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Guide to Small Business Grants in Alberta

This Alberta grants guide can help small businesses find funding applications that can help them start, manage, and grow their businesses, including local Edmonton grants and minority-focused and Indigenous grants. From third-party funding like Alberta Innovates to government grants like the Canada-Alberta job grant, you can find the funding you need for your business to succeed.

For more information on other provincial grants, read our Guide to Small Business Grants in Canada.

Applying for Government Grants in Alberta

In order to be eligible for government grants Alberta and third-party support service programs, businesses must check specific criteria. Almost all grants must require the eligible businesses to possess a business license. Therefore, ensure you have registered your business name in Canada.

Generally, small businesses applying for Alberta grants should have the following ready when submitting applications:

  • Business license number
  • Business plan
  • Financial reports illustrating the past year of business operations
  • Employee list
  • Applicable forms
  • Indians status and identification cards for applicable First Nation grants

Small business resources on the Government of Alberta’s website can help you determine the full range of documentation you will need for small business grants in Alberta.

Many of the business support programs provide a non-repayable allotment, however, some small business loans require the grant winner to pay back a percentage of the funds, so it’s important to understand the financial requirements when financial planning.

Who is Eligible for Small Business Grants in Alberta?

When it comes to government and third-party grants, there are a variety of eligible applicants. Many of these grant types stipulate that small businesses, or small to medium enterprises (SEM), structured as a sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation, can apply. These grants are sometimes divided into for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations, and industry-related and community-based.

Innovation and Economic Growth Grants

Alberta Innovates - Voucher and micro-vouchers programs

Alberta Innovates is an organization that supports businesses within the Alberta province, providing funds for research, economic growth, and new technology. Their grant programs offer funding for a variety of industry types and business tasks.

What is it?

The Alberta Innovation Voucher and Micro-Voucher programs were designed to “support innovation and creative problem-solving for Alberta small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).” The goal is to spur the development and commercialization of new technology or business solutions and generate “material risk-weighted returns on investment to the Province of Alberta based on economic, social or environmental metrics.”

How much is awarded?

If your business fits the eligibility guidelines, you can apply for $10,000 up to $100,000 based on your business needs.

Who can apply?

For vouchers: Vouchers support technologies in the “mid-to-late developmental stages but may include some early developmental stages.” The aim is to fund SMEs that collaborate with up to three service or product providers and advance their technologies closer to commercialization.

For micro-vouchers: The Micro Voucher Program encourages “high potential, high growth Small/Medium Enterprises (“SMEs”) with novel, promising technologies, strong management, and a reasonably identified product/market fit” to accelerate the commercialization of new products.

How to apply?

Complete your application on their website through the online application portal.

Canada- Alberta Job Grant

What is it?

The Canada-Alberta Job Grant is a government funding program that aims to provide funds to employers for hiring and training other Albertans. A business owner that is an employer can apply for funding to receive a grant that will cover the cost of training current and/ or future employees for necessary business roles.

Funding is provided to approved employers through the Workforce Development Agreement made by the Government of Canada.

How much is awarded?

Employers must contribute a minimum of one-third of the total training costs for their existing employees. The government will provide the remaining two-thirds of the cost, up to a maximum of $10,000, per trainee per fiscal year.

If the employer aims to hire and train unemployed Albertan workers, then this government grant can cover the total cost, or 100% of the training costs, up to $15,000 per trainee.

There is, however, a cap, with a maximum of $300,000 given to any individual employer per fiscal year.

Who can apply?

Eligible individuals are divided into employers and trainees when it comes to this government funding. The Canada-Alberta Job Grant is available to:

  • Private-sector employers, including sole proprietors and partnerships
  • Non-profit employers
  • First Nations and Metis Settlements
  • The Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (only applies if located within a community with a population of 100,000 or less)
  • The Alberta Treasury Branches (only applies if located within a community with a population of 100,000 or less)
  • Alberta employers with current or potential employees in need of training to fill positions within the company

In order to be eligible as a trainee, they must be one of the following:

  • A Canadian citizen
  • A Permanent Resident
  • Protected persons under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and are entitled to work within Canada
  • Employed family members
  • Business owners with four or fewer employees are also allowed as trainees

Finally, both employers and trainees must live within Alberta.

How to apply?

The grant applicant guide can help you throughout the application process, which can be started on the Labour’s Workforce Grants Portal. The government recommends all applications be submitted at least 30 days before the start date of the training.

Alberta Export Expansion Program

What is it?

The Alberta Export Expansion Program offers to fund export-ready businesses and non-profits looking to expand into international markets and attract global buyers to Alberta. Alberta entrepreneurs can obtain this funding in the form of a reimbursement that covers applicable business expenses spanning international travel, including accommodations, airfare, inter-city ground travel, trade shows and event fees, interpretive and translation services, and conference room spaces.

How much is awarded?

Approved parties will receive a grant reimbursement between $1,000 and $25,000 per year to cover the cost of approved business expenses. For-profit companies are entitled to a reimbursement of up to 50% on eligible costs, while a non-profit organization can receive up to 75% back.

Who can apply?

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), municipalities, industry associations, Indigenous communities, and economic development entities promoting Alberta exports through enticing international buyers to Alberta or promoting outbound international business are entitled to this program.

For-profit businesses must possess annual sales between $50,000 and $25 million, have at least one full-time employee in Alberta, be an incorporated legal entity, operate within Alberta with a permanent establishment, have a complete application form, and present a well-thought-out market entry plan.

That being said, only Albertan SMEs that operate within the following industries can apply:

  • Manufacturing focused on general manufacturing and materials, or its infrastructure and construction
  • Agricultural products and Agri-Food
  • Energy sectors covering oil and gas, services and technology, petrochemicals, and alternative energy
  • Environmental sectors covering environmental products and forestry
  • Technology sectors covering aerospace and defence, life sciences and health technology, cleantech, bio-industrial technology, and information and communication technology
  • Cultural sectors including film, music, publishing, software and interactive digital media
  • Tourism companies led by the government, or an arm’s length organization

How to apply?

All eligible small and medium enterprises can apply for this program by creating a user account on the government site and submitting all relevant documentation there.

Edmonton Individual Business Grant

What is it?

The Edmonton Individual Business Grant offers two forms of funding for businesses that have suffered a loss of revenue due to COVID-19:

  1. Local Economic Conditions Component: Urgent situations to help businesses recover from the impact of COVID-19.
  2. Restrictions Exemption Program Component: Businesses that are in scope to receive funding to cover the costs incurred by owners in their administration of the Provincial Restrictions Exemption Program.

How much is awarded?

In either case, the Local Economic Conditions Component and the Restrictions Exemption Program Component both provide a one-ff micro-grant of $1000 for eligible businesses.

Who can apply?

Only those businesses that possess the following criteria can apply for and receive funding through this program:

  • The business is located in Edmonton
  • The business must have had a loss of revenue due to COVID-19
  • The business must possess a valid business license (unless the city does not require you to have one)
  • Only business owners or designated authorities can apply

Must be considered an in-scope business as dictated by the Restrictions Exemption Program to apply for the Restrictions Exemption Program Component of the Individual Business Grant

Therefore, only Edmonton-based companies will be approved for these Edmonton grants.

How to apply?

Start your application on the Edmonton site portal.

Alberta Arts Industry Grants

Alberta Media Fund

What is it?

The Alberta Media Fund (AMF) covers multiple business support programs that offer a variety of funding opportunities for the Albertan cultural industry.

  • Alberta Made Production Grant: This grant provides funding for small-budget productions, aimed at promoting the investment and creation of smaller-budget productions made by Alberta producers.
  • Post-Production, Visual Effects and Digital Animation Grant: This grant helps cover labour costs for Alberta organizations that are involved in the development and delivery of post-production services in the province, including visual effects and digital animation.
  • Project/Script Development Grant: Funding is offered to writers, directors, and producers in Alberta to help cover the cost of the development of commercial-ready projects and scripts that are at least 30 minutes in broadcast length.
  • Cultural Industry Grants: Obtain financial assistance for projects and organizations involved in book and magazine publishing, sound recording, and film production. This grant offers three streams of funding: the Organization Operating Grant meant to cover operating expenses related to the project, the Organization Project Grant aimed at covering project expenses, and the Support Organization Operating Grant meant to support entities designated by the Alberta Culture and Status of Women groups.

These Alberta Media Fund programs are meant to promote the economic development of the art industry, create jobs, grow national and international interest, support Alberta-made content, and attract media outlets to the Alberta area.

How much is awarded?

  • Alberta Made Production Grant: This grant awards a maximum of $125,000 to eligible applicants and will cover 25% of the approved Alberta labour and non-labour costs.
  • Post-Production, Visual Effects and Digital Animation Grant: This grant offers a maximum of $200,000 to recipients to cover the labour expenses of post-production animation and visual effects organizations.
  • Project/Script Development Grant: The funding for this grant offers up $55,000 per project to cover expenses related to script or project development within a fiscal year.
  • Cultural Industry Grants: The funding for this grant changes depending on the available grant stream each year. Certain streams of funding can reach a maximum contribution of $50,000 to cover up to 50% of applicable expenses.

Who can apply?

Alberta entrepreneurs, organizations, or businesses involved in the creation and promotion of media activities, including screen-based productions, digital media, scriptwriting, book and magazine publishing, and sound recording can apply for these four grants. In all cases, the applicant must be an Albertan resident.

How to apply?

Head over to the Alberta government website to start your application for the above grants in the new year.

Agricultural and Environmental Grants

Canadian Agricultural Partnership Alberta (CAP)

What is it?

The Albertan Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is a federal-provincial-territorial investment in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector. The Government of Canada awards funds to each province to help develop economic and investment growth within the agricultural sector.

  • Efficient Grain Handling: This energy efficiency program offers support to agricultural producers by reducing the overall energy use of their operations. Funding goes towards equipment that can significantly improve the energy efficiency of the businesses.
  • Emerging Opportunities: This grant supports the Albertan agricultural sector in regard to growth and development. This investment is for new and emerging agriculture, agri-processing and agri-based products, aimed at the diversification and economic growth of the province.
  • Farm Technology: The Farm Technology grant supports businesses through the adoption of innovative technology that minimizes agricultural waste and optimizes efficiencies. The grant is split into two parts: the Farm Technology stream that supports the implementation of new technologies in the industry, and the Farm Security stream that helps producers secure business assets.
  • Market Assurance: The funding from the Market Assurance grant supports businesses in implementing market assurance requirements and reducing risks for plant health, apiculture health, livestock health, biosecurity, traceability, surveillance and livestock welfare.
  • Water: The water grant is divided into two streams: the on-farm irrigation project and the on-farm water supply project. In either case, funding is used to enhance agricultural water management and encourage growth for entities within the agricultural industry.

How much is awarded?

The CAP grant offers eligible businesses funding through multiple grant programs.

  • Efficient Grain Handling: The funding for this grant covers 50% of the cost of equipment, with a maximum of $100,000 awarded, while the applicant must cover the other 50% of costs.
  • Emerging Opportunities: The maximum funding provided by this grant is $500,000 per fiscal year, and can only be granted to an entity that has not applied for any other CAP funding.
  • Farm Technology: This grant offers 50% funding while the applicant is responsible for the remaining 50%. The maximum amount allotted for the Program Term is $48,000 per applicant under the Farm Technology Stream and up to $2,000 for the Farm Security Stream, making the maximum available funds for the program $50,0000.
  • Market Assurance: The maximum allowable amount for this program is $250,000 per project, covering up to 50% of approved non-capital expenses and 25% of eligible capital expenses.
  • Water: The maximum funding available for both the on-farm irrigation stream and on-farm water supply stream is $25,000, with eligible expenses being cost-shared at 25% grant and 75% applicant.

Who can apply?

Both the Efficient Grain Handling Grant and the Farm Technology grant guidelines state that eligible businesses must operate in Alberta and be responsible for input costs, agricultural crops, or livestock production of at least $25,000 worth of farm commodities each year. Landlords of the farmland do not count. Businesses must also have either a current Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) Certificate or a letter of completion from an EFP technician or are currently working towards the certification before the end of the project term.

The Emerging Opportunities Grant and the Market Assurance Grant are open to registered businesses in Alberta that operate out of the province and fall under one of the eligible agricultural categories of food processors or agri-processors, industry organizations, primary producers, or Indian bands.

Finally, small, medium and large-sized businesses operating out of Alberta can apply for one of two Water Grants. Applicants applying for the on-farm irrigation projects are eligible if they produce at least $25,000 in farm commodities annually, own an irrigated agricultural operation in the province, and have not been previously approved from the former CAP programs. Applicants can apply for the on-farm water supply projects if they produce at least $10,000 in farm commodities a year and are liable to pay Alberta income tax or corporate tax on income from the production of farm commodities.

How to apply?

Depending on the Alberta government grants you are applying for, you will need to contact different departments to start the process.

To start the application process for the Efficient Grain Handling grant, complete the Application Form, and forward the complete form with all other applicable documents to

To apply for the Emerging Opportunities grant, you will need to contact the program office,, to discuss the process.

Ensure you cover all Farm Technology Program Terms and Conditions when applying for this grant, and then send all forms and documentation to

For the Market Assurance grant, fill in the Application Form and submit the form and all other documentation to

For the on-farm irrigation water grant, contact to apply. For the on-farm water supply project, contact to start the application process.

Self-Employed Training and Minority-Based Business Support Programs

Apeetogosan (Metis) Development Inc. and Pinnacle Business Services LTD. Grant

What is it?

The Métis Entrepreneurs’ Assistance Program (MEAP) offers equity assistance for startups and the expansion of small businesses owned by Métis, Inuit or Non-Status individuals in western Canada.

How much is awarded?

This MEAP grant is a non-repayable grant that can cover 30% of the cost of your project, with a maximum contribution of $99,999. That being said, applicants must provide 10% of the project’s total cost, with the remaining 60% coming from a third-party business loan provider.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be Alberta residents with a business located in the province and are either Métis, Inuit or Non-Status individuals. You must have a minimum of 6 months of experience within the industry you are starting your business in as applicable projects must be a start-up or expansion of an established business. The business must possess an income generation of at least $20,000 annually and the total project must exceed $20,000.

How to apply?

To apply, download and complete the MEAP (Métis Entrepreneurs’ Assistance Program) application form. Send the completed application, and all applicable documents, including a copy of your Métis card to

Alberta Indian Investment Corporation Status Entrepreneur Grant

What is it?

The Status Entrepreneur Assistance Program (SEAP) provides equity assistance for a start-up or the expansion of a small business for Status individuals. This is a non-repayable grant meant to mitigate the borrowing amount of status individuals from financial institutions.

How much is awarded?

Like the MEAP grant, this SEAP grant provides a maximum amount of $99,999 to cover up to 30% of a business’s start-up or expansion costs.

Who can apply?

Albertan residents with a business located in the province can apply. The applicant must be a status individual and have a minimum of 6 months of experience within the industry their business is starting in and it must generate an annual income of at least $20,000. The project must exceed $20,000 and the applicant must obtain financing through a commercial lender for the remainder of the project costs.

How to apply?

Download the application form and apply directly on the AIIC website.

Treaty Seven Economic Development Targeted Wage Subsidy

What is it?

The Targeted Wage Subsidy (TWS), put on by Treaty Seven, provides funding to businesses and employers that are willing to hire First Nations individuals who lack the necessary work experience and skills required for the job. The aim is for these First Nations individuals to become full-time employees through the help of funding, and once the funding is complete, they will keep their positions within the business. The wage subsidy cannot exceed 12 weeks (3 months) in duration.

How much is awarded?

The TWS subsidy ensures the employer will receive a reimbursement of a percentage of the wages of the hired individual on a monthly basis. The maximum amount allowed is either $10.00 per hour or 50% of the total wages- whichever is the lesser amount.

Who can apply?

Eligibility for this funding is divided into eligible employees and eligible employers. First Nations individuals applying as an employee must be unemployed, possess marketable skills but have been unsuccessful in finding employment, and be able to work full-time. Persons with disabilities are eligible for part-time positions.

Eligible employers must agree to provide work experience to those who might not otherwise be considered for employment in the absence of the wage subsidy. The employer must have the intent to hire the individual on a full-time basis once the TWS funding comes to an end. The employer cannot lay off an existing position to make room for this TWS role and they cannot hire immediate family members for the position.

Apprenticeship training for new and existing employees is not eligible for this wage subsidy program.

How to apply?

Employers can apply for the Wage Subsidy Program by requesting an Employer Wage Subsidy Application form from one of the Urban Indigenous Employment Centres. Once complete, a Career Counsellor from the Centre will forward your application package to CFT7 for a funding decision.

Start the application process through Calgary’s Aboriginal Futures Career and Training Centre or the Medicine Hat and Lethbridge Aboriginal Employment and Training Association.

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