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Business Grants in Canada

By Townes Haas   |    December 7, 2015   |    11:37 AM

Every business could use a little help and funding to get started. Here's what you need to know about small business grants in Canada.

Securing funding is one the most difficult aspects of launching your startup. Luckily there are plenty of resources in place for entrepreneurs. Competition is tough but if you are ready to put in the extra effort you might just be able to acquire a healthy capital injection!

The Canadian Government's departments and agencies offer many financing options such as grants, contributions, subsidies, and loan guarantees. These all depend on your business profile and the province within which you are located. There are very few grants available which do not involve complying with certain requirements. For example, for small businesses in Nova Scotia, companies can receive energy rebates but only if they can demonstrate their efficient use of energy. In Northern Ontario, if small businesses hire a recent graduate, aged 30 or under, to work on their information and communications technology projects for 12 months, they are eligible to receive up to $31,500. There are many useful websites to guide you so you can find out which Canadian Government financing programs you are eligible for.

There also exist numerous private sector investors, such as business angels. These are individuals who are prepared to offer financing in exchange for a return on their investment. These investors usually decide whether to fund your startup based upon an assessment of the risks and reward in doing business with you. To demonstrate that your startup has the capacity to be profitable, you will need a professional and lucid business plan. There are many websites belonging to various angel groups that allow your business to apply for funding. The National Angel Capital Organization allows you to find angels interested in funding high-growth technology or life sciences business. The First Angel Network caters solely to startups located in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Network of Angel Organizations – Ontario only offers funding to startups in Ontario.

In addition to this there are numerous venture capitalists businesses in Canada that might be prepared to invest in startups seen to have growth potential. Usually these companies prefer to fund startups in their early stages. Venture capital is usually only available to leading-edge businesses developing highly innovative offerings. Once again, like angel investors, venture capitalists will expect you to have a solid business plan that proves that your startup has promise. These investors often expect to own a large part of your company thereby maintaining control over the management decisions you make. Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association allows companies to locate investors according to sector category: life sciences, information technology and other technologies. Réseau Capital - Québec Venture Capital and Private Equity Association is a site for businesses in Quebec to find support for the growth of their small business. BDC Capital provides aid with acquiring specialized financing to match the various stages of growth. Venture Capital Action Plan supplies resources to help startups with financing through venture capital. New Brunswick Innovation Foundation is an independent corporation geared towards providing businesses in New Brunswick with funding.