The Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) is a province-wide network of regional and industry-focused not-for-profit organizations that support Ontario businesses through their provisions of expertise and business funding grants. The ONE organization has been widely recognized for their support and services, especially towards young entrepreneurs and small businesses. ONE engages local start-ups and small businesses and connects them with their associated members. These organizations provide services that can vary from a wide variety of applications to meet the needs of early-stage business.

Educational Programs for Start-Ups and Small Business

  • VentureStart Program: Ontario Regional Innovation Centres (RICs)provides up to $30K in seed capital on a matching funds basis to help entrepreneurs in Southern Ontario. The program also looks enhance the success of start-ups by providing business skills development and business launch support programs.
  • Business Acceleration Program (BAP): The MaRS Business Acceleration Program provides a number of services for inexperienced entrepreneurs and small business owners. The program is currently funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG) and looks to strengthen and accelerate Ontario’s start-ups and small business communities.

Collaborative Research and Development Funding Programs

  • Institutional Proof-of-Principle (IPoP): The IPoP program provides Ontario Government funding support for research and development partnerships between small businesses and academia.  The program can provide up to $50K in non-repayable business grants for publicly funded research institutions to carry out  R&D activities with potential commercial applications.
  • OCE Market Readiness Program: Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) can provide up to $600K in business funding grants to support the research and commercialization efforts of publicly funded laboratories. Labs are encouraged to foster relationships with industry partners to assist in the product transition to market.
  • OCE Technical Problem Solving: Through this program, OCE is supporting the development and implementation of innovative solutions for technical challenges experienced by Canadian SMEs. The program provides up to $50K for technical research and development to be carried out by a public research institution over a 6-12 month period.

Small Business Loans and Investment Opportunities

  • MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund: This fund provides early assistance for science and tech start-ups that are looking for financial backing. Entrepreneurs can receive up to $500K in a repayable business loan at an interest rate of prime plus one. Funding amounts will be determined on a case by case basis.
  • Angel Network Program (ANP): The ANP program connects entrepreneurs and small businesses with potential investors and established entrepreneurs. Start-Ups and entrepreneurs can receive technical skills development to help them through the early stages of their business development as well as networking and investment opportunities.

Canadian Small Business and Startup Funding

Although startups and early-stage businesses have fewer funding options than mature businesses, some programs and funding resources are still available to support your development. One of the best ways to learn about all of these opportunities is by becoming a Government Funding Insider. As a Funding Insider, you’ll gain access to a startup funding webinar, startup funding tools, and you’ll also receive occasional e-mail updates on new startup funding programs/competitions. Learn more about becoming a Government Funding Insider.

Startup Grants and Funding for Startups

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Mike is a Business Development Intern with Mentor Works. He is currently in the midst of receiving his Undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo’s Environment & Business Co-op Program. He plans to specialize his degree in Economics and Environmental Finance.

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