Funding Grants Available to Canada Startup and Small Businesses

What Funding Grants are available to Startups or Small Businesses incorporated in Canada?


Canada supports startups and small businesses, and this is evident by the care they provide to entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey. You will be overwhelmed to know the benefits, subsidies and grants been given to Canadian formed incorporations. Today, I will tell you about some popular grants available to Canadian startups and SME’s.


Let’s first understand the difference between grant and a loan, which tend to be misunderstood by the budding entrepreneurs.


First comes: Grants: Funds generated through a Canadian government backed program under the grant category does not usually require return of funds. It is given to a new business as a top up to help them make their operations, up and running, quicker.


Second is: Loan: To get funds as a loan, businesses require to meet eligibility parameters of bank or lending company who will provide loan or debt to the business, in return of fixed or fluctuating interest rates. Business stake holders need to demonstrate the ability to return the loan money.


Govt Backed Popular Grant or Funding Programs available to startups and SME’s:


i)             Grow your Business Online Grant by CDAP: Canadian Startups and Small Businesses Owners are provided with Financial Support also called Micro Grants to digitalize their current Startup or Small business in Canada 


Maximum Grant: C$2,400 


As Canadian consumers are swiftly shifting to online purchase and ecommerce, Canada Digital Adoption Grant Tools (CDAP) makes sure your business is there online to cater them. This grant program is designed to help you grow your online presence or to support you digitalize your business operations and become an ecommerce shop.


This program is designed to help small businesses take advantage of e-commerce opportunities and reach more customers online by growing their digital technology.


ii)            Ocean Supercluster Support Funds for Canada Ocean Industry:

This is a federally available grant to compensate some eligible expenses for a combined project of various industries including marine renewable energy, fisheries, aquaculture, oil and gas, defense system, shipbuilding, and transportation. The activities under these business projects may include digital sensors and monitoring, autonomous marine vehicles, energy generation, automation, marine biotechnology, and marine engineering technologies.


iii)          New Initiative Funds for Search and Rescue:

Canadian Organizations who perform the tasks of search and rescue can be the beneficiary for funding of their projects that improve search and rescue response or prevention. The projects should align with nations needs, like training programs, equipment purchases, R&D projects, prevention or awareness campaigns, or multi-jurisdictional exercises.



Sometimes repayable

This is an interest-free grant, which needs to be spent as outlined in the agreement signed by you and the granting body, amount is repayable or not depends on the success of the project.



Under this grant you can get a maximum of 95% of eligible costs. Though, you can add money from this program to money from other government programs up to 100% making it a fully covered program.


iv)       CanExport Innovation Funds for International Expansion:

Under this grant, you can get up to C$75,000 which may target 75% of your eligible business expenses associated with commercializing your technology in overseas markets.


Maximum Grant: C$75,000



This is an interest-free grant which can be spent as outlined in your agreement at the time of approval. These funds do not require to be repaid if the terms and conditions been taken care of. This program allows you to cover a maximum of 75% of eligible business costs, while you can combine cash from this program with cash from other government programs up to a total maximum of 75%.


v)       Innovative Solutions Canada Program funds to address Government Needs and Challenges:

This grant is for small business who could come up with an innovative solution to a government posted challenge, and design pathway to early-stage development, testing and validation of beta, with steps for commercial launch of business.


This is for you if: 

          Your organization is incorporated for-profit 

          Your organization is Canada based

          Your organization has less than 499 full-time workers or employees

          Your organization does R&D activities that take place in Canada


your proposal, along with some questions to further assess your eligibility and financial 


vi)          CanExport SME Funds for Export Market Reach:

You may get a grant exceeding to C$50,000 to take care of 50% of business expenses which includes development and expansion of your e-commerce presence, to attend virtual events, to apply for certifications or intellectual property protection in foreign markets, search engine optimization, and related costs.

Maximum Grant C$50,000


 Funding Limits 

          Under this grant your business can get up to 50% of eligible business expenses 


This is for you if:

          Your organization is incorporated as a for-profit business 

          Your organization is incorporated as legal entity, limited liability partnership (LLP) or cooperative

          Your organization has a CRA business number 

          Your organization has less than 500 full-time employees 

          Your organization has declared $100,000 to $100 million in revenue in Canada during the past fiscal year 


You may utilize this to:

          Research and Gather market intelligence

          Register and apply for IP protection in international markets 

          Get access to legal and business advise by subject experts 

          Travel and Explore International markets (in compliance with Canadian travel advisories)  

          To take part in trade shows, networking functions or trade missions 

          To Apply for certification in international markets


vii)       Canada Digital Adoption Program — Boost Your Business Technology Funds for SME’s

To Boost your Business Technology Stream will offer support to small and medium Canadian-owned businesses (SMEs), to adopt new technologies. The support will be in the form of grants to offset the cost of retaining Digital Advisors who will develop digital adoption plans tailored to the business. The grant will cover 90% of the cost to develop the digital plan, up to $15,000.

Funding limits

          To support the implementation of the plan, the SME will be able to apply for a zero-interest loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) (up to $100,000)

          Businesses will receive a wage subsidy up to $7,300 to hire talent through the funded work placement.


To know more about Canadian Govt supported programs and available benefits for small and medium size enterprise. Try the Business benefits finder by the Government of Canada to know which other benefits you can avail being a startup at seed stage or garnering traction to scale up your business.

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