You already have a great idea and all you need now is the financial resources to develop it, right? Figuring out how to get funding and financing for your business can seem incredibly daunting. However, there are numerous grants, funding and financing opportunities available in BC and Canada that are designed to help overcome the financial challenges of starting a new business.
Funding and Financing
Our Key Resources: Funding and Financing page lists many of the available sources of funding for British Columbian entrepreneurs and startups as well as some useful additional tools and resources. Below is a listing of the types of resources as well as a small sample of the resources found on the Funding and Financing page.
- Canada Business - Government of Canada website that provides business information services for entrepreneurs, including information on starting a business, grants and financing, regulations and permits, management and marketing.
- Fundica - This is a free funding search tool that is regularly updated with the most up-to-date information possible. Currently has 2500+ funding programs from both the private and public sectors in many industry sectors. The pro version allows for many additional features including multiple profiles and goes for $500.00.
- Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) - BDC is a government owned financial institution that serves Canadian entrepreneurs. BDC acts as a 'complementary lender', offering loans and investments that supplement services available from commercial financial institutions. BDC puts special focus on SMEs in sectors such as manufacturing, exporting, innovation and knowledge-based industries.
- Enterprising Non-Profits (ENP) - "ENP provides grants and resources to non-profit organizations for technical assistance along the entire business development path."
- Island Coastal Economic Trust - "The Trust provides funding to create new and sustainable regional economic growth through strategic investments in targeted “sectors” with the north Island, coastal and Sunshine Coast regional economy."
- Northern Development Initiative Trust - "Northern Development directly incents private business to create new jobs throughout the region via $30 million in dedicated funding to support capital investment and new job training in central and northern BC."
- Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDT) - "The objective of SIDT is to grow and diversify the economy of the Southern Interior through economic development in 10 key sectors. SIDT plans to commit up to $30 million by 2012 at an annual rate of $7.5 million."
- BC Angel Forum - “Introduces companies to private equity investors. Technology and non-technology pre-screened companies seeking equity financing of $100,000 to $1 million, deliver "live" presentations to pre-screened private & corporate investors to showcase their products & services.”
- StartSomeGood – “Follows the crowdfunding model and has customized it to reflect the unique needs of social entrepreneurs.”
- Community Micro Lending - “Makes loans to people who have a good idea and the ability to carry it out, but don’t qualify for credit at a bank.” (for entrepreneurs in the Greater Victoria area)
- MaRS - Bootstrapping Primer Toolkit - If you are not ready to accept outside investment or cannot get outside investment, a“bootstrapping” financing strategy may prove appropriate for your business. Read this primer to learn if this approach is best for you.
- Canada Business: Sources of Private Sector Financing - An overview of the financial services and assistance available for your business needs. Includes dept, equity and other options.
- MaRS - What Financing Approach is Right for Your Business? - An inventor or entrepreneur should develop a long-term financing strategy. This is a superb primer to help you decide what you need.
Have you ever applied for funding or financing for your small business? What was the process like? What lessons did you learn? Did you use any of the tools and resources listed or did you use another resource and if so, what was it?