How to Qualify for Funding for Small Business through iSTEM

Business leaderThe Graduate Enterprise Internship (GEI) or iSTEM Program is funded by FedDev Ontario  and supports the hiring of recent STEM graduates (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs).

Qualifying for iSTEM Government Funding for Small Businesses

Companies interested in the iSTEM Ontario small business grants must obtain approval to participate in the program by meeting the following requirements:

  • Incorporated and located in Southern Ontario
  • Adequately established in the field so as to be able to provide value to the intern through mentoring related to their discipline.
  • Company must be in a position to use and benefit from the technical knowledge of the intern.

Intern Qualifications for iSTEM Government Funding Canada

For an applicant intern to qualify for iSTEM government grants for small business participation, they must fit the following criteria listed below.

  • Must be a recent graduate from the institution with which you are applying (meaning within the last 5 years)
  • If applying through Ryerson University or The University of Waterloo, intern must be a recent graduate from an Ontario 3-year college program or university program.
  • May also be a current graduate student at the institution at which you are applying.
  • Must be a graduate of or a graduate student in a STEM program;
  • Must not be currently employed or connected with the company participating in the iSTEM program or had been employed by or connected with the company in any way previously;
  • Must NOT have participated in the iSTEM program previously;
  • Must be eligible to work in Canada;
  • The intern must begin the internship within 3 months of internship being approved by the iSTEM program;
  • The intern must work full-time hours during the internship. The internship is meant to be done while the intern is not attending school.

Application Components for iSTEM Government Grants for Small Business

  1. Company overview
  2. Financial records, attesting to the financial stability of the organization
  3. Job description(s), hourly rate, and objective(s) for the related position(s)
  4. Résumé(s), once the company has found their candidate
  5. Other information stipulated in the specific post-secondary institution’s forms (varies depending on the University or College).
  6. Signed Funding Contract

From the time SME’s receive iSTEM government funding for business approval they will have 3 months to hire an intern and provide to proof of the employment agreement to the iSTEM-participating institution (i.e. Ryerson).

Final Report Required as Part of the Small Business Grants Funding Process

At the end of the internship, SMEs are expected to provide a detailed report to the iSTEM program. This report will provide the following details:

  • The total cost of the internship
  • The total cash investment by the company in the internship
  • The census division
  • Sector (NAICS code)
  • The size of Eligible End Recipient (number of employees)
  • A description of the organizational roles and structured mentoring including:
    • Intern’s title and brief description of his or her job/duties, title of mentor, role of mentor
    • Frequency of mentorship and content of structured mentorship meetings
    • Patents/copyrights/invention disclosures created by the intern during the internship
    • New processes, skills and technologies adopted by the intern during the internship

Learn More About iSTEM Canadian Government Funding

Choose from one of the following for more information, or to get started on your iSTEM application today!

Get-StartedProgram-Overviewyoung interns hired through iSTEM

Mentor Works Government Small Business Grants and Loans Experts

If you are an incorporated business with an interest in this or other small business grants for hiring programs please contact a Canadian government funding expert for more information.   Also, please keep up with new small business grants and small business loans Ontario by subscribing to our Canadian government funding weekly E-newsletter.

Other Ways to Connect with Small Business Grants and Loans Experts

If you have been incorporated for a minimum of 2 years and have at least 15 people on staff, check out a brief trailer describing our Free Canadian government funding workshops available across Ontario.  You can also follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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