Small Business Grants: iSTEM Wage Subsidies for Hiring

bigstock-Business-people-discuss-someth-38635612The Graduate Enterprise Internship (GEI)/iSTEM Program is funded by FedDev Ontario to help support small and medium-sized businesses to hire recent post-secondary graduates of a STEM program –(Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).    There are several Ontario post-secondary institutions that serve as governing bodies for this program.  What is unique about The University of Waterloo and Ryerson University is that they both allow companies to hire outside of their university.

iSTEM Small Business Grants for Hiring 2010-2014

In 2010, Ryerson University received $80 million in funding over 4 years to give small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Southern Ontario the opportunity to receive a wage subsidy for hiring a Ryerson STEM graduate or graduate student for a 6 months internship.  Ryerson University is one of our favourite providers of the iSTEM program, however other universities in Southern Ontario including Waterloo University and Wilfred Laurier University and others also offer iSTEM Ontario small business grants for hiring.  Contact a Canadian government funding expert for more information.

Government Funding for Small Business Details

Ryerson’s iSTEM program provides small business grants for hiring interns in through a $10,000 government grant for small business for a graduate of a Bachelor’s program, and $15,000 for a graduate of a Master’s or Ph.D program or current graduate student. SME’s are expected to provide, in cash, funding that equals or exceeds the funding offered by iSTEM, and that includes benefits etc.

Scotia Bank’s IT Shared Services is excited to be using this program [iSTEM] to recruit technology students at Ryerson this year. Recruiter, Scotia Bank

iSTEM Small Business Grants Ontario Timeline for Approval Process

  • The approval process typically takes between 2-4 weeks (but turnaround times have been known to be faster on occasion)
  • IMPORTANT:  If you have made a hiring decision and would like to utilize this program, DO NOT put the candidate on payroll until after approval.
  • Some support is provided for companies that have not yet selected a candidate.  The length of the selection process will depend upon the type of position, rigor of recruitment process, etc.

Approval and Receipt of Small Business Grants through iSTEM

Funding for small business from Ryerson’s iSTEM program is provided to participating SMEs on a quarterly basis. To obtain small business grants Ontario payments, SMEs must provide Ryerson with invoices and supporting documentation. This documentation must demonstrate that the intern received payment.

The Ryerson iSTEM program determines the number of internships an SME is eligible for. This number is representative of the company’s ability to offer the mentorship and training needed by the intern. This is more difficult for Start-Ups than it is for an established company.

Learn More about Government Grants for Small Business Hiring through iSTEM

Choose from one of the following options to learn more about the iSTEM Program:


Learn More about Canadian Small Business Grants for Hiring

If your company is incorporated there are several opportunities to receive wage subsidies and Ontario grants for small business hiring.  Companies that have been incorporated for at least 2 years, have a minimum of 15 employees and perform some kind of manufacturing and/or R&D in Canada can choose from a multitude of programs.   For businesses falling in to this category please contact a Canadian government funding expert for a free consultation.   You can also sign up for our Canadian government funding workshop and follow our company on LinkedIn.

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