Seek and you shall find
Starting or expanding a business in Canada can be an exciting endeavor, but securing sufficient funding can often be a challenge. Thankfully, there are numerous government and private organizations that offer business grants to support new businesses and immigrant entrepreneurs.
Here’s our Top 21 list for business loans and grants in Canada.
Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP)
Administered by the Government of Canada, CSBFP aims to assist small businesses in accessing loans and equipment financing. This program enables financial institutions to provide business loans with more favorable terms to entrepreneurs and business immigrants in Canada.
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
BDC is a Crown corporation that provides financing, advisory services, business loans and capital to Canadian entrepreneurs.
BDC offers loans up to $100,000 for start-ups and up to $5 million for established businesses. BDC also has a range of grants and subsidies for specific sectors, such as clean technology, women entrepreneurs, Indigenous entrepreneurs and innovation
National Research Council of Canada (NRC)
For businesses involved in research and development, the NRC provides business grants to support innovative projects and technological advancements.
Canadian Agricultural Loans Act (CALA) Program
Designed for agricultural businesses, CALA provides business loans to help farmers and agri-food entrepreneurs with their financial needs.
Regional Development Agencies (RDAs)
Canada has six RDAs across different regions, such as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), which offer business loans and grants for businesses located in specific areas.
Focused on international market development, the CanExport program provides financial assistance to Canadian businesses looking to expand into global markets. It can also provide a guide to entrepreneurs on sourcing business loans and grants.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)
SDTC supports clean technology companies by providing business loans and grants to drive innovation in sustainable development.
Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)
IRAP, managed by the National Research Council, offers business grants and advisory services to technology-driven small and medium-sized businesses.
Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES)
The WES initiative supports women-owned businesses with training, and access to resources, business loans and grants in Canada. This encourages gender diversity in entrepreneurship.
Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development (ABED)
Focused on indigenous businesses, ABED provides business loans, grants and funding opportunities to foster economic growth and development in indigenous communities.
Catering to young entrepreneurs aged 18-39, Futurpreneur offers mentorship, resources, business loans and start-up financing in Canada up to $15,000.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
For businesses involved in social sciences and humanities research, SSHRC offers business loans and grants to advance knowledge and innovation in these areas.
Northern Business Opportunity Program (NBOP)
Targeted at northern Canadian businesses, NBOP provides financial assistance and business loans to foster economic growth and job creation in northern regions.
Canada Media Fund (CMF)
If your business operates in the digital media and television industry, CMF provides business loans and grants for the production and promotion of content.
Black Business Initiative (BBI)
BBI is a non-profit organization that supports black-owned businesses in Canada. They offer various programs and services, including access to financing, business loans and grants.
Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce (CBCC)
CBCC aims to promote and support black-owned businesses in Canada. They provide resources, networking opportunities, and access to funding options for black entrepreneurs.
Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA)
BBPA is a non-profit organization that advocates for the economic empowerment of black professionals and entrepreneurs in Canada. They provide resources, networking opportunities, access to business loans and funding options for black businesses.
Canadian Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP)
CSBFP is a federal program that encourages financial institutions to make business loans to small businesses.
CSBFP guarantees up to 85% of the loan amount in case of default, and covers up to 12% of the interest rate. CSBFP offers loans up to $1 million for eligible businesses, with a maximum of $350,000 for equipment and leasehold improvements and $500,000 for real property
Farm Credit Canada (FCC)
FCC is a Crown corporation that provides financing and services to the agriculture and agri-food sector. FCC offers business loans, leases, venture capital, insurance, software, learning programs and other business solutions to farmers, agribusinesses and agri-food processors.
FCC offers business loans up to $1.5 million for young farmers, up to $2.5 million for women entrepreneurs, and up to $10 million for value-added processors
20. Canadian Heritage
Canadian Heritage is a federal department that supports the expression and preservation of Canada’s culture, heritage and diversity.
Canadian Heritage offers funding for projects and activities that promote Canadian identity, official languages, multiculturalism, Indigenous culture, sports, arts and media. Canadian Heritage offers grants and contributions of up to $5 million for eligible applicants.
21. Export Development Canada (EDC)
EDC is a Crown corporation that provides trade financing, export credit insurance, bonding services, foreign market expertise and connections to Canadian exporters and investors.
EDC offers business loans, guarantees, equity and political risk insurance to support Canadian businesses in international markets. EDC offers loans up to $10 million for small and medium-sized enterprises, and up to $50 million for large corporations.
Before applying for any business loan or grant, ensure that you thoroughly understand the eligibility criteria, deadlines, and requirements to maximize your chances of receiving funding for your business venture.
Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey!