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Small Business Startup News and Resources

Read our collection of helpful small business news, resources and guidance documents on starting or exanding a business in Ontario and across Canada. Learn from the latest in small business startup trends, business plan techniquest and all about government funding!


Female Entrepreneur Grants in Ontario

When starting a new business, one of the biggest hurdles for aspiring female entrepreneurs is often the funding needed to get off the ground. However, in Ontario, there is a wealth of opportunities to tap into grants specifically designed to help and empower female business owners. These grants can provide valuable capital for starting or expanding businesses, and they also serve as a vote of confidence that can boost your credibility in the eyes of investors, customers, and partners.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at some of the most significant grants available for female entrepreneurs in Ontario, detailing their benefits, eligibility criteria, and how you can apply.

1. The Women Entrepreneurship Fund (WEF)

The Women Entrepreneurship Fund is a federal initiative aimed at supporting women to grow their businesses and reach new markets. It offers grants of up to $100,000 to cover up to 50% of project costs.

To be eligible for this funding, businesses must be at least 51% owned or controlled by women, be operational for at least two years, and demonstrate a clear and viable business growth strategy. The fund primarily targets businesses in sectors where women are underrepresented or have significant potential for growth.

2. The Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund

Similar to the WEF, the WES Ecosystem Fund is another federal initiative. It supports non-profit organizations that help female entrepreneurs by providing mentorship, skills training, capacity building, and access to networks or expertise.

Grants range from $20,000 up to $3 million, and eligible organizations must have a strong track record of supporting women entrepreneurs. This fund can be an excellent resource for entrepreneurs seeking expert advice and mentorship, in addition to financial support.

3. BDC’s Women in Technology Venture Fund

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has established the Women in Technology (WIT) Venture Fund, a $200 million fund dedicated to investing in tech companies led by women. The fund aims to create a thriving ecosystem of women-led technology firms and enhance gender diversity in the technology sector.

While not a traditional grant, the fund is an equity investment which can provide substantial financial resources for eligible businesses. Female entrepreneurs running tech startups can benefit from not only the financial infusion but also the added advantage of a strategic partnership with BDC.

4. The PARO Centre’s Peer Lending Circles for Women

PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise is one of Canada’s strongest community economic development organizations, based in Ontario. They offer Peer Lending Circles for Women, which are peer-to-peer microfinance groups where each member receives a small business loan of up to $5,000.

In addition to the funding, members benefit from peer support, business training, and networking opportunities, helping women entrepreneurs in Ontario to start, grow, and sustain their businesses successfully.

5. Futurpreneur Canada Startup Program

Futurpreneur Canada offers the Startup Program, which supports young entrepreneurs with up to $60,000 in financing, an expert business mentor for up to two years, and resources to help you plan, manage and grow your business. While not exclusive to women, this program is very inclusive and actively encourages applications from diverse and underrepresented groups, including women.

To be eligible, entrepreneurs should be aged 18-39, planning to start a full-time business in Canada, and not studying full time or in a full-time job.

6. SheEO Radical Generosity Initiative

SheEO’s Radical Generosity Initiative is a unique funding model, wherein hundreds of women (“Activators”) contribute a monetary gift that is pooled together into a fund. The fund is then distributed as zero-interest loans to women-led ventures that are chosen by the Activators.

The initiative provides female entrepreneurs with low-interest capital, as well as access to a network of supportive women who can provide advice, mentorship, and customer connections.

In addition to these grant options in Ontario, you can review the Funding Database which lists out over 1,500 different grants, government loans and tax options for entrepreneurs to take advantage of.

Each of these grants, funds, and initiatives has its own unique strengths and eligibility criteria. As an aspiring or established female entrepreneur in Ontario, it’s well worth your time to thoroughly research each one to determine which could provide the most valuable support for your business.

Starting a business is never easy, but with the right support and resources, it becomes a more attainable goal. The grants and initiatives listed above are just a starting point. There are many more opportunities out there for female entrepreneurs in Ontario. Explore, research, and don’t hesitate to reach out to these organizations directly to discuss your business ideas. Your entrepreneurial journey may be challenging, but remember, you’re not alone, and there’s a wealth of support available to you.


Resources for Female Entrepreneurs: Funding in Ontario

Entrepreneurship has no gender, but women-owned businesses still face several challenges. One significant roadblock for women looking to start or scale their business is inadequate access to funding. A study in 2019 revealed that women-led businesses received only 2.3% of the venture capital (VC) funding globally, a meager increase from 2018 figures. However, Ontario has several resources aimed at enhancing access to funding for entrepreneurs, especially women.

In this article, we’ll be discussing funding resources in Ontario that female entrepreneurs can leverage to fund their businesses.

Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC)

WEOC offers a virtual and on-site training program for women who plan to start or scale their business. WEOC provides funding support to enterprise centers across Ontario to tailor their training programs to their region’s specific needs. The program’s main objective is to provide female entrepreneurs with access to financing, procurement opportunities and present them with new business networks.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

BDC provides financing, advisory services, and capital to SMEs in Canada. They offer up to $100,000 to businesses led by women through their Women Entrepreneurs’ financing program. BDC has been instrumental in providing financial support to female-owned businesses, with over 19,000 Canadian businesses having benefited from their services.

Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC)

It is a non-profit organization that provides female entrepreneurs with business loans of up to $150,000. WEC also provides business advice and tools that help women-owned businesses thrive. Women entrepreneurs operating a business for at least two years and looking to expand their business can benefit from WEC.

Angel Investors Ontario

Angel Investors Ontario comprises individual investors who are willing to invest in promising businesses in Ontario. They provide financing, mentorship, and guidance to entrepreneurs looking to start or scale their businesses. They are motivated not only by a financial return on investment but also by a desire to support businesses that can deliver social and economic value to Ontario.

The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE)

FWE acts as a mentorship and networking organization for female entrepreneurs in Ontario. They provide mentorship, access to financing, and a supportive network of fellow entrepreneurs to female founders. FWE has connected over 297 women entrepreneurs to $152 million in funding over the last twenty years.

MaRS Discovery District

MaRS provides an ecosystem to entrepreneurs that promotes innovation, finance, and technology. It is a hub for businesses looking to get their businesses off the ground, scale, and funding opportunities. Female entrepreneurs can connect with financiers, scientists, and researchers who can take their business to the next level.

National Angel Capital Organization (NACO)

NACO is the only national organization working to improve access to capital for young Canadian businesses. They encourage female entrepreneurs to apply for funding by providing educational opportunities, mentorship, and strategic networking programs.

In conclusion, there are various resources available that female entrepreneurs can leverage to overcome the funding roadblock. Funding enables entrepreneurs to take their business ideas to the next level and scale their businesses. Exploring these funding resources will help women entrepreneurs access the funding they need to thrive, build sustainable businesses and, ultimately, contribute to Canada’s economic growth.


Ontario’s Business Improvement Areas: Funding Opportunities

Ontario’s Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) are municipal organizations that provide a range of services and enhancements to enhance the commercial district of a community. BIAs are funded through a special levy on commercial properties within their designated boundaries. These resources provide financial support that enhances the economic vitality of a community.

In addition to property tax levies, BIAs also have access to a variety of other funding opportunities, including grants and other sources of funding. These funding opportunities may be available at the regional, provincial, or federal level, and can provide the resources necessary for BIAs to undertake new projects or initiatives.

Here we will discuss some of the most common sources of funding for BIAs within the province of Ontario.

Provincial Grant Programs

The Province of Ontario recognizes the importance of BIAs and supports their work through several different grant programs. One notable example is the Main Street Relief Grant, which was implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant provides up to $1,000 to small businesses within BIAs to offset costs associated with PPE, property taxes, or other expenses related to adapting to the COVID-19 environment.

Another provincial grant program that BIAs may be eligible for is the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). OTF is an independent agency of the Ontario government that provides funding to eligible organizations to support community-building initiatives. BIAs can apply to the OTF for funding to support their projects and programs, including those aimed at creating vibrant commercial districts.

Federal Grant Programs

There are also several federal grants available to BIAs that are designed to support local economic development initiatives. One such program is the Canada Small Business Financing Program. This program provides loans of up to $1 million to small businesses, with BIAs acting as the intermediary for loan distribution. BIAs can also apply to the Community Economic Development and Diversification Program, which provides funding for projects that support economic growth and job creation in a community.

Private Sector Partnerships

Another way for BIAs to secure funding for their initiatives is by forming partnerships with private sector organizations. Large corporations or industry associations may be interested in supporting initiatives that align with their goals or business objectives. These partnerships can provide access to funding, expertise, or other resources that can support the work of the BIA.


BIAs can also fundraise within the community to support their projects and initiatives. Events such as street fairs or festivals can generate revenue that can be reinvested into the community. Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe can also be used to raise funds for specific projects. Fundraising efforts can also generate community support and involvement, a key factor in the success of BIAs.

In conclusion, BIAs in Ontario have access to a range of funding opportunities that can support their work in creating vibrant commercial districts that support local businesses and enhance the overall economic vitality of their communities. By leveraging these funds, BIAs can undertake new initiatives and projects that can contribute to the growth and prosperity of their communities.


Winning Local Business Competitions for Startup Funding

Starting a business can be a daunting task, requiring a significant amount of resources, time, and money. However, for entrepreneurs seeking to kick start their businesses, winning a local business competition for startup funding could be the solution.

In recent times, local business competitions have become popular for entrepreneurs seeking startup funding. These competitions offer a platform for entrepreneurs to present their business plans and ideas to potential investors, business leaders, and professionals.

Winning local business competitions provide business owners with more than just funds, it also gives entrepreneurs opportunities to establish networks, gain exposure, and receive mentorship and guidance from experienced businesspeople.

Here are some important factors to consider when entering local business competitions for startup funding:

Do Your Research

The first step to take before entering any local business competition is to research and understand the competition rules and guidelines. Knowing the eligibility criteria, submission deadline, and judging criteria is important in identifying if the competition is suitable for you and your business, and if you have a shot at winning.

Additionally, it is imperative to research successful previous winners and their strategies. This will help you understand what the judges are usually looking for and how you can tailor your pitch to meet those expectations.

Create a Strong Business Plan

A strong and well-detailed business plan is the foundation of a successful pitch. A pitch without a solid business plan is a waste of time and resources. When creating your business plan, ensure it is comprehensive and outlines your goals, target audience, financial projections, operational expenses, and exit strategies.

The business plan should also include a clear value proposition statement that highlights how your product or service would solve a particular problem or meet a need in the market.

Practice Your Pitch

Practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to pitching your business. Before entering any competition, ensure you practice your pitch to perfection. A well-practiced pitch gives you confidence and helps you articulate your business idea or plan appropriately.

Practice your pitch in front of friends, family, and even strangers to get feedback on how you can improve.

Leverage Your Network

Leveraging your network is an effective way of gaining more visibility for your business and generating support. Reach out to your network, including friends, family, colleagues, and former classmates, and let them know about your participation in the competition.

They could help spread the word about your business and even offer useful advice and constructive criticism. Your network could also provide additional funding or partnership opportunities for your business.

Be Confident and Authentic

Authenticity and confidence are essential when presenting your business idea to potential investors and judges. Being authentic helps to establish trust, while confidence ensures you are able to effectively communicate your business idea.

Remember that judges also seek passionate entrepreneurs who truly believe in their business ideas and are committed to seeing it succeed.

In conclusion, winning a local business competition provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs to secure startup funding, gain exposure and establish valuable connections. By following these factors, you can improve your chances of winning a competition and taking your business to the next level.


Pitching to Venture Capitalists in Ontario: Tips & Tricks

Venture capitalists in Ontario are always on the lookout for new opportunities to invest in promising startups. Pitching to these investors can be challenging, but with the right preparation and approach, entrepreneurs can increase their chances of securing funding. Here are some tips and tricks for pitching to venture capitalists in Ontario.

Do your research

Before pitching to venture capitalists, it is crucial to research their investment focus and criteria. This will help you determine if your startup is a good fit for their portfolio and increase the chances of getting a positive response. Start by identifying venture capitalist firms that invest in your industry or sector. Check their website and social media profiles to learn about their investment strategy, portfolio companies, and investment size. You can also reach out to entrepreneurs who have previously worked with them to get insights into their approach and expectations.

Focus on your value proposition

During your pitch, focus on your unique value proposition that differentiates your startup from competitors. Clearly articulate the problem you are solving, how you are solving it, and why your solution is better than existing alternatives. Avoid using jargon and technical terms that can confuse investors. Instead, use simple and persuasive language that highlights the benefits of your product or service. Show that you have a deep understanding of your target customer, market size, and growth potential.

Be honest about your team and its capabilities

Investors want to know that they are investing in a capable team that can execute on the business plan. Be honest about your team’s strengths, weaknesses, and experience. Highlight any relevant achievements, such as past successes in startups or relevant industry experience. Be transparent about the gaps in your team, such as expertise or technical capabilities, and explain how you plan to fill those gaps. Investors appreciate entrepreneurs who can identify their weaknesses and seek to address them proactively.

Bring a solid business plan

A solid business plan is one of the most important documents you will need to pitch to venture capitalists. It should outline the problem you’re solving, the solution you’re proposing, market size, competition, and growth opportunities. Be realistic in your projections and show how you plan to achieve your goals. Investors want to see that you have a concrete plan for generating revenue and scaling your business. Your business plan should also include financial projections, funding requirements, and exit strategies.

Prepare for tough questions

During the pitch, be prepared to answer tough questions about your business plan, revenue projections, and competition. Investors want to test your assumptions and see how well you can defend your business model. Be prepared to answer questions such as:

– What is your go-to-market strategy?
– What are your customer acquisition costs?
– How do you plan to scale your business?
– Who are your main competitors, and how are you different?
– How much funding do you need, and how will it be used?
– What is your exit plan?

Consider doing a mock pitch with a mentor or other entrepreneurs to refine your answers and practice your delivery.

Show your passion and commitment

Investors want to see that you are passionate about your business and committed to its success. Show your enthusiasm about the problem you’re solving and how your solution can make a difference. Share your personal story and what inspired you to start the venture. Investors want to know that you are willing to put in the hard work and overcome obstacles to achieve success. Show them that you have the resilience and determination to make your startup a success.

In conclusion, pitching to venture capitalists in Ontario requires thorough research, a solid business plan, and strategic communication skills. By following these tips and tricks, entrepreneurs can improve their chances of securing funding and propel their startups to success. Remember that each investor is different, so do your research and tailor your pitch to fit their investment criteria and expectations.


Crowdfunding for Ontario Startups: Strategies for Success

Crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way for entrepreneurs to raise funds for their startups. Crowdfunding is a method of raising funds by asking a large number of people to each contribute a small amount of money. This can be done through various online platforms available in Ontario, Canada. In this article, we’ll discuss various crowdfunding strategies and tips for Ontario startups to succeed.

1. Choose the right crowdfunding platform

Choosing the right crowdfunding platform is crucial for the success of your campaign. There are several crowdfunding platforms available such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, and more. Each platform has its own rules, fees, and audiences. Therefore, it is important to research and compare different platforms to choose the one that aligns with your startup’s objectives.

2. Set realistic funding goals

Setting realistic funding goals is important for the success of your crowdfunding campaign. It is important to set a funding goal that is achievable but also enough to cover your startup’s expenses. You should consider the cost of manufacturing, marketing, and shipping as well as any fees charged by the crowdfunding platform. Unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment and a failed campaign.

3. Have a compelling pitch

A compelling pitch is key to getting people interested in your startup and getting them to contribute to your campaign. Your pitch should clearly explain your startup’s mission, features, and benefits. It should also highlight your unique selling point and what makes your product or service stand out from competitors. You should also include a video that showcases your product or service and features testimonials from satisfied customers.

4. Create a marketing plan

Creating a marketing plan is essential to getting the word out about your campaign. You should promote your campaign on social media, email marketing, and other online platforms. You can also reach out to influencers and media outlets to help spread the word. You should also consider offering referral incentives to encourage people to share your campaign with their networks.

5. Keep your backers engaged

Keeping your backers engaged throughout your campaign and after it has ended is important. You should regularly update your backers on the progress of your startup and provide them with behind-the-scenes information. You should also acknowledge their contributions and show your appreciation with rewards and thank you notes. Keeping your backers engaged can lead to repeat business and referrals.

6. Fulfil your promises

It is important to fulfil the promises made in your crowdfunding campaign. This includes delivering products on time and providing any rewards promised. Failure to fulfil your promises can damage your startup’s reputation and impact future funding efforts.

In conclusion, crowdfunding can be a successful way for Ontario startups to raise funds and get their business off the ground. By following these strategies and implementing them in your campaign, you can increase your chances of success. Remember to choose the right platform, set realistic goals, have a compelling pitch, create a marketing plan, keep your backers engaged, and fulfil your promises. Good luck with your crowdfunding campaign!


Small Business Tax Credits in Ontario: What to Know

Small business owners in Ontario face unique challenges when it comes to taxation. Fortunately, there are several tax credits available to small businesses that can help alleviate some of the financial burden. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common small business tax credits available in Ontario and how to take advantage of them.

What are small business tax credits?

Small business tax credits are deductions or credits applied to your business’s tax liability. Simply put, a tax credit reduces the amount of tax you owe while a tax deduction reduces your taxable income. Tax credits are typically more valuable than tax deductions because they directly reduce your tax liability, while deductions only reduce the amount of income subject to taxation.

Small Business Deduction

The small business deduction is a tax credit that allows small businesses in Canada to reduce their tax liability on the first $500,000 of active business income. To qualify for the deduction, your business must be a Canadian-controlled private corporation (CCPC) and meet certain criteria with regards to the type of income earned. If your business meets these requirements, you can save up to $50,000 in taxes.

Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit

The Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit is a tax credit for employers who hire and train apprentices in certain trades. Employers can claim a credit of 10% of the wages paid to eligible apprentices, up to $2,000 per year per apprentice. This credit is available to small and medium-sized businesses that employ apprentices and is meant to encourage businesses to invest in the training and development of apprentices.

Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit

The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credit is a federal tax incentive program available to businesses that conduct scientific research and experimental development. This tax credit allows Canadian businesses to recover up to 35% of their eligible research and development expenses. This program is meant to encourage businesses to invest in research and development, which can ultimately lead to innovation and growth in the economy.

Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit

The Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects (OCASE) Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit for companies that produce computer animation and special effects for film or television. The credit is equal to 18% of eligible Ontario labour expenditures and is applied to the company’s Ontario corporate income tax. This credit is meant to encourage investment in the film and television industry within Ontario.

Eligibility and Claiming Small Business Tax Credits

Each tax credit has its own eligibility requirements and claiming process. The best way to determine your eligibility is to consult with a tax professional or accountant. They can help you determine which tax credits you qualify for and how to claim them on your tax return.

In general, to claim a small business tax credit, you’ll need to keep thorough records of your business’s income and expenses. This may include receipts, invoices, and bank statements. It’s also important to ensure that you are paying the appropriate taxes and that your business is registered with the appropriate authorities to take advantage of these tax credits.


Small business tax credits can be a significant source of relief for Ontario business owners. By taking advantage of these tax incentives, small business owners can reduce their tax liabilities and save money. While each tax credit has its own eligibility requirements and claiming process, a tax professional can help ensure you’re taking full advantage of the credits available to you. By practicing good record-keeping and staying up to date on your tax obligations, you can take full advantage of the tax benefits available to your business.


Ontario’s Startup Incubators: Funding and Support

Ontario, Canada is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. With more than 3,000 tech startups, it is home to one of the world’s most vibrant start-up ecosystems. However, starting a business from scratch is a challenging task, and it can be even more daunting for first-time entrepreneurs who lack the necessary support and resources. Thankfully, various startup incubators in Ontario offer a conducive environment to launch, grow, and scale startup businesses.

Startup incubators provide a structured and supportive environment for early-stage companies to develop, grow, and become self-sustaining. These incubators offer a range of resources such as funding opportunities, mentorship, office space, and networking events. Here are some of the ways that Ontario’s startup incubators provide funding and support to help entrepreneurs succeed.

Funding Opportunities:

Funding is one of the main resources that incubators provide to startups. Incubators have access to funding from various sources such as angel investors, venture capital firms, and government grants. These funds can be used to develop a product or service, hire a team, or cover other operating costs.

Incubators such as Communitech, Velocity, and MaRS Discovery District offer various funding opportunities for startups at different stages of development. For example, Velocity provides pre-seed funding of up to $50,000 through the Velocity Fund. MaRS Discovery District offers access to capital markets and venture services through the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund.


Mentorship is another essential resource that incubators offer to startups. Mentors provide guidance, industry-specific knowledge, and connections to help entrepreneurs launch, grow, and scale their businesses.

Most Ontario-based incubators offer mentorship programs, including Ryerson Futures, DMZ, and Toronto Business Development Centre. Ryerson Futures provides startups with access to a network of more than 250 mentors. The DMZ’s Catalyst Program connects entrepreneurs with experienced mentors from different industries.

Office Space:

Startups typically require a professional work environment to operate efficiently. Incubators provide startups with affordable office spaces that are equipped with essential amenities such as high-speed internet, printing facilities, and meeting rooms.

Many incubators in Ontario, such as the DMZ, provide 24/7 access to office space. Other startups in Ontario’s incubators, such as MaRS Discovery District, have access to co-working spaces that offer flexible arrangements to save on overhead costs.


Networking is crucial for startups, as it helps them to create connections that can lead to new opportunities, partnerships, or investment. Incubators provide startups with opportunities to network with fellow entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts.

Ontario’s startup incubators host regular events, such as pitch competitions, networking sessions, and demo days, where entrepreneurs can showcase their products or services to a broader audience. The Toronto Business Development Centre, for example, organizes an annual pitch competition, where startups pitch their ideas to investors and industry leaders.


In conclusion, Ontario’s startup incubators offer a multitude of resources to help startups succeed. These resources range from funding opportunities to mentorship, office space, and networking. Incubators such as Communitech, Velocity, and MaRS Discovery District, among others, provide a supportive and structured environment for early-stage startups to develop, grow, and scale. Through these incubators, Ontario’s thriving start-up ecosystem will continue to grow and inspire the next wave of innovative startups.


Leveraging Angel Investors in Ontario

Angel investors can play a vital role in the growth and success of a business. They are typically high-net-worth individuals who invest their own money into early-stage startups with high growth potential. In Ontario, there are many angel investors who are actively looking for opportunities to invest in promising businesses. In this article, we will explore the benefits of leveraging angel investors in Ontario and how to find them.

Benefits of Leveraging Angel Investors in Ontario

There are several benefits to leveraging angel investors in Ontario. These include:

Access to Capital

One of the biggest benefits of leveraging angel investors is access to capital. Angel investors are usually willing to invest in businesses that are in the early stages of development, which can be difficult to fund through traditional financing methods. This access to capital can help startups grow and scale more quickly than they would otherwise.

Strategic Guidance and Expertise

Angel investors often have experience and expertise in the industry in which they invest. Their knowledge can be valuable to startups as they navigate the early stages of growth. In addition to providing capital, angel investors can offer strategic guidance and mentorship to help businesses achieve their goals.

Networking Opportunities

Angel investors often have extensive networks of contacts in various industries. These networks can be valuable to startups as they seek to connect with potential customers, partners, and suppliers. Angel investors can introduce startups to key players in their industry, which can help businesses grow more quickly and gain a competitive advantage.

Validation and Credibility

Securing investment from an angel investor can be a signal of credibility to other investors, customers, and partners. When an experienced angel investor puts their money into a company, it can be a validation of the business model and growth potential. This can make it easier for startups to attract additional investment and gain credibility in their industry.

Finding Angel Investors in Ontario

There are several ways to find angel investors in Ontario. Here are a few:

Angel Investor Groups

There are several angel investor groups in Ontario that bring together accredited investors and early-stage startups. These groups typically hold regular meetings where startups can pitch their ideas to potential investors. Some notable angel investor groups in Ontario include Angel Investors Ontario, Maple Leaf Angels, and York Angels.

Online Platforms

There are also several online platforms that connect startups with angel investors. These platforms allow startups to create a profile and pitch their idea to potential investors. Some notable platforms in Ontario include AngelList, Seedrs, and Gust.

Networking Events

Attending startup events and networking events can also be a good way to connect with angel investors. These events provide an opportunity for startups to meet potential investors face-to-face and make connections. Some notable startup events in Ontario include Elevate Toronto, Collision, and Startupfest.

What Angel Investors Look For

If you’re considering pitching your idea to an angel investor, it’s important to understand what they look for in a startup. Here are a few things that angel investors typically consider when evaluating investment opportunities:

Market Opportunity

Angel investors want to see that the market opportunity for your product or service is large enough to support substantial growth. They will consider factors such as market size, competitive landscape, and growth potential when evaluating your idea.


The team behind the startup is a crucial factor for angel investors. They want to see that the founders have relevant experience, skills, and a strong work ethic. Investors want to believe that the founders are capable of executing the business plan and navigating the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

Business Plan

Angel investors want to see a clear and detailed business plan that outlines the path to profitability. The plan should demonstrate that the company has a solid understanding of its market, customers, and competition. The plan should also include a clear strategy for growth, as well as a plan for how the company will handle potential challenges.

Product or Service

Investors want to see that the startup has a unique and innovative product or service that solves a real problem for customers. The product should be scalable and have the potential to generate significant revenue. Investors will want to see evidence that the product has been validated by the market, such as customer feedback, sales or traction.


Leveraging angel investors can be a valuable way to fund and accelerate the growth of a startup. Ontario is home to many angel investors who are actively looking for investment opportunities. By understanding what investors look for, attending networking events, and getting involved with angel investor groups, startups can increase their chances of securing investment capital, strategic guidance, and networking opportunities. Investing the necessary time and effort to secure angel investment is a smart choice for any entrepreneur looking to scale and grow their business in the province.


Ontario’s Microloan Programs: A Quick Overview

Ontario’s Microloan Programs are government-run initiatives aimed at providing small businesses access to funds and financial advice they need to start, expand and consolidate their operations across the province. These programs are designed to help small businesses that are unable to secure traditional bank loans, with a specific focus on start-ups, women entrepreneurs, immigrants, and Indigenous people. This article provides a quick overview of Ontario’s Microloan Programs, their benefits, eligibility criteria, and the application process.

Benefits of Ontario’s Microloan Programs

Ontario’s Microloan Programs offer several benefits to small businesses, including:

1. Access to capital: The primary advantage of Ontario’s Microloan Programs is that they provide small businesses with much-needed funding. The program offers loans ranging from $5,000 to $250,000, which can help businesses cover the start-up cost, purchase inventory, and expand their operations.

2. Low-interest rates: The interest rates on Ontario’s Microloan Programs are lower than those of traditional bank loans, making them an affordable option for small businesses.

3. Financial Advice: Ontario’s Microloan Programs offer assistance and guidance to small businesses, from developing a business plan to accessing financial resources.

4. No Collateral Required: Unlike most bank loans, Ontario’s Microloan Programs do not require collateral, which is a significant advantage for fledgling businesses that do not have enough assets.

Eligibility Criteria

Ontario’s Microloan Programs have specific criteria for eligibility, which includes:

1. The business must be located in Ontario

2. The business must have an annual revenue of less than $1 million

3. The business must be profitable or have a clear path to profitability

4. The business must have a clear business plan that defines their objectives, goals, and market strategy.

5. The business must be registered and in good standing with the Ontario government.

Application Process

Applying for a Microloan in Ontario is a simple process, and it usually involves the following steps:

1. Contact your local Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Centre or the Ontario Small Business Access Centre to discuss your eligibility and your options.

2. Prepare a Business Plan if you haven’t already done so, as this is a mandatory requirement for most Microloan Programs.

3. Once you have decided on the type of loan you need and assessed your eligibility, you can visit an SBE Centre or Access Centre to complete the application form.

4. Submit the application form together with any supporting documentation such as business plans, tax returns, and cash flow statements.

5. Attend the interview and evaluation process if required.


Ontario’s Microloan Programs are an excellent opportunity for small businesses to access much-needed funding and financial advice. With low-interest rates, no collateral requirements, and assistance in developing a business plan and accessing funding, microloans are a great option for start-ups, women entrepreneurs, immigrants, and Indigenous people. While the eligibility criteria may seem stringent, the application process is simple, and the program provides support and guidance throughout the process.

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