Please Note: The Early Stage Exporters program is no longer accepting applications. Please explore the Export Market Access (EMA) program for exporting grants.
According to Export Development Canada (EDC), Canadian businesses continue to scale their export expansion activities. In 2014, Canadian merchandise exported internationally climbed 11% compared to 2013 and will continue to grow by an additional 6% in 2015 (EDC). Globalization has changed the way that Canadian businesses operate; international expansion creates a number of new barriers for businesses, especially younger companies that are still formulating their market entrance strategy. So how can businesses feel more confident in their ventures into new markets?
Ontario Grants for Small Business Export Marketing
The Ontario provincial government is providing grants and incentives to help local businesses expand their markets outside of Canada’s borders. For example, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has offered the popular Export Market Access (EMA) program to established Ontario manufacturers and in-house software development firms to support export marketing and certification costs. However, this program does not support younger companies who are still solidifying their export expansion strategies. Thanks to a new program from OCC, startups now have Ontario business grants specifically for export expansion activities through a new program called Early Stage Exporters. This Ontario government funding opportunity can help younger businesses scale and expand into new international markets while minimizing the financial burden.
Early Stage Exporters Ontario Government Funding Details
Early stage incorporated businesses can apply for Early Stage Exporters small business funding grants for a number of international marketing activities, including:
- Exhibiting their goods/services at trade shows/event and technical seminars with a trade show component;
- Outgoing and incoming missions;
- Offline marketing tools related to international markets;
- Custom market research/intelligence (up to $5,000); and
- Foreign bidding projects.
This Ontario government funding program covers up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $30,000 per application in small business funding grants. Applications must request a minimum of $5,000 in grants and incentives. Eligible businesses are allowed to include up to three events per application and can receive a maximum of $150,000 in Ontario business grants through all three of the Global Growth Fund Grant Programs (ie. Ontario Exporters Fund (OEF), Export Market Access (EMA), and Early Stage Exporters).
Eligibility Details for Early Stage Exporters Small Business Funding Grants
Applicants must be incorporated for at least 2 years, hold $2M in general liability insurance, have the capacity to meet foreign market demand, must have products to be sold in export markets that are market ready, and have annual revenues of $300,000-500,000. The applying business must also be in one of the following priority sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Building Products & Construction, Clean technology, Exportable Professional Services, ICT including digital media, and Life Sciences. Please note that applicants must also provide financial statements as a component of the application process.
Start Leveraging Ontario Grants for Small Business Growth
If you are interested in accessing the Early Stage Exporters Fund for small business export growth, please contact Mentor Works. Our team of Canadian Government Funding Planners can help review your upcoming project’s eligibility and help to optimize your funding submission.