals open for Technology Leadership (Cycle 6) to co-invest in 10-15 projects
Up to $7M in Artificial Intelligence (AI) Funding.
Digital Supercluster Technology Leadership FundingCanadan/aCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports Canadian companies that will create new technology products, platforms and services, and scale-up through customer adoption and new commercial opportunities.
Funding amounts vary from project.
Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration (EVID) ProgramCanada$3 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports demonstrations of next-generation and innovative electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure
Up to 50% of eligible project expenses and offers $250k – $3M in funding
GIFMP’s Energy Efficiency Solutions (EES) StreamCanada$20 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionHelps businesses implement energy efficiency and energy management strategies that optimize energy efficiency, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, and competitiveness.
Up to 100% of total eligible implementation costs to a max. of $20M for provincial-territorial and other governments.
GIFMP’s Industrial Facility track (IFT)Canada$10 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionAssists industrial facilities implement energy efficiency and energy management solutions.
Access up to 50% to a maximum of $10 million; the minimum funding contribution is $40,000.
Green and Inclusive Community Buildings ProgramCanadan/aCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports green and accessible retrofits, repairs or upgrades of existing public community buildings, and the construction of new publicly-accessible community buildings.
Receive up to $50% of costs for $10 million or more projects
Green Freight Program (GFP): Stream 1 – Assess and RetrofitCanada$250,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports Third-Party Fleet Energy Assessments and Truck/Trailer Equipment Retrofits.
Receive up to $50% of costs to $250,000 in grants
Green Municipal FundCanada$175,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports municipalities demonstrating an innovative solution or approach to environmental issues
Up to $175,000 to cover up to 80% of eligible costs for all three study streams
NGen Advanced Manufacturing ProjectsCanadan/aCapital/Tech AdoptionDesigned to accelerate commercialization and scale-up in the Canadian manufacturing sector.
Funding will vary by applicant.
NGen AI For Manufacturing ChallengeCanada$2.8 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports projects that build advanced manufacturing capacity in Canada and enhance the commercialization of AI and machine learning innovations.
Receive up to 35% of $8M in funding support.
NGen Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Value Chain ProgramCanada$2.96 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionFocuses on manufacturing scale-up along the ZEV value-chain, specifically on BEVs, FCEVs, and their components.
Receive up to $2.96M, you can receive non-repayable funding for 37% of your eligible project expenses.
Plant-Based Protein AI Project FundingCanadan/aCapital/Tech AdoptionAims to meet the need for new tools and technologies that utilize AI to help grow Canada’s plant based food, feed and ingredients ecosystem.
Funding Support for Plant-Based Protein AI Projects.
Plant-Based Protein Innovation Capacity Building FundingCanadan/aCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports Canadian plant-based forward-thinking companies and organizations to develop projects that will transform our industry and help realize Canada’s agri-food potential.
Access up to $50% of project costs in funding support.
Plant-Based Protein Innovation Technology FundingCanada$50% ofCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports Canadian businesses in the plant-based protein industry improve their technological systems, data, artificial intelligence, and more to improve efficiencies in the industry.
Access up to $50% of project costs in funding support.
Poultry and Egg On-Farm Investment Program (PEFIP)Canadan/aCapital/Tech AdoptionHelps supply-managed poultry and egg producers adapt to market changes
Covers 70-85% of eligible costs in grant funding
Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program (REDIP)Canada$1 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionSupporting rural economic development projects for capacity building, economic diversification, and more.
Funding varies by stream up to 80% of costs to a maximum of $1 million in funding contributions.
Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)Canada$10 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports projects that drive sustained productivity and economic benefits
Submit a project budget of at least $20M and access up to 50% of eligible costs
Supply Management Processing Investment Fund (SMPIF)Canada$5 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports the impacts of international trade agreements on processors in the agri-food sector
Receive up to 50% of costs to a max. of $5 million
Women Entrepreneurship Strategy – Ecosystem FundCanada$3 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionAims to increase women-owned businesses’ access to the financing, talent, networks and expertise they need to start up, scale up and access new markets.
Receive a non-repayable contribution up to $3 million, defined based on scope and impact of project.
Zero Emission Transit FundCanada$350 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionDelivers on the government’s commitment to produce 5,000 zero emission buses over the next five years.
Receive up to $350M in zero emission project funding.
Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI)Canada$300,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports projects that address knowledge gaps among Canadians on ZEV technologies to move forward to ZEV adoption
Up to 50% of total project costs, with a maximum contribution amount $300,000 per project
Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVI)Canada$5 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionDesigned to increase a network of zero-emission vehicle charging and refuelling stations in more localized areas where Canadians live, work, and play
Up to 50% of costs to a maximum of $5M in Canadian government funding
AgriDiversityCanada$200,000Hiring/TrainingDesigned to help organizations with projects that build agricultural leadership and entrepreneurial capacity among under-represented groups.
Access up to 70% of eligible project expenses which may amount to a maximum $200k
Canada Job Grant (CJG)Canadan/aHiring/TrainingDesigned to reduce the costs of providing third-party skills training to new and existing employees
Up to 50-100% of eligible costs covered in most provinces
Canada Summer JobsCanada$300,000Hiring/TrainingSupport for employers providing supervised career-related work experience for youth employees
Up to 50% of employee minimum hourly rate; Non-profits can receive grants up to 100% of minimum wage plus Mandatory Employment Related Costs (MERCs); Amount is capped at a max $300K per employer/province or territory. Maximum 40 hours/week/employee can be included.
Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives ProgramCanada$1 millionHiring/TrainingHelps Canadian communities confront discrimination by funding new opportunities, discussions, and research to bring together Canada’s diverse cultures and religions.
Up to $1 million in government funding.
Digital Supercluster Capacity Building ProgramCanadan/aHiring/TrainingSupports Canadian businesses by co-investing in projects that help Canadians develop the skills, leadership and opportunities needed to grow innovative digital enterprises.
Funding amounts vary from project to project.
MitacsCanadan/aHiring/TrainingSupport businesses, nonprofits, municipalities, and hospitals by providing funding and connecting them with highly trained researchers.
Funding varies by program.
Mitacs AccelerateCanada$7,500Hiring/TrainingPairs businesses with Masters, PhD and PDF interns to overcome innovation challenges
Matching funds from Mitacs up to $7,500 per 4-6 month internship unit
Palette Skills – Upskill Canada ProgramCanadan/aHiring/TrainingWill support and fund partners in developing short-cycle programs (4 to 16 weeks) that combine specialized technical training, general business training, and interpersonal skills development across key economic sectors.
Up to 70% of the total eligible costs.
Skills Development Fund – Capital StreamCanadan/aHiring/TrainingGrant funding for the building and updating of skilled trades centres to address the challenges of the labour market shortage in Ontario.
There is no maximum funding amount for this program.
Women in Skilled Trades InitiativeCanada$3 millionHiring/TrainingSupports projects that recruit, retain, and help women apprentices succeed in 1 or the 39 eligible Red Seal Trades.
Up to $3M in funding for Canadian not-for-profits, for-profits, unions, and more.
Youth Employment Program (IRAP)Canada$30,000Hiring/TrainingDesigned to assist funding of hiring young Canadian post-secondary graduates
Provides up to $30,000 per graduate (up to two) for a period of 6 to 12 months
Accessible Technology Program (ATP)Canada$4 millionR&DSupports the development and testing of assistive technologies
Up to $4M per project/year in non-repayable grants
Agricultural Clean Technology Program (ACT)Canada$3.75 millionR&DSupports research, development and adoption of clean technologies through investments and promotion of agri-based bioproducts
Access up to 50-75% of costs to a maximum $5M project
AgriInnovateCanada$10 millionR&DSupports businesses to commercialize and/or adopt innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes or services
Access up to 50% of project expenses to a maximum of $10 million per application
Canadian Food Innovation Network (CFIN)Canada$2 millionR&DThe Canadian Food Innovation Network’s (CFIN) program is designed to support smart product and process development, food ecosystem sustainability, and agile and safe supply chains.
Up to 50% of eligible expenses or up to $2M in cost matching funds per application.
Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP)Canada$175,000R&DSupports municipalities demonstrating an innovative solution or approach to environmental issues
Up to $175,000 to cover up to 80% of eligible costs for all three study streams
CFIN FoodTech Next ProgramCanada$250,000R&DSupports early-stage Canadian technology firms who seek to be part of or sell to the wider food industry.
Covers up to 50% costs to a max of $250,000 costs.
Clean Fuels Awareness (CFA) ProgramCanada$300,000R&DFunds innovative projects that address knowledge gaps among Canadians on clean fuel technologies.
Receive up to $300,000 in Grant Funding.
Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) – National Research Council (NRC)Canada$10 millionR&DDesigned to accelerate the research and development projects of Canadian innovators
Access up to 60-80% of costs to a maximum $10M per application
Innovation for Defence and Security Program (IDEaS)Canada$1.2 millionR&DSupports pre-commercial military and defence technologies that have the potential to address current challenges faced by Canada’s Armed Forces
Access up to $1.2M for initial R&D. Fully-developed solutions may access up to $20M through a procurement program
Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC)Canada$150,000R&DHelps startups and small businesses overcome technology development hurdles so that they can produce globally-demanded products and services
Up to $150k for proof of concept projects, and up to $1M for prototype development, and may also be awarded a government contract
Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) ProgramCanada$20 millionR&DSupporting clean technologies in the forest industry during the COVID-19 pandemic
Applicants can receive 50% of eligible costs up to $20M for the general stream of the program, $1M for the small business stream, and $500K for the studies project stream
Matching Investment Fund (MIF)Canada$150,000R&DSupports Canadian dairy companies with funding to assist in the development of product initiatives that help grow the business for milk and dairy ingredients.
Up to $150K in fund matching.
Mitacs ElevateCanada$30,000R&DSupports industry and academic parterships to solve current issues through innovative means
Receive up to $30,000 from Mitacs
NGen Manufacturing ProgramCanadan/aR&DSupporting technology development that will help Canadian manufacturers compete globally
Grants up to 44.4% of eligible expenses with no limit on project size
NSERC AllianceCanada$1 millionR&DSupporting collaborative R&D projects between Canadian businesses and universities
Up to $1,000,000 in grant funding per year
Protein Industries CanadaCanadan/aR&DSupporting collaborative product or process research, technology development, and export market development projects related to expanding Canada’s plant-based protein sector
Offsets up to 50% of eligible project expenses with no defined maximum contribution. Remaining project funds must be supported by at least two project partners
Quantum Leap Funding ProgramCanada$1.2 millionR&DHelps SMEs and Canadian universities with funding to work on innovative pharmaceutical research projects.
Receive up to 50-66% of costs to a maximum $1.2 million per eligible project.
SCAP – AgriScience ProgramCanada$5 millionR&DHelps agri-food sector accelerate innovation through pre-commercial science activities and research.
Up to $5 million can be awarded to this program for a non-repayable portion of the project’s eligible costs.
Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)Canadan/aR&DOne of the largest tax incentive programs available to a wide range of Canadian businesses
Access up to 69% of labour and overhead costs, 36% of contractor costs, and 45% of material costs
SD Tech FundCanada$3 millionR&DSupports cleantech projects that aim to improve water, soil and air quality to reduce the effects of climate change
Access up to 40% of project costs for an average funding contribution of $3,000,000
Supply Chains and Logistics Excellence AI (SCALE.AI)Canadan/aR&DEnhances Canada’s existing supply chain practices by boosting economic development through faster adoption and integration of artificial intelligence (AI)
Access up to 40% of eligible project costs, with no minimum or maximum investment allocated per project
AG Action ManitobaManitoban/aBusiness ExpansionFederal government program that supports the growth and competitiveness of Manitoba agriculture
Amount varies depending on the project focus your business chooses, as well as the stream chosen
Export Development Program (EDP)Manitoba$30,000Business ExpansionBusinesses can increase participation in trade missions and trade fairs held outside of the province in order to find export opportunities.
Up to 50% of eligible expenses or up to $30,000 in cost-matching funds per year.
Manitoba Industrial Opportunities Program (MIOP)Manitoba$5 millionBusiness ExpansionSupports small and large businesses in Manitoba with low-interest repayable funding contributions to begin operations in Manitoba
Loans ranging from $500,000 to $5,000,000 and paid back between 5 – 7 years
SCAP – Marketing Development ProgramManitoba$30,000Business ExpansionProgram provides financial assistance to businesses to enhance their export capacity and improve their domestic and international access.
Up to 50% up to a max. of $30,000.
Efficiency Manitoba Innovation FundManitoba$250,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports new and innovative energy-efficient technologies and approaches in the Manitoba market.
Applicants may receive up to 75% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $250,000.
SCAP – Capital Infrastructure and Investments program (CII)Manitoba$2.5 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports modernization and capacity building activities that will assist in enhancing efficiency, productivity, and environmental sustainability.
From $50,000 up to $2.5M depending on project size and stream.
SCAP – Resilient Agricultural Landscape ProgramManitoba$15,000Capital/Tech AdoptionProgram provides financial assistance to increase carbon sequestration from practices related to agroforestry and grassland management.
Up to 75% of total eligible expenses up to a maximum of $15,000 per project.
SCAP – Sustainable Agriculture Manitoba Program (SAM)Manitoba$855,000Capital/Tech AdoptionProgram funds the adoption of beneficial management practices (BMPs) that increase the sector’s environmental and economic sustainability.
Up to 30-75% of costs to a maximum $10,000 – $855,000 depending on stream.
Healthy Hire Manitoba ProgramManitoba$50,000Hiring/TrainingSupports employers to hire employees that have received their vaccination
Up to $5,000 per employee to a maximum $50,000 for 10 employees
Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund – IndustrialNew Brunswick$1 millionBusiness ExpansionReceive incentives to undertake and complete climate change-related projects by implementing energy- and cost-saving technologies.
Applicants can receive up to 25% of eligible project costs up to a maximum of $1 million.
SCAP – Market Development and Access (MDAP)New Brunswick$15,000Business ExpansionSupports the food basket industry in leveraging new, existing, and emerging markets, from local farmers’ markets to international ones, to increase sales.
Up to 50% to a maximum of $15,000 annually per project per year.
SCAP – Advancing Agri-Food Processing ProgramNew Brunswick$100,000Capital/Tech AdoptionHelps New Brunswick’s agri-food processing and manufacturing companies innovate, increase their competitiveness, improve efficiency and accuracy, as well as improve their quality and efficiency.
Up to 30-50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $100,000.
Business Scale-up and Productivity Program (BSP)Ontario$10 millionBusiness ExpansionHelps to offset upfront project costs and helps southern Ontario businesses grow more quickly
Access repayable funding for up to 35% of project costs to a maximum $10M
Celebrate Ontario Blockbuster (COB) ProgramOntarion/aBusiness ExpansionSupports Ontario municipalities and organizations by relieving some of the financial stress of hosting large events that meet the ministry’s definition of a Blockbuster Event.
Covers up to 20% of eligible large festival costs.
Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF)Ontario$5 millionBusiness ExpansionSupports economic development in investing in infrastructure or implementing strategies to advance regional priorities
Up to 15-50% of project expenses to a maximum of $500k-$5M in grant or loan funding depending on stream
Forest Biomass Program (FBP)Ontario$10 millionBusiness ExpansionOntario based projects to harvest more wood from Crown forests, increase forest sector job creation and regional economic growth and find new uses for wood
Receive up to $250K to $10M in Government Funding
IESO Conservation FundOntario$500,000Business ExpansionSupport new conservation and demand management programs, practices and technologies to reduce Ontario’s electricity consumption
Up to a maximum of 75% of eligible costs to a maximum of $500,000
Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF)Ontarion/aBusiness ExpansionSupporting economic growth and jobs creation projects.
Applicants can receive up to 50-90% of costs for economic growth projects.
Market Readiness Program (OCI)Ontario$250,000Business ExpansionSupporting academic spin-off companies with grants to further their early-stage commercialization and support scalable business growth
Max funding from $125,000-250,000 in Ontario provincial funding
NOHFC INVEST North ProgramOntario$5 millionBusiness ExpansionSupporting economic development initiavitves in Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance towards projects that diversify their region
Receive up to $5,000,000 per project as either a grant or partially foregivable loan
Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC)Ontario$2 millionBusiness ExpansionSupporting economic development initiavitves in Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance towards projects that diversify their region
Receive up to $2,000,000 per project as either a grant or partially foregivable loan
Rural Economic Development Fund (RED)Ontario$150,000Business ExpansionSupports regional economic development activities in rural southern Ontario communities
Up to 30-50% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $150,000-$250,000
Save on EnergyOntario$5 millionBusiness ExpansionProvides businesses within Ontario funding to help transition towards a greener province via energy saving projects.
Receive Up to 75% of Costs to a Max of $5M in Funding.
SCAP – Grow Ontario Market (GOM) ProgramOntario$125,000Business ExpansionHelps eligible agri-food businesses and industry organizations in Ontario to export their products into local and global markets to boost economic growth and innovation.
Up to $125,000 in non-repayable funding.
SCAP – Meat Processors Capacity Improvement InitiativeOntario$150,000Business ExpansionHelps eligible local meat processors expand their operations through the Meat Processors Capacity Improvement Initiative.
Up to $150,000 in non-repayable funding.
Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF)Ontario$5 millionBusiness ExpansionSupports companies investing in new facilities and equipment to advance regional priorities
Up to 15-50% of expenses to a maximum of $500k-$5M in grant or loan funding depending on stream
Tourism Development Fund (TDF)Ontarion/aBusiness ExpansionHelps not-for-profits and municipalities to invest in developing new tourism services, tourism investment attraction, and industry capacity building
Access up to 50% of costs. There is no maximum amount for applications
Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness (AMIC)Ontario$5 millionCapital/Tech AdoptionAMIC is designed to help Ontario SMEs in advanced manufacturing industries with grant and loan support for cap & tech adoption.
Up to 15% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $5M in loan funding.
Agri-Tech Innovation Cost-Share ProgramOntarion/aCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports the modernization of agriculture-specific, unique and innovative technologies in the workplace
CAP – Poultry Biosecurity Preparedness Initiative (PBPI)Ontario$100,000Capital/Tech AdoptionHelps poultry and waterfowl farmers improve the biosecurity of their operations.
Up to 75% to a max $100,000 in grants
CME’s Technology Investment Program (TIP)Ontario$50,000Capital/Tech AdoptionAims to help SME manufacturers in southern Ontario automate production, reduce their environmental footprint and increase their global competitiveness.
Receive up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $50,000.
Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection ProgramOntario$50,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports the adoption of prevention and mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among agri-food workers/employees.
Access up to 60% funding to a maximum of $50,000 per business.
Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor)Ontarion/aCapital/Tech AdoptionThis organization helps businesses based out of Northern Ontario with funding and network support.
Funding varies by program.
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev)Ontarion/aCapital/Tech AdoptionThis organization helps businesses based out of Southern Ontario with funding and network support.
Funding varies by program.
Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program (FSIIP)Ontarion/aCapital/Tech AdoptionSupports forest industry businesses to invest in new equipment, facility expansion, process, and product innovation
Business Stream: Up to 30% in loans & Collaborations Stream: Up to 75% in grants
Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN)Ontario$100,000Capital/Tech AdoptionThe program provides matching government funding towards projects that improve and implement greenhouse technologies to support industry innovation.
Up to $100,000 in contribution matching resulting in a maximum budget of $200,000 per project.
OBIO® Capital Access Advisory Program (CAAP)Ontario$250,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupporting companies commercializing health science technologies and the adoption of these technologies by healthcare organizations
Up to $250,000 in funding
OBIO® Life Sciences Critical Technologies & Commercialization (LSCTC) ProgramOntario$250,000Capital/Tech AdoptionProvides infrastructure, commercialization, technology adoption and talent programming to Ontario small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the life sciences sector.
Up to $250,000 in 2:1 Fund Matching.
OCI – Digital Modernization and Adoption Plan (DMAP)Ontario$15,000Capital/Tech AdoptionHelps SMEs generate a Digital Modernization and Adoption Plan.
Up to $15,000 in grant funding.
OCI – Technology Demonstration ProgramOntario$150,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports the adoption and implementation of commercialized digital technology by an SME in partnership with a digital vendor and align with their completed DMAP.
Receive up to $150,000 in government funding support.
Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP)Ontario$150,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports automotive businesses improve operational efficiency and competitiveness through the adoption of lean manufacturing processes and Industry 4.0-related technologies
Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $150,000 in grants
Ontario Creates Industry Development ProgramOntario$35,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports trade and event organizations that are engaging in strategic initiatives in the book, magazine, film, television, and interactive digital media sectors.
Receive up to 75% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $35,000.
Ontario Junior Exploration Program (OJEP)Ontario$200,000Capital/Tech AdoptionAssists junior mining companies with financing early exploration projects. Especially in northern and Indigenous communities, these projects contribute to mineral exploration, economic growth, and job creation.
Access up to $200,000 to cover 50% of eligible costs.
Responsive Advancement for Meat Processing (RAMP)Ontario$25,000Capital/Tech AdoptionPromotes the development of a meat sector supply chain as part of the agri-food industry in the region by providing new technologies, equipment, and/or materials.
Access up to $25,000 at 75% cost-share toward eligible costs.
SCAP – Agri-Food Energy Cost Savings InitiativeOntario$300,000Capital/Tech AdoptionProgram supports their competitiveness, profitability, growth, and long-term sustainability.
Up to 20% of eligible expenses to a maximum $300,000 per business.
SCAP – Biosecurity Enhancement InitiativeOntario$100,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports the resiliency of the agriculture and food sector by addressing biosecurity risks and enhancing emergency preparedness.
Up to 35% of costs to a maximum of $50K – $100K in funding.
Supply Chain Stability and Adaptability ProgramOntario$125,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports the economic recovery and resiliency of Ontario’s Agri-food sector.
Access up to 25% of costs, to a maximum of $125,000.
Tourism Relief Fund (TRF)Ontario$500,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSupports projects empowering tourism businesses to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors.
Receive up to $500,000 in Tourism Funding Support.
APMA: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) FundOntario$8,000Hiring/TrainingAims to liaison more young Canadians into the automotive sector by providing participants the opportunity to gain skills training and knowledge through a placement or employment.
Up to 800 participants will receive up to $8,000 in training costs
Career-Ready with CTMA: Expanding OpportunitiesOntario$5,000Hiring/TrainingAdministered by the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA), the hiring grant supports Ontario’s precision metalworking sector with youth hires
Funding 50% of wages paid to a max of $5,000 for each placement
NOHFC People & Talent ProgramOntario$52,500Hiring/TrainingDesigned to attract, retain, and develop Northern Ontario’s workforce by creating and sustaining new and existing jobs
Receive up to 90% of an Indigenous person’s salary of up to $52.5k a year, and up to 90% of other eligible applicants for up to $35k a year
Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN)Ontario$3 millionHiring/TrainingA collaborative network supporting research, development, validation, testing, demonstration, and prototyping of automotive technologies and services that are tailored to the unique needs of Ontario.
Programs offer up to $3 Million in funding.
Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) Regional Future Workforce ProgramOntario$500,000Hiring/TrainingSupports eligible Ontario applicants to develop programs which encourage youth to pursue a future career in the automotive sector
Provides non-repayable contributions to a maximum $500,000 towards eligible expenses
Skills Catalyst FundOntario$500,000Hiring/TrainingSupports Ontario consortiums in the development and implementation of innovative workforce development projects that test new and emerging ideas and approaches to labour market challenges
Up to 80% of eligible training expenses to a maximum $500,000
Skills Development FundOntarion/aHiring/TrainingContributes to the development and implementation of innovative workforce development projects to address the challenges of the labour market in Ontario.
There is no maximum funding amount for this program.
Skills Development Fund: Training Stream (SDF-T)Ontarion/aHiring/TrainingTraining grant program for Ontario employers that helps to offset training costs.
There is no maximum funding amount for this program.
Yves Landry Foundation Funding for Training Via the Government of CanadaOntario$100,000Hiring/TrainingSupports eligible Ontario manufacturing training activities for southern Ontario manufacturers.
Provides non-repayable contributions to a maximum $100,000 towards eligible expenses.
Critical Minerals Innovation Fund (CMIF)Ontario$500,000R&DSupport critical minerals innovation, economic growth, and the Made-in-Ontario supply chain.
Access up to 50% of costs to a maximum $500,000.
Customer Demonstration ProgramOntario$50,000R&DSupports technology demonstrations between two or more Ontario-based businesses
Up to 50% coverage of eligible expenses to a maximum $50k
EnAbling Change ProgramOntarion/aR&DSupports non-profit organizations on projects that bring awareness to the benefits of accessibility
Up to 75% of total costs in grant funding
ENCQOR 5G SME Technology Development Program (5G SDP)Ontario$500,000R&DSupports collaborative 5G technology development projects to develop, integrate, test, or validate pre-commercial 5G technologies.
Access up to $50k to $500k in Government Funding per application
Interactive Digital Media (IDM) FundOntario$50,000R&DSupports Canadian media projects during their concept and production development stages
Eligible applicants can receive up to 50% of eligible costs to a maxium of $50,000 for concept and $250,000 for production
Life Sciences Innovation FundOntario$500,000R&DSupports the process of moving innovative and capital-intensive investment projects from a concept stage to commercialization.
Receive up to $500,000 in funding.
Ontario Genomics’ BioCreate ProgramOntario$150,000R&DThe BioCreate program is open to SMEs in southern Ontario seeking to commercialize genomics and engineering biology-enabled products.
Receive up to $150,000 in funding support.
Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund (OHCRIF)Ontario$250,000R&DFunding research towards ideas and approaches on developing Canada’s workforce
Covers 100% of eligible expenses to a max of $250,000
Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (C/AV) & Smart Mobility ProgramOntario$1 millionR&DSupports connected and autonomous vehicle (C/AV) development, testing, validation, and demonstration projects.
Receive up to $1 Million in funding.
Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) Electric Vehicle ProgramOntario$3 millionR&DSupport the development and demonstration of advanced electric vehicles (EVs) and battery manufacturing technologies.
Receive up to $3 Million in funding.
Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN) WinterTech Development ProgramOntario$500,000R&DSupports projects related to the development, validation, testing, demonstration, and prototyping of mobility technologies and services
Up to one-third of the eligible project costs up to a maximum of $500,000
Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN): Talent Development ProgramOntario$35,000R&DCombines Ontario companies with top young minds to stimulate industry-driven R&D projects for Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (C/AV) technologies.
Up to $35,000 in grant funding.
R&D Partnership Fund – Electric Vehicle (EV) Stream 2Ontario$1 millionR&DSupports the development and demonstration of pre-market technologies the automotive sector
2:1 funding contribution ratio from applicants and/or private sector partners to a max of $1,000,000
Regional Quantum Initiative (RQI) in Southern OntarioOntario$5 millionR&DHelps companies develop and market quantum products and solutions for domestic and international markets.
Access up to 50% of project costs to a maximum of $500,000 to $5 million.
SONAMIOntarion/aR&DHelps manufacturers and innovation-based businesses overcome innovation challenges
Access up to 50% of project costs
Agtech Growth Fund (AGF)Saskatchewan$450,000Capital/Tech AdoptionFunds research and development to accelerate the commercialization of innovations in the agricultural sector.
Access up to $450,000 in non-repayable grants
SCAP – Product Development Program (PDP)Saskatchewan$50,000Capital/Tech AdoptionSaskatchewan businesses can receive funding towards under the development of prototypes and services.
Access up to 50% of project costs to a max of $50,000 in funding support.

Other Sources for Grants

If you’re on the lookout for other grant options, or simply want to keep an eye on some of the key agencies that provide small business grants, then these portals are a good place to start:

Useful Provincial Resources

Lastly, here are some provincial-specific resources:

AlbertaGovernment PortalGrants & Other FundersIndustry Specific PortalsOther Funding
SaskatchewanGovernment PortalGrants & Other FundersIndustry Specific PortalsOther Funding
Newfoundland & LabradorGovernment PortalGrants & Other FundersIndustry Specific PortalsOther Funding
OntarioGovernment PortalGrants & Other FundersIndustry Specific PortalsOther Funding
British ColumbiaGovernment PortalGrants & Other FundersIndustry Specific PortalsOther Funding
ManitobaGovernment PortalGrants & Other FundersIndustry Specific PortalsOther Funding

Applying for a Canadian Small Business Grant

42% of small business owners are aware of grant opportunities, but don’t understand how to apply to them. While the paperwork may seem overwhelming, tackling the application challenge is well worth the time. Here’s what you need to know:

Eligibility Criteria

Almost all government small business funding options require:

  • A minimum number of employees (this can be anywhere from one to 99, although the threshold for most programs is 15)
  • Incorporation in Canada; although incorporation is not an operational requirement in Canada, basically all funding programs expect it
  • A minimum annual income; the threshold for this can vary quite a bit, but the point is that most programs will want to see that they are supporting a viable business

Paperwork Requirements

So far so simple, but the application to a specific program is where most people trip up. Every grant program has its own application form and process, but it’s likely that whichever program you choose, you’ll need to have on hand:

  • Incorporation documents
  • Business plan
  • Financial records (including a current balance sheet and income statement)
  • Grant proposal with a detailed plan for the requested funding, including objectives, evaluation of success, reporting methods, and budget
  • Full business owner information

Shoot for Success

Each and every grant application is unique, and there’s no question that applying for grant funding in Canada can be time-consuming. But the amount of funding available for small businesses of all kinds means that, with a well-crafted application, you can access significant amounts of money to help your business flourish. All it takes is a little paperwork!

For more information on business financing and how you can help your business meet its potential, connect with BizFund.