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The Access to Talent Program from Natural Products Canada

The Access to Talent Program from Natural Products Canada is a wage subsidy program that supports Canadian businesses in hiring experienced talent. The talent will oversee the development of key milestones within a natural product or technology project (learn more about Technology Readiness Levels (TRL)to see if your project is eligible). This program helps entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small-medium-enterprise (SME) businesses get processes in place for ensuring the completion of their projects.

Eligible applicants can receive up to $75,000 in grant funding towards their experienced new hire.

Natural Products Canada defines natural products or technologies as biologically-based innovations that benefit people, animals, and the planet, and can be applied to a range of industries. These industries include the following:

  • Food production and value-added agriculture;
  • Bioproducts and sustainability;
  • Human nutrition, health, and wellness;
  • Animal health and nutrition; and
  • Water and waste management.

Program Snapshot: Natural Products Canada: Access to Talent Program

Amount of Funding:

Eligible projects for the Access to Talent program may receive up to 40% of project costs to a maximum of $75,000 in non-dilutive, non-repayable funding.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for funding through the Natural Products Canada: Access to Talent program, your business will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Incorporated Canadian SME or start-up company with fewer than 10 employees;
  • Company has a novel pre-commercial (TRL 4-9) natural product or technology;
  • Start-ups and SMEs must have the potential to achieve $10M- $15M in annual revenue within a reasonable period for the market or sector; and
  • Member of Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster.

Eligible Project Activities:

Businesses that are eligible to apply for funding can apply with requests for the following project costs to be partially covered.

  • The candidate must be hired as a full-time employee and have demonstrated experience (7-10 years) to successfully execute the project identified by the applicant;
  • An employee working directly on product or technology development;
  • An employee conducting pre-commercial business development;
  • An employee working on the regulatory strategy and/or collecting necessary data for regulatory submissions;
  • An employee working on product or technology scale-up; and

Ineligible projects include marketing and sales positions or projects beyond Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 9.


Projects that are eligible for funding through the Access to Talent Program must not exceed 18 months in length. This program has an ongoing intake period until funds have been depleted.

Apply for Access to Talent Program Funding

The Access to Talent Program is currently accepting applicants for wage subsidy funding. If you believe your business may be eligible for funding through this program, please call the Mentor Works team at 1-888-599-3111 or online. Our team can assist you throughout the application process for an estimated 95% reduction in the time required to apply for government funding programs compared to applying in-house.

For a list of best practices and tips on hiring experienced talent, download the free Recruiting Top Talent slide deck document to gain insight on: how to begin planning your recruitment process, using wage subsidies available for hiring recent graduates, which job board is most effective for a position or business, and online recruitment resources to amplify results.

Where to Recruit Recent University Graduates

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