Canadian Government Grants and Loans for Small Businesses
The most popular government grants for small businesses in Canada can be categorized into four project-related funding areas:
1- Business Expansion Funding Grants and Loans;
2- Capital Investment Funding;
3- Hiring and Training Grants; and
4- Research and Development Funding.
Each program has specific and unique eligibility criteria that you should review prior to applying to ensure your business and project are eligible. If you would like information on a specific program, please click on the program name to learn more.
Have questions about a small business funding program? Send us a message via our Contact Form or call our toll free number
Business Development Bank of Canada
Canada’s business development bank is the only financial institution devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. They help create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financing, advisory services and capital, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.
Canada Foundation for Innovation
The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funds infrastructure to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development. Funds are disbursed through a range of CFI programs including the Major Science Initiatives Fund (MSI).
Genome Canada provides large-scale investments that develop new technologies, connect the public sector with private industry, and create solutions to problems of national interest, such as health, sustainable resources, the environment, and energy. Funding opportunities include the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP), which funds downstream R&D projects that address real world opportunities and challenges identified by industry, government, not-for-profits and other “Receptors” of genomics knowledge and technologies.
Innovation Superclusters Initiative
The Innovation Supercluster Initiative will leverage a federal investment of up to $950 million to create public-private partnerships in innovative industries across the country. Superclusters are dense areas of business activity where many of the middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow are created. They generate new companies, and commercialize new products, processes and services that position firms to scale, connect to global supply chains, transition to high-value activities and become global market leaders.
National Research Council
The National Research Council (NRC) is the Government of Canada’s premier research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development, and fulfilling government mandates. They offer a number of support mechanisms to qualifying businesses, including through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). IRAP provides advisory services and funding to help small and medium-sized enterprises develop, adopt and adapt technologies and incorporate them into competitive products and services to be commercialized in the global marketplace
Networks of Centres of Excellence
Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) offer a suite of programs that mobilize Canada’s best research, development and entrepreneurial expertise and focus it on specific issues and strategic areas. Health-related NCEs are fostering partnerships between industry, academia and government in a range of areas that include knowledge mobilization, research commercialization, and the acceleration of life science start-ups.
Regional Economic Development Agencies
Regional Development Agencies across Canada help to address key economic challenges by providing regionally-tailored funding programs, services, knowledge and expertise that:
Build on regional and local economic assets and strengths;
Support business growth, productivity and innovation;
Help small- and medium-sized businesses effectively compete in the global marketplace;
Provide adjustment assistance in response to economic downturns and crises; and
Strategic Innovation Fund
The Strategic Innovation Fund allocates repayable and non-repayable contributions to firms of all sizes across all of Canada’s industrial and technology sectors. The program has a budget of $1.26 billion over five years. It consolidates and simplifies the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative, Technology Demonstration Program, Automotive Innovation Fund and Automotive Supplier Innovation Program; and expands the scope of funding support to other economic sectors including Health and Bio-sciences.
Supporting institutions with funding and partnering opportunities
Brain Canada is a national non-profit organization headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, that enables and supports excellent, innovative, paradigm-changing brain research in Canada. The Canada Brain Research Fund (CBRF) is a public-private partnership established in 2011 designed to encourage Canadians to increase their support for brain research, and maximize the impact and efficiency of those investments. This fund supports Canadian brain science research to advance knowledge and our understanding of the brain and brain disorders.
Canadian Technology Accelerator
The Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) initiative helps Canadian companies with an existing technology, product or service explore opportunities in foreign markets. Services offered through the CTA include business mentoring and on-the-ground, intelligence, contacts, and other resources in foreign markets to help clients make informed, timely and cost-effective decisions and achieve their international business goals.