How to Qualify for the Alberta Export Support Fund

The Alberta Export Support Fund provides Alberta government grants to assist small and medium-size businesses residing in Alberta to attend or participate in international trade events. Those applying for Alberta export grants are typically developing new (or growing existing) markets as per a well-documented export strategy.

The program provides up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $25,000 in Alberta government funding. Eligible applicants may use these grants to offset travel, accommodation, and select trade show expenses.

Interested exporters should develop an understanding of the program’s focus before applying. If you’ve reviewed the program’s overview and still have questions about the eligibility of your business or projects, continue reading.

Alberta Export Support Fund: Business Eligibility Requirements

To apply for the Alberta Export Support Fund, businesses must:

  • Be a for-profit company, incorporated and operating in Alberta for at least 2 years;
  • Have a plan to enter/expand an export market representing less than 10% of company revenue over the past 12 months;
  • Have a minimum of one full-time employee in Alberta; and
  • Generate annual sales of $50k to $25M.

Industry Eligibility Criteria

The Alberta-Export Support Fund may be accessed by businesses operating in the following sectors:

  • Advanced manufacturing;
  • Information and communications technology (ICT);
  • Aerospace and defence;
  • Environmental products and services (including clean technology);
  • Manufacturing (including agricultural equipment);
  • Forestry;
  • Cultural Industries;
  • Construction;
  • Oil and gas products/services and technology;
  • Petrochemicals; and
  • Life sciences and health technology.

Export Support Fund: Expense Eligibility

The Alberta Export Support Fund will provide up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum $25,000 in Alberta small business grants.

Expenses eligible for an Alberta Export Support Fund application include:

  • Return economy airfare for up to 2 employees;
  • Event registration fees;
  • Accommodation in a standard room; and
  • Translation of marketing materials.

Ineligible Expenses

The following expenses are some of the expenses not eligible for program funding:

  • Travel expenses for individuals who are not direct employees of the applicant company (E.g., Contractors, consultants, sales representatives, etc.);
  • Booth fees while exhibiting at trade shows or other industry events;
  • Non-air transportation;
  • Entertainment and hospitality;
  • Salaries, wages, commissions;
  • Conducting market research;
  • Creation of any marketing-related materials; and
  • Legal service fees.

Please Note: The Alberta Export Support Fund will not cover any project activities that have taken place prior to receiving approval into the program.

Government of Alberta Trade Missions

In some cases, the Government of Alberta may provide funding to offset trade show exhibition (as opposed to only attendance) costs. These events will be organized through the Government of Alberta as a trade mission; businesses are invited to register if they meet the event’s industry focus.

Some of the upcoming industry events support companies in aerospace, manufacturing, mining/geomatics, and advanced technologies.

Apply for Alberta Small Business Grants for Export Expansion

Businesses should consider applying for the Alberta Export Support Fund if they meet the above eligibility criteria. Applications should be submitted at least 6 weeks before trade events to receive approval prior to incurring expenses.

To confirm eligibility for the Alberta Export Support Fund program and get started with the application process, please contact Mentor Works.

Apply for Canadian Government Funding

Updated: May 22, 2020

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Written by

Katlynd Poulton holds an Honours Bachelor of Public Relations with Distinction at Conestoga College. She believes in the power of communication and how it can fuel business success. As Mentor Works' Online Marketing Intern, Katlynd engages with business owners and executives through social platforms. ​​​​​​

Comments 2

9 July 2018 Reply

Hi I was looking to see if there is anything we can get funding for someone to help us with our website and marketing . We have been around for 30 years but no one knows us

12 July 2018 Reply

Hi Lynn, I’ve asked a colleage to contact you to discuss a couple funding options. There are a few ways this project can receive funding, from hiring a recent marketing graduate to help with an online presence, to funding that supports hiring e-commerce consultants. Please allow 1-2 business days for us to be in touch.

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