Since the advent of the information age, there has been an increasingly greater emphasis on the role that human capital plays in the strategic growth planning of small and medium-sized businesses (SME’s) in Canada. As a result Canadian SME’s have looked to leverage Canadian small business grants and loans programs to develop a crucial competitive advantage over firms competing in their space. In turn, the Canadian government along with a number of not-for-profit organizations have opened a wide variety of Canadian government funding for hiring opportunities.
Most of the programs that we have highlighted in our article, “Top 5 Hiring Programs for 2013” are classified as hiring grants for small business; and they include funding for virtually all areas of expertise including: technical, engineering, marketing, eHealth, etc. These programs typically support employment terms from 4 months to 12 months and cover up to 50% of the employee’s wages, usually in the $10,000 to $15,000 range for maximum funding per intern, while one hiring grant for business expansion reaches up to $40,000 per year for 2 years.
Mitacs Research and Development Funding for Small Business Hiring
The first program we would like to draw attention to is Mitacs. Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit research organization that has developed a proactive and successful approach to supporting innovation, both directly through collaborative research and development funding and indirectly through long-term development of skilled human capital. Among the programs that Mitacs offers to SME’s is Mitacs Enterprise and Mitacs Accelerate. The focus of both of these programs is supporting internships in the STEM area of expertise (science, technology, engineering and math). MITACS Enterprise allows companies to hire post-secondary students or graduates that specialize in science, technical, engineering, or math for a 6-month internship. There are three levels of funding:
- Bachelor’s Degree Graduate: Up to $10,000 grant over 6 months (full-time)
- Graduate Student: Up to $7,500 grant over 6 months (part-time)
- Graduate or Post-Doctorate Degree: Up to $15,000 grant over 6 months (full-time)
Companies can hire as many interns as they desire through MITACS Enterprise, with a maximum total grant amount of $30,000. Meanwhile, Mitacs Acclerate pairs high-quality expertise from universities with business to provide innovative research, methods and development of tools, models, technology or solutions to support challenges over a period of four months. The total funding available through this program is $7,500 and there is a preference given to research-type projects.
Canadian Government Funding through ICTC Career Focus
Another fantastic business funding grants hiring program is ICTC Career Focus. Focusing on information and communications technology, this wage subsidy is a great option for companies looking to overhaul their online presence through a new website, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, as well as any software development or IT-related projects. Career Focus covers 50% of the successful candidate’s wage, up to $12,750 for a 4-8 month internship.
Government Funding for Small Business Expansion
Please Note: The Export Manager Program is now closed and not accepting further applications. For trade show grants and other forms of export support, please visit our page on Business and Export Expansion Funding Programs.
Next, one of the most lucrative and least well-known small business funding grants for hiring is the Export Manager Program provided through the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. This government funding for small business program has been established to help small and medium-sized enterprises gain access to international markets. OEF Canadian government funding covers 50% of eligible costs associated with hiring an experienced Export Manager, (up to $40,000 per year for 2 years, totalling a maximum of $80,000 in Canadian funding for small business). Eligible companies must have $2M-20M in revenue, 10-50% of which is related to export sales.
YEP Government Grants for Business Hiring
Finally, one of the best Canadian business grants for hiring is the IRAP Youth Employment Program (YEP) which is reserved for any new, but unique role within an organization. This 12-month internship program covers 50% of an employee’s hourly wage, up to $15,000 for 1-2 interns’ salaries. To be eligible the intern must have a post-secondary degree or diploma and be younger than 31 years old. The program is open to candidates of all study disciplines.