You already have a great idea and all you need now is the financial resources to develop it, right? You should get started by determining the right financing approach and strategy. Successful entrepreneurship and start-up development has both an economic and social benefit to the province of BC. There are numerous grant, funding, and financing opportunities that are available to help overcome the financial challenges of starting a new business. We've created this list of opportunities to help you to get started. To see an overview of different financing options available to small businesses, check out an overview compiled by MaRS describing the differences between financing approaches.
Go Directly To:
- Canada Business - a Government of Canada website that provides business information on starting a business, grants and financing, regulations and permits, management and marketing.
- Fundica - a free funding search tool that is regularly updated with the most up-to-date information possible. It helps entrepreneurs find grants, tax credits, loans and equity; while helping funders find entrepreneurs for their funding solutions. Click here to explore this tool further.
- The Funding Portal - a comprehensive service that improves access to both government funding and capital markets for key industry sectors in Canada. Available as an app also.
- MaRS Funding Sources Directory - This database compiles provincial, national and international funding sources suitable for technology or science companies. It draws from both the public and private sectors. Many of the sources are directed at Ontario-based companies, but other opportunities listed are eligible for companies from across Canada.
- Funding and Grants database - Government of British Columbia's grant search tool to help you to connect with a wide range of funding opportunities. You can narrow the search by grant description, name, subject area or the application deadline.
Federal and provincial governments offer many options for financing new small business endeavors in Canada. Please refer to the Canada Small Business Financing Program, which includes government and NGO programs highlighted in our list. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed navigating the many government resources, start with Concierge Service and they can direct you to the appropriate government funding sources.
- Concierge Services
- Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Western Economic Diversification Canada
- First Citizens Fund for Business Loans (Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation). Specific to: First Nations
- Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
Non-profit and non-government organizations (NGOs) are a great community resource for small businesses that develop communities. In addition to this list, also consider potential options available through your local British Columbia credit union.
- Nechako-Kitimaat Development Fund Society (NKDFS). Specific to: First Nations
- National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA). Specific to: First Nations
- Island Coastal Economic Trust. Specific to: Region
- Futurpreneur. Specific to: Youth (18-39)
- Community Futures Development Corporation of Central Interior First Nations (CFDC of CIFN). Specific to: First Nations
- Columbia Basin Trust (CBT). Specific to: Region
- Burns Lake Native Development Corporation (BLNDC). Specific to: First Nations; Region
- BC Community Futures
- BC Coast Opportunity Fund. Specific to: First Nations
- All Nations Trust Company (ANTCO) Specific to: First Nations
- Northern Development Initiative Trust. Specific to: Region
- Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation (NEDC). Specific to: First Nations
- Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust (SIDT). Specific to: Region
- Tale’awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation (TACC). Specific to: First Nations; Region
- Tribal Resource Investment Corporation (Tricorp). Specific to: First Nations
- Women's Enterprise Centre - Business Loans. Specific to: Women
- YMCA - Youth Mean Business. Specific to: Youth (18-29)
Funds from the private sector are diverse in their approach and investment level. See this overview by Canada Business to see if private investment in your company is the right approach.
- National Angel Capital Organization
- First Angel Network Association
- BC Angel Forum
- Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA)
- BDC Venture Capital
- Vancouver Angel Technology Network (VANTEC)
Crowdfunding is a way to raise money in small contributions from a large pool of investors from the general public. See more details about the nuts and bolts of this approach to financing your business from the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCAC), and from SeedUps Canada's Equity Crowdfunding 101 ebook.
- Community Micro Lending. Specific to: Region (Greater Victoria area)
- iFund Diversified Lending Corp
- SeedUps Canada
Many business have a social component to building community in their mission, and conversely, many nonprofits have a business component to help generate income for operating costs. No matter which perspective you're coming from, there are great funding opportunities out there. Be sure to check the NGO list as well as many of the NGO's have a social enterprise component to their financing.