Innovation fundingIn autumn 2013, the Federal Government launched a five-year, $100 million western Canada funding program called the Western Innovative Initiative (WINN). This business funding initiative supports small and medium-sized businesses in western Canada who are dedicated to commercialize innovative, technology-based products, processes, and services while enabling company growth. The WINN program intends to stimulate greater private investment and jobs for highly qualified personnel in western Canada.

WINN Small Business Loans for Western Canada

Of the $100 million committed to funding this program, 20% will go towards projects under $250,000 while 80% will go to projects of $250,000 and more. The following is a high level view of the WINN small business loan program:

  • Funding Type: Repayable contribution; loan. Repayment will begin within 6 years of the final WINN contribution.
  • Amount: Up to 50% of eligible project expenses to a maximum of $3.5M per project. Lifetime funding maximum is $7.5M per applicant.
  • Timeline: Project length is flexible; the new technology must be commercialized within three years of the funding start date. There are two calls for proposals per year, applicants will be given 30 days from the announcement of the call for proposal to submit their application.
  • Eligibility: SMEs residing for 1+ years in Western Canada (BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) with 1-500 employees.

WINN Business Loans Canada: Ineligible Applicants

The following types of organizations will be ineligible for funding through WINN:

  • Federal/provincial government departments/agencies/boards/corporations/commissions;
  • Municipal governments;
  • Universities/colleges/hospitals;
  • Not-for-profit orgs; and
  • Accelerators/incubators.

WINN Eligible Projects/ Expenses

The following are deemed eligible projects/ expenses for the WINN funding program:

  • Introduction of a new product, process or service to new or existing markets;
  • Improvement of products, processes or services;
  • Technology development/acceleration;
  • Product certifications, including controlled goods registration;
  • Pilot projects (first user) and technology demonstration projects;
  • Validation of market potential and end-user acceptance; and
  • Support of marketing, human resources development, productivity, and process or quality improvement directly related to the commercialization of new opportunities.

Mentor Works Offers Government Grant & Loan Selection and Application Services to Established SME’s in Western Canada

Mentor Works offers selection and application services to established small and medium-sized businesses across Canada, including those based in western Canada. If your business has been incorporated for a minimum of three years, has at least 15 employees, manufactures or performs R&D in Canada, then contact a Canadian government funding expert to learn more about the business grant and loan programs available to help your business overcome financial obstacles to growth.

Learn More about Funding Available through WINN

Select from one of the following to learn more about the Western Innovation Initiative (WINN):

Get Started     Program Overview

Recent Western Innovation Initiative (WINN) Blogs:

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Written by

Ryan has a BA in economics, an MSc in management, and several published works including two books. As Marketing Analyst at Mentor Works, Ryan enjoys communicating with business owners & executives about government grants and funding available to help overcome obstacles to growth.

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