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Free Grant Resources: Empowering Entrepreneurs in Ontario

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FREE Resources for Small Business Planning: Empowering Entrepreneurs in Ontario

Starting and growing a small business can be both exhilarating and challenging, especially in an ever-evolving economic landscape. Fortunately, Ontario offers a wealth of resources and programs to support entrepreneurs, providing them with the tools and guidance needed to turn their ideas into thriving businesses. This rich tapestry of support systems is designed to cater to the diverse needs of aspiring and established business owners, whether they’re just starting or looking to expand.

Through this exploration, we aim to shed light on the incredible resources available to entrepreneurs, demonstrating how these programs can help turn business dreams into reality. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur looking for your next big break or an established business owner seeking to adapt and grow, Ontario’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has something to offer you.

1. Small Business Enterprise Centres

Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) offer entrepreneurs all the tools they need to start and grow their businesses at 54 convenient locations across the province. SBECs provide an extensive range of services, catering to the varied needs of entrepreneurs:

Expert Guidance: Entrepreneurs can access free consultations with qualified business consultants and even benefit from a lawyer or accountant referral service. This expert advice helps navigate complex business decisions and legal matters.

Resource Accessibility: Centres offer access to essential business planning tools, including internet and computer access, business directories, trade indexes, and comprehensive guides.

Workshops and Networking: SBECs regularly organize workshops, seminars, and networking events to foster professional development and facilitate valuable business connections.

Specialized Support: SBECs provide assistance with crucial business documentation, including licenses, permits, and regulatory requirements, and offer information on intellectual property and international trade.

The SBEC in Mississauga is MBEC and is housed in IDEA Square One. – @Ideamississauga FB, X IG, LinkedIn

SBEC's Key Programs

SBECs across the province are also responsible for administering two additional provincially funded programs, Starter Company Plus & Summer Company.

Starter Company Plus: This program offers personalized guidance, educational workshops, and mentorship. Eligible entrepreneurs can also apply for a grant of up to $5,000, supporting new or expanding businesses in Ontario.

Summer Company: Aimed at students aged 15-29, this program offers hands-on entrepreneurial experience, start-up funding, and mentorship. It provides a unique opportunity for students to learn business skills while earning money.

Futurpreneur has supported thousands of small business owners and worked with diverse entrepreneurs aged 18-39 to launch successful main street businesses that contribute to the vitality of communities across Canada.

Futurpreneur is the only national non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring, and resources to young entrepreneurs, helping them build a successful future while driving Canada’s inclusive economic prosperity.

Futurpreneur’s programs support a wide variety of small business owners, whether they have their own idea, are looking to purchase an existing business, are interested in franchising, or want to launch a side hustle.

Financing: Entrepreneurs can access up to $60,000 for new businesses or to grow existing ones.

Mentoring: Futurpreneur matches entrepreneurs with experienced mentors for up to two years, providing valuable guidance and support.

Resources: The organization offers online and in-person resources to help entrepreneurs develop crucial business skills.

Sign up to connect with a Futurpreneur business development manager and learn how Futurpreneur can support you on your entrepreneurship journey.

Digitalization Competence Centre (DCC) is a Government of Ontario initiative led by the Ontario Centre for InnovationDCC has two program streams to support SMEs in the adoption and implementation of digital technology:

DIGITAL MODERNIZATION AND ADOPTION PLAN (DMAP)

Open for Applications

The Digital Modernization and Adoption Plan (DMAP) program supports Ontario SMEs to better understand their organization’s technology needs, guide their digital transformation decision-making, and optimize their technology investments. Through this program, SMEs work with a Digital Adoption Consultant to generate a Digital Modernization and Adoption Plan tailored specifically to their organization’s digital needs.

BEST SUITED FOR:

  • SMEs looking to understand their digital needs and adopt and implement digital technologies to grow their company
  • Ontario-based for-profit SMEs with between 1-499 employees

TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION
PROGRAM

Open for Applications

The Technology Demonstration Program supports Ontario SMEs that have completed a DMAP project to adopt and implement the digital technology identified in their DMAP, accelerating growth of the SME, while supporting the commercialization of Made-in-Ontario digital technologies.

BEST SUITED FOR:

  • SMEs who have completed a DMAP project and are looking to adopt and implement the digital technology laid out in the DMAP
  • Ontario-based for-profit SMEs with between 1-499 employees
  • SMEs with at least $500,000 of annual revenue in one of the last three tax year

Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (RAISE) is a grant program (2023-24) that will provide access to business development training, culturally responsive and tailored business coaching, networking opportunities, and a one-time grant of $10,000 to support Indigenous, Black and other racialized entrepreneurs.

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