Businesses can take several different approaches when applying for Canadian government funding. Some companies develop and submit applications internally, while other firms voluntarily opt to receive external support throughout the funding process. Either application method can lead to a successful small business funding outcome, but understanding the differences between each will help promote a better funding experience.
Independently navigating the Canadian small business grants and loans process is possible. Through this method, firms research programs, write applications, and submit documents without external assistance. This is a trade-off between investing internal resources towards the funding research and application, or relying on a third-party expertise.
Using external support can help to offload some or all stages of the process. Consultants deliver funding expertise and improve the research, writing, and application stages to ensure a high-quality submission that is more likely to be awarded with funding. Requesting application support services can reduce the time commitment that funding applications can have on your team.
Stages of the Canadian Government Funding Process: Where Support can be Used
There are three stages in the government funding application process; these are the major phases that all businesses must overcome to successfully receive funding and it’s critical to approach each stage strategically and with the appropriate level of program knowledge. Each of these three stages has two steps, or major milestones/activities.
The complete Canadian government grants and loans process, from start to finish, includes:
- Research & Planning: Finding government funding programs and aligning them to upcoming projects.
- Writing & Review: Preparing a government funding application and ensuring it hits program requirements.
- Submission & Reporting: Sending completed applications to government reviewers and following up with progress reports to release funding amounts.
Developing a Funding Application: In-House vs. External Support
When considering whether to develop a small business funding application internally or through outside support, businesses should think about how your team’s strategic vision, technical writing aptitude, knowledge of the funding landscape, and in-depth comprehension of the targeted program’s evaluation criteria.
In-House Application Method
Navigating the Canadian government funding process internally is one option often considered by businesses who have the internal capacity to research and navigate the funding process without outside help.
Businesses will need to accommodate the time investment required to research and apply for funding using internal resources to be successful. For smaller businesses, this could mean significant time requirements for key strategic personnel, taking them away from their day-to-day responsibilities.
External Support Method
Each stage of the successful funding path can be completed by external support; this is the best way to achieve an efficient funding process. Some partners will support one stage, while others will support multiple, or all stages of the funding process. Finding a partner to help you navigate the entire process will help make sure that none of the stages are skipped and that you’re optimizing the value received from government grants, loans, and other incentives.
True comprehensive support consultants are experts in government funding and can guide your business through the process, outlining each stage and simplifying with templates and standardized information collection documents.
How to Determine Your Need for Funding Process Support
When getting started with government funding programs, there are three variables that companies can use to determine an optimal funding path. These include:
- Time: Amount of time required internally for the process.
- Talent: The amount of internal work and skill required.
- Project Management: The internal resources required to coordinate and complete each stage of the funding process.
An entirely in-house application process requires additional time and internal resources. This is because of all the extra work that must be completed by employees. Contracting this work to an external support partner will greatly reduce internal workload, but will represent an additional business expense. Ultimately, companies must choose whether they want to take on the responsibilities internally or receive external support.
Navigating the Canadian Government Funding Process: Free Slide Deck
This article compares two ways that the Canadian government funding application process can be completed: internally and through comprehensive government funding support. There are varying levels of support, however, where companies can complete part of the funding process while receiving minimal external support.
For even greater insight into the options your company has when applying for Canadian government funding, please download the Navigating the Government Funding Process slide deck.