CanExport SMEs Program is Reopening for New 2023 Intake

The CanExport SMEs program is reopening its applicant intake for projects that will be starting in the 2023–2024 government fiscal year (April 1–March 31). This intake may now be allowing funding for events that are in-person based on the Government of Canada’s Travel Advisories, although the CanExport SME program does not make any guarantees and suggests organizations that wish to apply to still consider virtual events. 

Up to two applications can be submitted per government fiscal year (April 1 to March 31). 

Canadian SMEs can access grants from the CanExport SMEs program for sales and export marketing activities that help them expand into new export markets and opportunities, especially high-growth markets and sectors. 

Accessing Grants for Export Activities

Amount of Funding 

Applicants that receive funding from the CanExport program may receive the following allotments: 

  • Funding in this intake may provide up to 50% of funding, which may range from $10,000 to a maximum $50,000 in cost sharing per project; 
  • Applicants must share at least 50% of remaining eligible costs; 
  • Maximum annual investments from CanExport will not exceed $99,999 (if multiple projects are approved for a single entity within the same government fiscal year); 
  • Budgets for projects that receive CanExport funding should range from $20,000–$100,000; and 
  • Multiple applications are permitted as long as their prior CanExport application has been completed and reporting is finalized. 

To learn more about this business expansion program, visit the CanExport program page today. 

Eligible Applicants 

An applicant may be eligible for this round of government funding through the CanExport SMEs program if they meet these requirements: 

  • Currently has a full-time equivalent (FTE) employee count ranging from 1 to 499; 
  • Is managing annual revenues that range from $100,000 to a maximum of $100,000,000; 
  • Is incorporated federally or is classified as a limited liability partnership (LLP); 
  • Has the ability to assume eligible project expenses of $20,000 or more; and 
  • Is financially stable and, therefore, capable of paying all project expenses not covered by CanExport SMEs. 

Eligible Activities 

To access CanExport SMEs funding for your business’s expansion initiatives, it is best practice to gear your proposed projects towards the following: 

  • Partaking in virtual trade shows, with costs such as event fees and other associated networking functions; 
  • Learning to adapt digital marketing and SEO practices with projects such as hiring third-party designers, getting collateral translation, and printing marketing collateral; 
  • Costs associated with applying for intellectual property (IP) or product certifications; 
  • Projects that require the gathering of market research, such as hiring a third-party company and performing custom studies or reports; and 
  • Securing advice from experts in areas such as digital and e-commerce marketing, intellectual property, trademarks, patents, certifications, consulting services, and sales. 

Please note: Travel restrictions for activities that require physical presence in foreign countries have mostly been lifted. However, please visit the Government of Canada’s Travel Advisories to receive the most up-to-date information as activities such as foreign market visits, in-person event participation, and trade mission participation can be impacted. 

Program Timeline 

The Canada SMEs program has opened its most recent intake for the 2023–2024 year. However, only projects starting after April 1, 2023, may be eligible for funding from the intake. Moreover, an applicant’s expenses will not be eligible for funding until they have successfully been verified via the approval process which may take up to 60 business days to receive a verdict. 

Government Funding Opportunities for Exporters 

Is your business interested in business expansion projects? The CanExport SMEs program may be the perfect fit for supplementing up to 50% of costs. Get in touch with one of our experts today to see if you might qualify for funding through this program. 

However, if you are looking for other funding opportunities, check out our business expansion funding directory to filter through the top programs available in Canada today. 

Our goal at Mentor Works is to provide Canadian businesses with news, resources, and opportunities about government funding in order to promote innovation, productivity improvements, and strong economic growth nationwide. 

Accessing Grants for Export Activities

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