The CanExport Grant: Helping Canadian Businesses Grow Beyond the Borders

Technology is making the world smaller and changing the way things are done in profound ways. For national economies, it made international trade not only possible but necessary.

Developed countries like Canada are looking more and more to overseas markets to generate income and grow the economy. In this model, Canadian businesses must find ways to fit into the new global environment.

The Government of Canada is always looking for ways to help businesses expand into an untapped international market. To this end, many programs have been launched at the federal and provincial levels.

One of the most popular and successful government grants is CanExport, a funding program designed to support businesses in their export market development projects.

Since it was launched in 2016, CanExport, has helped thousands of businesses gain a foothold into the international market. Still, it offers a huge opportunity that many other companies have yet to tap into.

If you are looking to grow your business globally, you should take a closer look at this funding program. You could talk to funding experts like EVAMAX before putting together an application. Below are some details about CanExport, to get you started.

What is the CanExport Program?

The CanExport grant is a Canadian government funding program created to help businesses expand into underdeveloped international markets. It is delivered by IRAP and Global Affairs Canada, specifically Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service or TCS.

Within the first 24 months of its launch, CanExport, grant beneficiaries were able to generate export revenues amounting to $375 million, making it one of the more effective government programs in Canada.

Due to its success and the increasing demand from businesses, Canada’s government expanded the program in 2018. CanExport got more funding and was allowed to accept a wider range of applicants.

Through CanExport,, eligible businesses can pursue export market development activities more effectively. This includes joining in trade shows and trade missions where company representatives can meet potential clients from the export market.
Interested applicants can access CanExport, in four ways. Each stream has a specific objective, but all are designed to help businesses, industries, and communities expand globally.

The CanExport SMEs for Businesses

The CanExport SMEs is the most popular stream of the funding program. In this stream, small and medium-sized businesses can get up to $75,000 in funding. This amount can be used to support international business development activities or to cover marketing costs to a maximum of 75%.

It is important to note that for businesses to qualify for this program stream, they must have little to no presence in the overseas market they are trying to break into.

Activities Funded by CanExport SMEs

The program supports the following non-travel activities:

    • Doing market research
    • Gathering reports, studies, and other forms of market data
    • Getting property protection in overseas markets
    • Getting certified in overseas markets
    • Getting professional business and legal advice
    • Launching an SEO campaign to boost online visibility
    • Creating, adapting, or translating international marketing tools and materials
    • Joining in virtual trade shows, networking events, meetings, and conferences

Once the travel restrictions are lifted, support for the following activities will resume:

    • Traveling to preferred export target markets
    • Going to trade missions
    • Joining in face-to-face trade shows, meetings, conferences, and other networking events

Who Can Apply for the CanExport SMEs?
Small businesses and medium-sized companies must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The company must be for-profit
  • The company must be incorporated or be a limited liability partnership
  • The company must have no more than 500 full-time employees
  • The company must have annual revenue between $100,000 and $100,000,000 for the past fiscal year
  • The eligible project must cost no less than $20,000

CanExport SMEs was updated recently. The maximum funding for online promotions, including SEO, was increased to $50,000 per project. Expert advice for digital marketing was also included in the list of eligible activities.

The CanExport Innovation

This CanExport funding program stream is designed to support pioneers from Canadian businesses. It grants up to $75,000 in funding, which can be used for research and development activities involving a single technology. It can also be used to cover up to 75% of costs from pursuing and signing R&D collaborations with international business partners or investors.

Activities Funded by CanExport Innovation

The following activities are supported under the program stream:

  • Shipping of technology to evaluate the compatibility with a global partner
  • Applying for protection of intellectual property in overseas markets
  • Getting certified in global markets
  • Hiring expert legal and business advice for export marketing
  • Creating, adapting, or translating a promotional plan

Joining virtual conferences, meetings, and other forms of networking
Once the travel bans are lifted, face-to-face activities supported by the program will resume. This includes going abroad to meet with potential business partners or investors.

Who Can Apply for the CanExport Innovation Program?

This CanExport program stream accepts funding applications from Canadian SMEs, academic institutions, and non-government research centers. The organization must also have the following qualifications:

    • Registered in Canada
    • Have a Canada Revenue Agency or CRA business number
    • Have ownership, co-ownership, or authority over the intellectual property rights for the technology
    • Have a prototype with a Technology Readiness Level of 4 or higher
    • Have plans to launch the technology commercially within the next five years

The two remaining streams under the program are the CanExport Associations and the CanExport, Community Investments. These programs are open to not-for-profit organizations or Canadian communities and designed to help entire industries and communities.

The Application Process

If you want to gain access to the CanExport funding, you must first identify a trade show, export event, or any international marketing activity you want to join. It is also important to note that the application process must be initiated at least eight weeks before the cost will be incurred, so you must plan well ahead of the event.

Application forms, which are eight to ten pages long once completed, are available online. In addition to these forms, supporting documents will be needed. This includes a detailed outline of the export strategy, estimated budget, and projected timeline.

To maximize your chances of making a successful claim, you should discuss the application process with a funding expert like EVAMAX. For the past 17 years, EVAMAX has helped more than 900 clients access over $115 million in funding.

To learn more about CanExport, and other funding sources like SR&ED and IRAP, contact EVAMAX or visit the website now.

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