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Finance your startup

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1. Federal programs

Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

If you are Aboriginal or have a majority-owned Aboriginal business, you can apply for up to $99,999 to help you:

  • Start or buy a business
  • Develop a business plan
  • Grow your existing business
  • Market your product or service
  • Develop new products or processes
  • Get business advice

You do not need to pay the money back. Conditions apply.

Before applying, contact a business development officer in your region to discuss your project.

BDC business loans

Business Development Bank of Canada

Whether you are launching a business or looking to expand and grow an existing one, you could get a term loan to help you:

  • Start or buy a business
  • Buy, build or renovate your facilities
  • Buy equipment
  • Research and develop new products
  • Develop new markets for your products
  • Acquire information and communications technology
  • Sell your business

The loan comes with flexible terms.

You may need to provide credit references and to have invested money in your business. Other conditions apply.

BDC Buying a business

Business Development Bank of Canada

Would you like to buy an existing business? Do you need a consultant to help you find out its strengths? You could get a loan to:

  • Buy an existing business
  • Acquire a competitor's or supplier's business
  • Purchase the business that you already manage
  • Pay for a consultant to help evaluate the business and integrate its processes

The type of loan you could get will depend on whether or not you already own land, shares in a business, or other assets.

BDC Financing for starting a business

Business Development Bank of Canada

Do you need a loan to start or buy a business, or to pay for property and equipment to set up your business? Financing may be available to entrepreneurs who demonstrate:

  • Market and sales potential
  • Competence in the management team
  • Investment in their business
  • Expertise in a chosen field

Other conditions apply.

Canadian Agricultural Loans Act program

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

If you are an agricultural producer, this program could help you get a loan from a bank, a credit union or a caisse populaire.

Eligibility:

  • Existing farmers
  • Beginning or start-up farmers
  • Farmers taking over the family farm
  • Agricultural co-operatives

Loans are limited to a maximum of:

  • $500,000 for land and construction
  • $350,000 for all other loan purposes

Apply directly through your lending institution.

Other conditions apply.

Community Futures Program

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

If you live in a rural area or in a region that doesn't have many job opportunities, you may be able to get a loan to start or grow a business. The amount of funding available and the eligibility criteria depend on the region where you live.

You will need to create a business plan and describe any financing you have received or expect to receive through any other government or municipal program. The funding is a loan that must be repaid.

Farm Credit Canada — loans and lending options

Farm Credit Canada

Do you need financing to start, run, grow, or transfer an agri-food or agribusiness operation? Farm Credit Canada offers a large range of loans with unique terms that can help you:

  • Purchase or improve land, buildings or equipment
  • Buy crop inputs or livestock
  • Make environmental improvements
  • Transfer your business to a new operator

Eligible producers or business owners are Canadian citizens of legal age.

Futurpreneur Canada Newcomer Program

Futurpreneur Canada

Are you a newcomer to Canada between the ages of 18 and 35, with a limited credit history? If so, you could apply for a $7,500 repayable loan to start a business.

This amount could be matched with a repayable loan from the BDC for a potential total of $15,000. If you are between the ages of 35 and 39, your application will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, for no longer than 5 years
  • Have been in business for less than 1 year
  • Agree to work with a mentor

Other conditions apply.

Futurpreneur Canada Start-Up Program

Futurpreneur Canada

If you are between the ages of 18 and 39, you could get a loan of $15,000 to start or buy a business.

To be eligible, you will need to:

  • Create a business plan for a business that will employ you full time
  • Work with a mentor for two years
  • Own at least 51% of your business

You cannot use the funds to pay existing debts. You need to repay the loan and pay administrative fees.

If you qualify, you can also apply for an extra $30,000 through the Futurpreneur Canada-BDC Start-Up Program.

Other conditions apply.

Grant programs for artists

Canada Council for the Arts

If you are a professional artist involved in dance, inter-arts, media arts, music, theatre, visual arts or writing and publishing, you can apply for a grant to help cover costs related to activities such as:

  • Creation/production
  • Professional development
  • Residency
  • Travel

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have specialized training
  • Be recognized as a professional by your peers
  • Have a history of public presentation or publication

Grants are also available for organizations, groups, and collectives.

Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities

Employment and Social Development Canada

If you are a person with disabilities who wants to start a business, or an employer who would like to hire someone with a disability, you could qualify for funds.

Self-employment: You could receive financial assistance for training that can help you start a business if you:

  • Have a permanent physical or mental disability
  • Are not eligible for employment insurance benefits

Employers: You could get a wage subsidy to hire someone with a disability. The funding can cover a portion of the salary. Projects must normally involve a minimum of 8 participants.

Other conditions apply.

Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP)

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

Are you looking to start a business? Is your community facing economic development issues? There are programs and services available to help you succeed at every stage of your business.

Find resources that can help you:

  • Start a business or improve productivity
  • Innovate or adopt new technologies
  • Market or export your goods or services
  • Plan for succession
  • Promote your region

Support may also be available for economic development, diversification, and recovery of communities, as well as renovation and expansion of community infrastructure.

Réseau des SADC et CAE (Network of CFDCs and CBDCs)

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

The Réseau des SADC et CAE is a network of the Community Futures Development Corporations and the Business Development Corporations. These non-profit organizations can help you start or grow a business in your community. If you live in Quebec, the office in your area can offer:

  • Help with your business plan
  • Business counseling
  • Training
  • Loans or share capital ranging from $5,000 to $150,000, depending on the financing program

BDC growth capital for aboriginal business

Business Development Bank of Canada

As an aboriginal entrepreneur, you could get up to $25,000 to start a business or up to $100,000 to grow your existing business. You could also get business advice for 2 years.

You should:

  • Have a good business idea
  • Have experience in management
  • Have personal or corporate guarantees
  • Be willing to work with a mentor
  • Operate on- or off-reserve in Canada

You can use the loan to buy land or equipment, develop new products, create an Internet site or learn how to export and more.

2. Provincial programs

Aboriginal Initiatives Fund II

Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

If your aboriginal organization carries out a project that supports economic, social or community development, you could receive financial assistance. You could benefit from:

  • A grant covering up to 50% of eligible economic development expenses
  • A loan guarantee for a maximum of $100,000 for starting, expanding and developing businesses
  • Financial assistance for community infrastructure projects
  • A grant for community action-based non-profit organizations

Other conditions apply.

Business succession

Fonds de solidarité FTQ

If you plan to buy or sell a financially sound business, you could receive an investment in capital stock or an unsecured loan.

You will have to:

  • Have a realistic business plan
  • Create and maintain sustainable jobs
  • Have a competent team with business experience
  • Be open to investors, alliances and partnerships
  • Have a good market outlook
  • Be profitable and competitive

In addition, the funds can be used to help you develop your strategic plan or for participative management.

Other conditions apply.

Fonds afro-entrepreneurs — Loans to Afro-Québécois businesspeople

Filaction

Are you a member of one of Quebec's black communities? You could receive a loan or loan guarantee of $5,000 to $25,000 to:

  • Start up or expand your business
  • Purchase equipment
  • Meet your cash flow needs
  • Increase your working capital

Your business must have been in existence for no more than five years or be in the process of starting up.

Other conditions apply.

Fonds d'aide à l'économie de Lac-Mégantic (Economic Assistance Fund for Lac-Mégantic)

Ministère de l'Économie, de la Science et de l'Innovation

You could get financial assistance for eligible projects or activities carried out within the town of Lac-Mégantic, such as:

  • Assessment projects
  • Market development
  • Hiring strategic personnel
  • Business start-ups supporting economic and tourism development
  • Installation or improvement of public infrastructures

The fund will contribute up to:

  • 90% for studies
  • 80% for other activities and projects

Eligible support projects must follow sustainable development principles.

Other conditions apply.

Fonds d'investissement en agroalimentaire Nicolet-Yamaska

CLD de Nicolet-Yamaska

Do you own a non-conventional-sized agri-food business or small farm in the Regional County Municipality of Nicolet-Yamaska? You could receive an interest-free loan of up to $10,000 for a start-up, expansion, take-over or acquisition project in the areas of agri-food production, transformation or marketing.

The project must:

  • Create at least one sustainable position
  • Be based on a comprehensive business plan
  • Demonstrate a viable market

You must invest a minimum of 20% of the total cost in the project.

Other conditions apply.

Fonds de démarrage d'entreprises — MRC de Rouville

CLD au Coeur de la Montérégie

Do you operate a commercial,  manufacturing, processing or service business in Rouville? If so, you could  get a loan of up to $25,000 to cover capital costs or to increase your working capital.

The project must:

  • Be cost effective and economically viable
  • Lead to the creation of at  least one permanent job
  • Include capital costs
  • Be funded by a minimum investment of 10%
  • Address one or more of the following components:
    • Creation or purchase of a first-time business
    • Be an innovative or agricultural business

Other conditions apply.

Fonds de développement des entreprises d'économie sociale

Centres locaux de développement (CLD) and RCM - Economic Development

You could receive a grant to help you finance plans to start, consolidate or expand your social economy business.

Your company must:

  • be financially viable
  • produce goods or offer services
  • create sustainable jobs

Eligible expenses are:

  • technology acquisition or patenting
  • capital expenditures (land, building, equipment)
  • working capital needs 

Please contact us for the organization in your region that oversees this fund.

Fonds de développement économique de la région de la Capitale-Nationale

Secrétariat à la Capitale-Nationale

You could receive a non-repayable contribution to support your projects in the National Capital Region, such as:

  • The marketing of a product
  • Improvements to services and infrastructure
  • Conferences and cultural or sporting events
  • Opportunity and feasibility studies

The structuring effect of the project is evaluated according to its:

  • Economic benefits
  • Extra-regional outreach
  • Contribution to economic development

The retail and wholesale trades andaccommodation and food services sectors are not eligible.

Other conditions apply.

Fonds de diversification économique du Centre-du-Québec et de la Mauricie

Ministère de l'Économie, de la Science et de l'Innovation

You could get financial assistance if you are located in the Centre-du-Québec and Mauricie regions, and are carrying out a business development project in the industries of manufacturing, primary, tertiary or tourism.

Support is primarily in the form of a:

  • Repayable contribution (interest-bearing or interest-free loan, equity participation)
  • Loan guarantee of up to 70% of net loss
  • Non-refundable contribution

You may receive up to 25% of the total costs for investment projects and up to 50% for other projects. An investment of at least 10% of the total cost will be required.

Other conditions apply.

Fonds de diversification économique — MRC des Sources

Ministère de l'Économie, de la Science et de l'Innovation

You could get financial assistance, if you are carrying out a start-up or business development project in the manufacturing, value added tertiary sector or tourism industry in the Regional County Municipality of Des Sources.

Support will be primarily in the form of a:

  • Repayable contribution (interest-bearing or interest-free loan, equity participation)
  • Loan guarantee of up to 70% of net loss
  • Non-refundable contribution

You may receive up to 25% of the total costs for investment projects and up to 50% for other projects. An investment of at least 10% of the total cost will be required.

Other conditions apply.

FONDS MOSAÏQUE

Filaction

If you are a member of one of Quebec's cultural communities, you could receive a loan or loan guarantee ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to start your own business or fund a project for your business that has been in operation for less than 5 years.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older and a member of a cultural community
  • Provide a business plan for your for-profit project
  • Submit your financial forecasts or statements
  • Demonstrate training or experience relevant to the project

Other conditions apply.

Jeunes Promoteurs

Centres locaux de développement (CLD) and RCM - Economic Development

If you are between 18 and 35 years of age, you could get technical and financial assistance to build your first business.

The program has three parts:

  • Part 1 — Realizing plans for a business
  • Part 2 — Building your first business
  • Part 3 — Entrepreneurial training

You need to:

  • have a business plan that demonstrates the viability of the project
  • have relevant experience or training
  • make a financial investment
  • commit to working full time for the company 

Please contact us for the organization in your region that oversees this fund.

Local investment fund

Ministère de l'Économie, de la Science et de l'Innovation

If you are starting or expanding a business, you could be eligible for financing in the form of various types of loans or loan guarantees.

Loans can cover eligible expenses such as:

  • Capital expenditures
  • Technology acquisition
  • Working capital for operations

If you are a young entrepreneur, you could get an interest-free loan to help you acquire at least 25% of an existing rural business.

Réseau québécois du crédit communautaire

Réseau québécois du crédit communautaire

Are you unable to obtain traditional financing to start your business?

You could obtain a loan of $500 to $50,000 from this network, which will also give you technical assistance to structure a viable project.

Support for Self-Employment

Emploi Québec

You could get financial assistance and expert advice to start your own business or create your own job.

Eligible projects must:

  • Be viable
  • Meet a local need
  • Not create unfair competition

You may be eligible for assistance if one of the following situations apply:

  • You are receiving employment insurance benefits.
  • You are receiving social assistance.
  • You are unemployed and not receiving government income support.
  • You are working, but your job is at risk.

Other conditions apply.

3. Municipal programs (Montréal)

PME MTL Fund

PME MTL

You could receive up to $300,000 to cover expenses related to the start-up or development of your business establishment in Montreal, including:

  • Working capital
  • Capital assets
  • Marketing costs
  • Purchase of equipment
  • Acquisition of a business (succession or transfer)
  • Costs for patents or the protection of intellectual property
  • Prototyping

You must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Submit a business plan or a summary of projected financial statements
  • Provide an investment of at least 20% of the total project cost

Other conditions apply.

ProMontreal entrepreneurs (PME) Fund

If your start-up business has been in operation in Montreal for less than two years, you could get a loan of up to $50,000, offered at a business prime rate and repayable over 5 years.

To be eligible, you should:

  • be between the ages of 18 and 40 and a member of the Jewish community;
  • be a registered member of ProMontreal Entrepreneurs;
  • fill in the application form;
  • submit a detailed business plan;
  • provide two letters of reference and a recent credit report.

Other conditions apply.

4. Private sector programs

Femmessor — Réussir en affaires

Femmessor

Is your company majority-owned (51%) by one or more women aged 18 or older? You could get assistance for the start-up, expansion or consolidation of your project, including the following:

  • Between $5,000 and $35,000 in loans for a maximum of five years, depending on your region
  • Customized training, workshops or seminars to perfect your skills
  • Individual coaching services or mentoring
  • Networking activities to develop your network of contacts

Your project must be cost-effective and economically viable.

Other conditions apply.

Programme Créavenir

Desjardins Group

If you’re between 18 and 35, you can receive up to $15,000 in loans and up to $5,000 in grants for your business projects. The support service is provided in partnership with a support organization in your area.

To qualify, you need to:

  • Be or become a member of a participating Desjardins caisse
  • Live and start a business in an area served by a participating caisse
  • Present a viable plan to start a business or consolidate an existing one that is less than three years old

The maximum amount granted might not be the same in some regions. Please contact your local Desjardins caisse for details.

Other conditions apply.

Société d’investissement jeunesse (SIJ) – Founder, Partner and Purchaser Programs

Société d’Investissement Jeunesse

Eligible entrepreneurs receive up to $75.000 in financing for business projects, such as starting or acquiring a business or investing in its share capital.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant and have lived in Quebec for more than two years
  • Provide at least 10% of the financial stake
  • Work full time for the company

The company must be for-profit, have its head office in Quebec and be incorporated when the loan is granted. Charges apply.

Other conditions apply.

For any inquiries, please contact our information agents.

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