small business owners finding out they're approved for a small business loan

Saskatchewan Small Business Loans Guide

There are a multitude of loan options available in Canada - making it stressful for small businesses to find something that meets their needs and unique circumstances. This Saskatchewan small business loans guide will help you easily compare options so you can cut your search time in half and meet your business objectives sooner. 

Additionally, if you are seeking grant options, see this article on small business grants in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan Startup and Business Expansion Loans

If you want to start a new business or expand on an existing business in Saskatchewan, these loan options could be right for you.

Community Futures Saskatchewan Business Loans

What loan is it?

The Community Futures Saskatchewan Business Loans will provide small business loans that are designed for new start-ups, expansions, or to buy a business in a rural community. Solution based financing is tailored to meet the needs of the individual business and decisions are made locally.

Loan amount and repayment terms

Loan guidelines are as follows: 

  • $150,000 maximum for all businesses
  • Fixed interest rate and amortization starting at the beginning of the application
  • No repayment penalties

How to qualify

If you already know what your financing needs are, you can start on the  business plan and loan application, and submit it to your closest Community Futures office. A representative will be available to answer questions to help you with your application. 

The business plan will ask you to include information such as: business description, market analysis, target market profile, competition, product/service description, product/service price, distribution, etc. 

If you already have business and are seeking financing, they may not require a business plan. If you only complete the Loan Application, contact your local Community Futures office and arrange a meeting to discuss your requirements.

Ag-West Bio’s Technology Commercialization Investment Fund

What loan is it?

The AG-West Bio’s Technology Commercialization Investment Fund provides advantageous services that include helping businesses in their early stages to become investment ready. This is comprehensive process where a business works closely with Ag-West Bio management to create a unique plan that is suited to your specific needs. They provide input and resources towards research, market networks, funding sources that will direct companies to other services and other industry stakeholders to address gaps.  

Loan amount and repayment terms

This resource provides repayable investment capital and helps to secure matching funds for qualifying companies who are in their early stages. In these early stages of development, it can be challenging and risky for companies to secure monetary sources, so these funds are beneficial because of their flexible and patient risk capital. Funding ranges from $50,000 to $300,000 and is given to innovative endeavours that prove to be a long term benefit to Saskatchewan. Investments are given in the form of loans and royalty which is based on company revenue.

How to qualify

To be eligible, companies must meet the following criteria:

  • Create a detailed business plan that demonstrates the benefits to Saskatchewan bio-science and/or agriculture technology industries, in the form of:
  • How to creates jobs 
  • Economic activity
  • Wealth creation
  • Innovative new technology, product or service for those operating in the industry
  • Growth in research or commercialization knowledge capital
  • Substantial environmental impact

  • Be a for-profit, Saskatchewan incorporated company and have a secure financial return opportunity
  • Have a proven core technology that can scale and create measurable change
  • Have an defined market with defined market partners and demonstrated market traction
  • Have a strong team with a core focus on revenue and commercialization

A more detailed list of requirements may be found here

Affinity Small Business Loan

What loan is it?

The Affinity Small Business Loan was designed to support entrepreneurs who have never run their own business before, lack collateral or who are in a low-income situation. Affinity can help you with research and development, marketing, purchasing equipment or getting your product or service ready for sale. 

Loan amount and repayment terms

Small business loans may be offered up to $50,000. The repayment terms will depend on the types of loan you need, Affinity offers help with mortgages, term loans, revolving credit, leasing, specialty financing and government programs. 

How to qualify

These small business loans are accessible for individuals or organizations who:

  • Run, or are about to run, a business in Saskatchewan (including social enterprises)
  • Employ less than 50 employees and the annual total sales do not surpass $1 million

  • Demonstrate a compelling business plan, strong passion for your business idea and display commitment to success and loan repayment

Minority Entrepreneur and Business Loans

These Saskatchewan small business loans were created to empower minority entrepreneurs, by offering the funds to put their goals into motion. 

Women Entrepreneurs Saskatchewan Loan

What loan is it?

The Women Entrepreneurs Saskatchewan Loan was designed to help foster a stronger presence of female owned and controlled businesses in Saskatchewan. 

“Woman owned” is defined as greater than 50% ownership, however, under certain circumstances 50% ownership may be considered.

Their financing for women entrepreneurs has provided $38.8 million to grow member businesses and has helped create 1,685 jobs and counting. 

Loan amount and repayment terms

With loans of up to $150,000 (or more through their partnerships), women can concentrate on their own prosperity by focusing on establishing and growing their business in Saskatchewan.

Most loans are offered at a fixed rate of +3% over the prime lending rate when the date the application is signed. It is possible for rates to be altered to slightly higher or lower, based on the specific risk level of the loan. However once you receive your rate it will stay the same for the entire duration of the loan, therefore giving you peace of mind that your payments will not increase when interest rates rise.

This loan has a 5 year repayment period. However, depending on the amount of the loan and the company's specific situation, the term of the loan can sway fro 1 year up to a maximum of 7 years. Repayment terms longer than 7 years can be possible special situations.

How to qualify

Eligibility criteria includes: 

  • A legal entity.
  • A woman, or a business owned and controlled by a woman/ women.
  • A Canadian citizen or landed immigrant/permanent resident, or a legal entity owned by a Canadian citizen(s) or landed immigrant(s).
  • A registered business in Saskatchewan or Western Canada.
  • Working or about to work in Saskatchewan.
  • A Saskatchewan resident, 18 years of age or older.
  • A full member of WESK for the duration of the loan.

Business Development Program for Metis Entrepreneurs

What loan is it?

The Business Development Program is intended to assist Métis entrepreneurs by providing funding through a repayable interest-free loan. This contribution enhances the applicant’s ability to leverage financing from other financial institutions and agencies.

The purpose of this program is:

  • To establish a new business
  • To purchase an existing business
  • To expand and renovate an existing business

Loan amount and repayment terms

Under this program, the CCDF can provide interest-free financial assistance of up to $300,000 per project or 50% of project costs excluding pre-operating costs, working capital, and goodwill. 

Repayment contribution is an interest-free loan and the term is up to a maximum of 10 years.

How to qualify

Qualification criteria includes: 

  • Businesses who request funding need to display capability via a strong business plan.
  • Applicants are required to contribute a minimum of 5% equity to the project.
  • Equity may be in the form of cash, machinery, equipment, real estate or other unencumbered assets. Assets must be valued at fair market value by an independent appraiser.
  • A 1% administration fee will be applied to all Business Development Equity Contributions.
  • Applicant(s) must be of Métis descendants working a business in Saskatchewan.

Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFI) Developmental Loan

What loan is it?

The Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation provides financing for First Nation’s start-up businesses and to existing First Nation businesses operating in Saskatchewan. 

The developmental loan is provided to Aboriginal entrepreneurs or business owners who face difficulty in receiving business financing from conventional commercial financial institutions.

This loan may be used for commercial or agricultural business development. However, developmental loans do not include residential or passive mortgage loans, personal loans or personal lines of credit of any nature, or loans and financing of any kind that will not be used directly for the purpose of business development. 

Loan amount and repayment terms

Loan amount and repayment terms will vary depending on the type of loan you are seeking. Some options include: 

  • Capital Loans: Businesses typically need to buy assets to before they start operating; SIEF can provide financing for these types of purchases.
  • Working Capital/Operating Loans: Daily operations can be costly, SIEF could be able to provide short term lending that will meet your daily operating needs.
  • Bridge Financing: If you have a guaranteed source of revenue, such as government grants/funding, SIEF may be able to provide lending until funding is received.
  • Participation Loans: SIEF will consider partnering with another Financial Institution if your financing needs exceed SIEF lending guidelines.

How to qualify

Eligibility criteria includes: 

  • Are required to be First Nation and a resident of Saskatchewan.
  • Business must be First Nation owned with at least 51% ownership.
  • Financing is accessible to First Nation individuals, Bands, Tribal Councils, and legal entities associated with First Nations groups.
  • Must be starting a new business, acquiring an existing business, or expanding current business.
  • Business plan with financial projections (advisory services available through Business Development Office).
  • Must complete the commercial or agricultural loan application, as well as  have it  signed and returned to the commercial/agricultural loans manager.

Black Entrepreneur Startup Program

What loan is it?

The Black Entrepreneur Startup Program provides startup loan financing along with guidance to see you through all the steps of your business journey from financing to launch. Perk of this program include: 

  • Up to two years of 1-1 expert mentorship.
  • Networking opportunities by engaging with a national network of Black entrepreneurs, leaders and Black-led community organizations at a range of entrepreneurship events

This program is the tailored version of their core Startup Program, and is specifically created to address some of the roadblocks to success encountered by many aspiring Black entrepreneurs.

Loan amount and repayment terms

Financing from $5,000 to $60,000 in startup loan financing * (up to $40,000 of which is delivered by Futurpreneur, funded by RBC; and up to $20,000 loaned by BDC)

There is also an opportunity to apply for up to $40,000 in follow-on financing funded by RBC, based on the first two years of prosperous business performance.

Repayment terms may vary. 

How to qualify

In order be a qualifying applicant you must meet the following requirements: 

  • Applicants must be Black and be Canadian citizens or permanent residents age 18-39
  • If there are only two partners/owner of the applicants’ business, the business must be majority Black-owned ( greater than 50%)
  • If there are more than two partners/owners, the business must be at least 25% Black-owned

For a more detailed list of eligibility requirements check here

If you are looking to secure business loans in Saskatchewan then consider using accounting software like QuickBooks Online to manage your finances and generate the financial reports you need to successfully apply. Start your free trial today.

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