4 ways to get free money for your business via Canada grants for businesses

Canada Grants

You may not know this, but the Canadian government offers a whole selection of grants for small businesses.

Your business can take advantage of these Canada grants and programs to grow your business and projects!

Keep reading to find out how.

Federal grants your business can apply for:

  1. CanExport for Businesses (SMEs)
  • The CanExport grant program can help you expand your business globally
  • It is designed for small and medium-sized enterprises to help your business with export marketing to create business opportunities

Which activities can be funded?

  • Your small to medium enterprise can apply online for up to $75,000 that would cover 75% of your international market development expenses
  • Activities covered under the CanExport program are:
    • Market research participation in virtual trade events and fairs
    • Adaption and translation of marketing tools
    • Search engine optimization
    • Expert advice on legal, business and tax matters
    • Intellectual property protection, certification, and adaption of contracts

Who is eligible?

  • The following eligibility criteria must be met by your business:
    • Be a for profit business
    • Be an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership
    • Have a CRA registered number
    • Have less than 500 full-time equivalent employees
    • Declare between $100,000 and $100 million in annual revenue in the last 12 months

How can you apply?

  • Applications can be submitted via the online platform here
  • Applicants can expect a decision within 60 days of completing an application


  1. Strategic Innovation Fund
  • This program offers financial support for projects that improve Canada’s innovation performance and grow your business
  • It covers four types of projects in four different streams
    • Steam 1: R&D projects that accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products
    • Stream 2: projects that facilitate the growth and expansion of firms in Canada
    • Steam 3: projects that attract and retain large scale investments in Canada
    • Stream 4: projects that advance industrial research, development, and tech demonstration through collaboration between academic, non-profits and private sector

What can be funded?

  • Non-recurring costs that are related to specified project are eligible expenses including:
    • Direct labour
    • Overhead
    • Subcontractors and consultants
    • Direct materials and equipment
    • Other direct costs

Who is eligible?

  • Any company incorporated in Canada can apply for the Strategic Innovation Fund from Streams 1 to 3
  • For Stream 4, applicants must be a consortium led by a Canadian incorporated company

How can you apply?

  • Ask yourself these questions to help prepare for your SIF application:
    • Is my project innovation-based?
    • Does my project fall within one or more program streams?
    • Can I demonstrate that my technical and management teams can successfully actualize the project?
    • Can I clearly describe the anticipated innovation, economic and public benefits of my project?
  • If you are confident of your project after the questionnaire, you can find the Statement of Interest form here

Provincial Grants:

  1. Atlantic Innovation Fund
  • This fund is dedicated to supporting the research and development of innovative technology in the Atlantic region of Canada
  • It allows private-sector research and collaborations with academic and research institutions
  • Projects eligible for this grant often focus on commercially viable technology development and adaptation

What can be funded?

  • Eligible costs include wages, salaries, capital costs and other operating expenses directly related to the project
  • AIF can aid of up to 80% of total eligible costs for projects carried out by not-for-profit organizations and up to 75% for private sector-led projects
  • The AIF supports projects in the areas of natural and applies sciences, as well as social sciences, humanities, arts, and culture that leads to successful development and commercialization of technology
  • Eligible activities include R&D projects linked to economic development in areas that are strategically important
  • Technology adaption projects
  • Related initiatives that emphasize building the Atlantic system of innovation

Who is eligible?

  • Eligible applicants include private-sector businesses, universities/colleges, non-government research organizations and provincial Crown corporations all located and operating in Atlantic Canada
  • The project must be
    • Compatible with AIF objectives
    • Be scientifically and technically sound
    • Demonstrate management capability to successfully undertake project
    • Demonstrate economic benefits for Atlantic Canada
    • Demonstrate commercialization potential
    • Support new or improved technologies
  • For additional details please click here

How can you apply?

  • The application is a two-step process
  • Step 1: Complete a Project Concept Template and submit it to an ACOA office nearest to you. Upon receipt, you will be contacted to discuss your project further
  • Step 2: Once your project has been discussed, complete and submit the Application for Financial Assistance.

Canada Ontario Job Grant (COJG)

  • The Canada Ontario Job Grant is a hiring and training grant program
  • It offers direct wage subsidy financial support for employers who wish to further train their employees
  • It is applicable to small, medium, and large businesses who want to deliver short-term training to new and existing employees

Who is eligible?

  • Individual, private, and not-for-profit employers are eligible for this grant
  • This grant is applicable to employers wishing to train either all employees or even one or two individuals
  • Additionally, employers must also:
    • Make minimum cash contribution to training costs
    • Employ individuals selected for training
    • Be licensed to operate in Ontario
    • Be training the individual for a job that is also located in Ontario
    • Comply with Health and Safety Act
    • Have adequate third-party general liability insurance
    • Comply with all applicable federal and provincial human rights legislation

How much funding can you receive?

  • The Canada Ontario Job Grant supports training costs up to $10,000 per individual
  • Additional flexibility is available for small employers
  • Employers with less than 100 employees may be eligible for $15,000 per individual

What training does this grant cover?

  • Tuition or other training provider fees
  • Textbooks, software, and other materials
  • Mandatory student fees
  • Examination fees
  • Potential travel costs (up to $500 over 24 km)

How can you apply?

  • For training grants more than 25 individuals, applications must be submitted through an online portal
  • For training grants less than 25 individuals, applications can be submitted online to a COJG service provider

You can find more information about COJG here.

For more information regarding any grant programs, please contact EVAMAX.

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