Canada is becoming world-renowned for its startup-friendly ecosystem and through continued government support, Canada can only continue to shine globally. Here are five government resources and destinations for entrepreneurs to check out for funding, mentorship, and more.
Industry Canada, which is part of Canada Business, works with entrepreneurs at various stages of the business cycle. It has resources to help with market research, finding financing, finding permits and licences, incorporating, and protecting intellectual property.
With regards to finance, Industry Canada has an online tool that generates a list of funding options available to a specific business. The applicant states what type of business they operate, the province they are located in and the purpose of the loan they require. The most suitable finance, loans and grants offered by the government are then generated and recommended. Use the tool here.
According to Public Works and Government Service Canada, the federal government is “one of the largest public buyers of goods and services in Canada.” It purchases over $16 billion annually to supply federal departments and agencies. Buyandsell.gc.ca exists to help entrepreneurs understand how to sell to government, to register businesses as suppliers, allow businesses to promote themselves to government, and search and bid on opportunities.
Startup Visa Program
The Government of Canada provides opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs to do business in Canada. The Startup VISA, a program of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, offers permanent residency to immigrant entrepreneurs who can acquire backing from a designated Canadian venture capital firm, angel investor or incubator. Unlike other business immigrant visa programs administered by provinces, the Startup Visa does not require the applicant to make an investment in Canada. Eligibility requirements vary depending on the entrepreneur and the type of partner who has their support. However, the entrepreneur needs to demonstrate proficiency in either French or English and have sufficient settlement funds to support themselves while they start-up.
Business Development Bank of Canada
The government-owned Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is the only bank exclusively dedicated to entrepreneurs in Canada. BDC offers three different types of support. At the highest level, BDC offers financing and securitization. It’s subsidiary, BDC Capital offers specialized financing such as venture capital and growth and transition capital. BDC’s newest initiative, BDC Advantage, offers non-finance related consulting services and aims to help SMEs grow and increase market competitiveness.
The Concierge Service is designed as a one-stop shop to connect entrepreneurs with relevant programs and services to help them grow through innovation. Concierge Services offer free mentorship to entrepreneurs from Innovation Advisors who are entrepreneurs and senior executives themselves with broad backgrounds in various industries. Through one-on-one meetings, they advise entrepreneurs on the most suitable programs and services available for their business needs. The custom guidance can be given in relation to funding, expertise, facilities and global opportunities for small to medium sized entrepreneurs.
To learn more about government support for entrepreneurs, watch this Google Hangout produced by Startup Canada and presented by Intuit Canada.
Photo Copyright: Alexandra Thompson