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Business Advice, Funding

13 Viable and Profitable Ideas for Home-Based Businesses

Starting a home-based business venture in Ontario can be both an exciting and challenging experience. Creating a business plan, deciding what to include and what to leave out, can be particularly daunting. However, there are numerous home-based business ideas that Ontarians can leverage, often requiring minimal to no initial investment.

We have researched and compiled a comprehensive list of practical and profitable home-based business ideas specifically suited for residents of Ontario. These ideas are designed to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey, whether you’re applying for funding or starting from scratch.

Download the Free Ontario Home-Based Business Guide

Starting a Home-Based Small Business in Ontario

When choosing from the various home-based business ideas suitable for Ontario, consider the following aspects:

  • Your personal interests and what you enjoy doing.
  • The amount of time you can dedicate to your business.
  • The suitability of the business idea for your lifestyle.
  • Your budget and available funds for the business.

These considerations will help you select the most appropriate home-based business idea for your situation.

Starting a home-based business in Ontario is not necessarily easier or quicker than other business types. While you might save on some startup costs compared to a brick-and-mortar business, a home-based business demands significant time and effort.

Top Home-Based Business Ideas for Ontarians

The following home-based business ideas are gathered from what current Ontarians are doing to create successful businesses. These ideas, if executed well, can be highly profitable:

  1. Start a blog: Blogging about a subject that interests you can lead to a viable home-based business. Monetization can come from advertising, selling products or services, and building an email list for marketing.
  2. Sell products online: Utilize your website, social media, or platforms like Shopify to sell products online. Dropshipping is a popular method where you don’t need to handle the products directly.
  3. Rent out your space: Platforms like Airbnb allow you to make money by renting out a room or your entire home. This can be a lucrative side business or full-time venture.
  4. Drive for ride-sharing or delivery services: Services like Uber, Lyft, or DoorDash offer flexible opportunities to earn income by driving or delivering food.
  5. Freelance writing: Online content creation is in high demand, and freelance writing can be a profitable home-based business in Ontario.
  6. Thrift store and garage sale reselling: Buy low-cost items from thrift stores or garage sales and resell them online for a profit.
  7. Online sales through eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Kijiji: These platforms provide a vast audience for selling various products.
  8. Become a home inspector: With the rising housing market in Ontario, home inspection services are in high demand.
  9. Tutoring: If you have expertise in a particular field, tutoring can be a rewarding and profitable business.
  10. Christmas decorations business: Seasonal businesses like decorating services during the holiday season can be highly profitable.
  11. Mobile oil changes and car washes: Offer convenient services like mobile oil changes and car washes to clients at their homes or workplaces.
  12. Start a home-based daycare: With the right setup and certifications, a daycare can be a profitable business in Ontario.
  13. Photography business: Turn your photography skills into a business by offering services from a home studio or on location.
  14. Cleaning business: Cleaning services, both residential and commercial, can be lucrative with minimal startup costs.

These ideas represent just a few of the many viable options for starting a home-based business in Ontario. Always remember, the first step in any business venture is creating a detailed business plan.

See How Much Funding You Can Get for Your Ontario Home-Based Business

Starting a home-based business in Ontario offers numerous opportunities for success. With careful planning and dedication, these ideas can turn into profitable ventures.

Business Advice, Business Planning

Ontario Government Funding Checklist

Securing financial support is a pivotal step for the success of small businesses, especially in Ontario. The Ontario Small Business Government Funding Checklist serves as an indispensable tool for local entrepreneurs seeking to navigate the complexities of procuring government funding. This checklist, tailored specifically for Ontario-based businesses, aligns with the government of Canada’s programs but with a provincial focus.

Download the Ontario Small Business Government Funding Checklist

Embarking on the journey of securing government funding can seem daunting. The Ontario Small Business Government Funding Checklist simplifies this process. By filling out the form below, you gain free access to this essential resource, crafted to assist your Ontario-based small business in starting the government funding process effectively.

Click here to download the Funding Checklist

Why Focus on Ontario?

Ontario, as Canada’s most populous province, is a hub of entrepreneurial activity. The provincial government, recognizing the role of small businesses in driving economic growth, offers various funding options. These options are designed to foster innovation, create jobs, and support the entrepreneurial spirit across Ontario.

Understanding the Ontario Government Funding Checklist

The Ontario Small Business Government Funding Checklist is more than just a document; it’s a strategic guide designed to navigate the often-complex path to securing government funding. It focuses on four crucial aspects:

  1. Your Business Plan: A robust business plan is the foundation of your funding journey. This section helps you craft a plan that aligns with funding requirements.
  2. Funding Needs Assessment: Understanding the specific financial needs of your business is vital. This part of the checklist helps you articulate these needs clearly.
  3. Starting the Funding Search: Ontario offers a range of funding options. This step guides you through identifying the most suitable programs for your business.
  4. Funding Application Process: The final step involves navigating the application process. The checklist offers insights to avoid common pitfalls that lead to rejection.

The Importance of the Checklist

Navigating government funding options can be overwhelming. In Ontario, the diversity and specificity of programs mean that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. This checklist is tailored to help you understand and meet the unique requirements of each funding opportunity.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

It’s important to note that over 80% of government funding applications are refused, often due to errors in the application process. The Ontario Small Business Government Funding Checklist is designed to help you avoid these common mistakes, thereby increasing your chances of success.

Getting Started

The first step is simple but crucial: download the Ontario Small Business Government Funding Checklist. This free resource is your gateway to understanding and successfully navigating the funding landscape in Ontario.

Fill out the form below to gain instant access to this vital tool and begin your journey towards securing the funding your business needs to thrive.

Download the Ontario Small Business Government Funding Checklist – FREE

Securing government funding in Ontario doesn’t have to be a complex maze. With the Ontario Small Business Government Funding Checklist, you’re equipped with a clear, step-by-step guide to navigating this process. Whether you’re starting a new business or looking to expand, this checklist is your key to unlocking the financial support you need for your entrepreneurial journey in Ontario.

Business Advice

40 Essential Startup Grants for Ontario Entrepreneurs in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide for Small Business Initiatives

Ontario, with its vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem, offers a plethora of grant opportunities for startups and small business owners. This comprehensive guide is tailored to provide detailed insights into various grant programs available exclusively in Ontario.

  1. Toronto Façade Improvement Program: This program offers financial assistance to enhance the external appearance of your business’s façade. Funding covers a range of improvements like brick cleaning, restoration, new signage, accessibility upgrades, and window replacements. It’s an opportunity to revitalize your storefront, thus attracting more customers and improving the street’s visual appeal.
  2. Toronto Enterprise Fund Catalyzing Grant: Specifically designed for startups fostering inclusive employment, this grant supports businesses that create job opportunities for marginalized groups, including immigrants, disabled individuals, and those with past criminal records. It’s an excellent initiative for socially conscious entrepreneurs.
  3. Accelerator Centre TD Sustainable Future Program: This initiative targets startups in Toronto working on sustainability, particularly in the realms of clean technology and smart cities. The program aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and offers not only financial support but also mentorship and resources to foster growth and impact.
  4. Business in the Streets BITS Bucks: Tailored for young entrepreneurs in Toronto, BITS Bucks provides microloans and grants. It’s an alternative to traditional bank loans, offering more flexible and accessible financing options for budding business owners under 34.
  5. Toronto Arts Council: This council extends various grants to both non-profit and for-profit arts-based businesses. Whether your venture is in visual arts, performing arts, or other cultural expressions, the Toronto Arts Council has funding opportunities to support your creative enterprise.
  6. University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) Program: UTEST supports research-based companies emerging from the University of Toronto. This program offers capital, mentorship, business strategy guidance, and workspace, making it an ideal platform for entrepreneurs transforming research into viable businesses.
  7. York Angel Investors: This group funds early-stage startups in the Toronto/Waterloo region, emphasizing businesses with sustainable competitive advantages and robust management teams. It’s a gateway to capital and guidance for emerging companies in various sectors.
  8. Spark Angel Network: Focused on Durham and Northumberland regions, this network provides financial backing to startups in sectors like energy, IT, and software applications. It’s an opportunity for businesses in these regions to secure crucial early-stage funding.
  9. ACCESS Community Capital Fund: Aimed at entrepreneurs facing challenges in obtaining traditional financing, this fund considers your business’s potential and financial situation rather than focusing solely on risks. It’s a more holistic approach to funding.
  10. Maple Leaf Angels: Specializing in seed and early-stage funding, this program supports GTA startups in ICT, IoT, Fintech, and healthcare industries. It’s an excellent opportunity for ventures in these domains to secure crucial early investment.
  11. City of Toronto Business Grants and Tax Incentives:
    • Imagination, Manufacturing, Innovation, and Technology Program: Offers tax rebates for businesses making significant property improvements or purchases in Toronto.
    • Brownfield Remediation Tax Assistance: Cancels increased municipal taxes for businesses revitalizing under-utilized or abandoned properties.
    • Capacity Buyback Program: Rewards organizations implementing water-saving measures.
    • Energy Retrofit Loans: Provides low-interest loans for energy efficiency improvements in properties.
    • Industrial Water Rate Program: Discounts water rates for manufacturers to encourage conservation.
    • Sewer Surcharge Rebate Program: Offers rebates based on reduced indoor water usage.
    • Eco-Roof Incentive Program: Grants for installing green and cool roofs.
  12. Save on Energy Programs for Business Efficiency:
    • Retrofit Program: Assists with funding for energy-efficient upgrades.
    • Small Business Lighting Program: Offers lighting upgrades for small businesses.
    • Energy Manager Program: Supports hiring an energy manager to find energy savings.
    • Energy Performance Program: Rewards businesses making energy-efficient operational changes.
  13. Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) Grid Innovation Fund: Supports projects that reduce maintenance costs of Ontario’s grid or help customers manage energy consumption.
  14. Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability (LEADS): Supports farms in implementing sustainable management practices in the Lake Erie and St. Clair watersheds.
  15. Other Notable Ontario Grants:
    • The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) TAF Grants: For non-profits and municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas, focusing on reducing air pollution and carbon emissions.
    • Accelerator Centre Start-Up Grants: In collaboration with major Ontario universities, offers funding for innovative startup ventures.

Navigating through these grant opportunities requires an understanding of each program’s unique requirements and benefits. For entrepreneurs wondering how to apply, which grants are suitable, and the necessary application procedures, platforms like the Small Business Startup Portal offer indispensable resources. This platform provides expert guidance and continuous support

Business Advice

19 Exclusive Grants for Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Ontario Businesses

In Ontario, businesses aiming for energy efficiency have an array of grant options at their disposal. These programs not only bolster efforts against climate change but also pave the way for significant cost reductions over time. Recognizing energy efficiency as a long-term investment strategy, Ontario-based businesses can significantly benefit from these grants.

Energy efficiency investments often require initial capital, but these expenses tend to pay off handsomely and swiftly, making them a smart long-term investment.

Comprehensive List of Energy Efficiency Grants in Ontario:

Ontario-Specific Energy Efficiency Incentives

  1. Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) – Seed Fund: This fund supports early-stage clean tech entrepreneurs in Ontario, offering grants for innovative environmental projects.
  2. Natural Resources Canada – Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) – Onshore Program: Offers both repayable and partially repayable contributions for Ontario-based projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program (FSIIP) – Business Projects: Provides funding for strategic investments in Ontario’s forest sector, promoting innovation and productivity.
  4. Environmental Solutions – Farm Credit Canada: Financing solutions for Ontario farmers to make environmental upgrades and transition to renewable energy resources.
  5. Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority – Restoring the Lake Simcoe Watershed Program: Supports landowners in the Lake Simcoe watershed with projects that have environmental benefits.
  6. Climate Action Incentive Fund: SME Project Stream: Assists small and medium-sized Ontario businesses in sectors like agriculture and building, funding retrofit projects.

Federal Energy Efficiency Grants Relevant to Ontario Businesses

  1. AI-Powered Supply Chains Supercluster (SCALE.AI) Industry-led Projects: Provides funding for Ontario AI businesses to enhance supply chain processes.
  2. Canadian Agricultural Partnership AgriAssurance Program: Supports Ontario’s non-profit agri-food sector in adopting new health and safety assurance standards.
  3. Canadian Agricultural Partnership AgriCompetitiveness Program: Offers funding for non-profit organizations in Ontario’s agricultural sector for projects that enhance sector capacity and competitiveness.
  4. Canada Heritage Canada Book Fund (CBF) – Support for Organizations: Aids Ontario businesses in the book industry with marketing and promotion of Canadian-authored books.
  5. Canadian Agricultural Partnership AgriInnovate Program: Assists Ontario businesses in the agricultural sector with commercialization and innovation projects.

Energy Efficiency Grants for Diverse Sectors in Ontario

  1. The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) TAF Grants: Grants for non-profits and municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas for projects reducing air pollution and carbon emissions.
  2. Save On Energy – Retrofit Program: Offers funding for businesses in various sectors in Ontario for system upgrades and comprehensive energy-efficient projects.
  3. Save On Energy – Small Business Lighting Program: Provides lighting upgrades for small businesses in Ontario with less than 50 employees.
  4. Save On Energy – Energy Manager Program: Funds the hiring of an energy manager to identify and implement energy efficiency opportunities in Ontario businesses.
  5. Save On Energy – Energy Performance Program: Rewards Ontario businesses making operational changes to support energy-efficient capital investments.
  6. Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) – Grid Innovation Fund: Finances projects that contribute to grid efficiency and customer energy management in Ontario.
  7. Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability (LEADS): Supports farms in the Lake Erie watershed in Ontario with sustainable and profitable management practices.

With these comprehensive energy efficiency grant programs, Ontario businesses are well-positioned to make significant strides in reducing energy consumption and costs. These investments not only contribute to a healthier environment but also enhance business profitability in the long run.

Business Advice

Empowering Female Entrepreneurship: 21 Key Grants for Women Business Owners in 2024

In 2024, the business landscape for women entrepreneurs will be significantly enhanced by a diverse array of grants, each designed to cater to specific needs and sectors. Here’s an expanded look into each category:

  1. Innovative Women’s Business Grant: This grant focuses on women leading tech startups, emphasizing the integration of groundbreaking technologies or business models. It supports projects in fields like AI, machine learning, and digital transformation.
  2. Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund: Offers financial support for scaling operations or expanding into new markets. Ideal for businesses ready to move beyond the initial stages and seeking growth opportunities.
  3. Green Business Grant for Women: Targets environmentally sustainable practices in women-owned businesses. It includes funding for green tech, sustainable product development, and eco-friendly operational practices.
  4. Healthcare Innovators Grant: Specifically for women in the healthcare sector, this grant aids in the development of innovative medical solutions, healthcare services, or medical technology research.
  5. Women in Retail Business Grant: Assists female entrepreneurs in the retail sector, focusing on strategies for digital transformation, e-commerce development, and market expansion.
  6. Craft and Artisan Support Grant: Designed for women artisans and crafters, this grant offers financial support for materials purchase, marketing efforts, and participation in national and international craft fairs or trade shows.
  7. Minority Women Business Grant: Aims at empowering minority women entrepreneurs, and providing assistance for startup ventures or expansion in underserved and minority-dominated communities.
  8. Agricultural Business Grant for Women: Supports women in sustainable farming, agricultural technology, and innovative farming practices, promoting environmentally friendly and sustainable agricultural initiatives.
  9. Women’s Small Business Start-Up Grant: Provides seed funding to aspiring female entrepreneurs to cover initial costs like business registration, initial inventory, and marketing for startup businesses.
  10. Creative Industries Grant: Targets women in creative sectors like design, fashion, media, and arts. It supports projects that are innovative and have the potential to disrupt traditional business models in creative industries.
  11. Hospitality and Tourism Business Grant for Women: For women in the hospitality sector, focusing on developing innovative tourism experiences, optimizing business models, and enhancing customer engagement strategies.
  12. Women’s Export Business Grant: Assists women-owned businesses in expanding into international markets. It covers costs related to market research, export strategy development, and participation in international trade fairs.
  13. Tech Innovation Grant for Women: Supports women-led tech ventures in areas like software development, AI, and technology product launches. It aims to bridge the gender gap in tech entrepreneurship.
  14. Community Impact Grant for Women Entrepreneurs: Focused on social entrepreneurship projects by women that have a significant impact on local communities, such as initiatives in education, health, or community development.
  15. Research and Development Grant for Women in Science: Aimed at female scientists and researchers, this grant supports innovative research projects in areas like biotechnology, environmental science, and other scientific fields.
  16. Women’s Culinary Business Grant: Supports women in the culinary field for restaurant expansion, recipe development, culinary training programs, and innovative culinary experiences.
  17. Fashion and Apparel Business Grant: For women in the fashion industry, aiding in brand development, production techniques, sustainable fashion initiatives, and marketing strategies.
  18. Education and Training Business Grant: Assists women in providing educational services or training programs. It covers expenses like curriculum development, educational technology, and innovative teaching methodologies.
  19. Digital Marketing Grant for Women Entrepreneurs: Offers funds for comprehensive digital marketing initiatives, including developing online presence, social media marketing, and digital advertising campaigns.
  20. Fitness and Wellness Business Grant: Aids women in developing wellness centers, fitness programs, health-focused workshops, and innovative wellness services.
  21. Women’s Cooperative Business Grant: Encourages collaborative ventures among women in various sectors. It supports cooperative business models, shared resource management, and collective marketing strategies.

Each of these grants provides a unique opportunity for women entrepreneurs to leverage financial support for growth, innovation, and market expansion. By tapping into these resources, women-owned businesses can overcome challenges, achieve sustainable growth, and contribute significantly to diverse industries.

Business Advice

2024: 24 Grant Opportunities for Small Business Owners in the Greater Toronto Area

In the bustling entrepreneurial landscape of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the abundance of funding opportunities is a beacon for small business owners. The diverse array of financial support spans across multiple sectors, offering loans, grants, and tax incentives tailored to various business needs.

Beyond monetary aid, numerous organizations in the GTA are committed to bolstering small businesses through invaluable services such as mentorship, professional guidance, and collaborative workspaces. This holistic support system uniquely positions GTA entrepreneurs for success.

The convergence of both federal and provincial funding programs, coupled with exclusive GTA-specific initiatives, presents a rich tapestry of financial resources. By strategically tapping into these diverse programs, entrepreneurs can effectively compile substantial funding, significantly enhancing their growth potential.

A comprehensive list of GTA-exclusive grant programs in 2024 includes:

  1. Toronto Façade Improvement Program: Aims to revitalize building façades, supporting enhancements like brickwork, signage, and accessibility features.
  2. Toronto Enterprise Fund Catalyzing Grant: Targets social entrepreneurs seeking to create inclusive employment opportunities for marginalized communities.
  3. Accelerator Centre TD Sustainable Future Program: Designed for ventures contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in clean tech and smart cities.
  4. Business in the Streets BITS Bucks: Provides grants and microloans to young entrepreneurs, offering a flexible alternative to traditional financing.
  5. Toronto Arts Council: Offers multiple grant programs for arts-based businesses, supporting a wide range of creative endeavors.

Additionally, various loan and equity investment programs available in the GTA include:

  • University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) Program
  • York Angel Investors
  • Spark Angel Network
  • ACCESS Community Capital Fund
  • Maple Leaf Angels

Tax credits and rebates in the GTA also provide substantial financial relief, including:

  • City of Toronto Imagination, Manufacturing, Innovation, and Technology Program
  • City of Toronto Brownfield Remediation Tax Assistance

Utility grants and rebates within the GTA, such as the City of Toronto Capacity Buyback Program and Energy Retrofit Loans, offer incentives for sustainable business practices.

Entrepreneur start-up support in the GTA is bolstered by resources like Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Enterprise Centres, and Regional Innovation Centres.

In conclusion, the GTA stands out as a fertile ground for entrepreneurial growth in 2024, with a plethora of funding options and support systems. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to leverage these opportunities to their fullest potential, ensuring a robust pathway to achieving their business objectives.

Business Advice

20 Market Development Incentives for Ontario Businesses: Enhancing Growth and Expansion Opportunities in 2024

In Ontario, businesses seeking growth and market expansion have a wealth of funding opportunities at their disposal. These programs, varying in nature from grants and loans to tax credits, are designed to infuse businesses with the financial support they need for their development ventures. Entrepreneurs must maintain organized and accurate records, as some programs may necessitate comprehensive documentation for application. Here are several Ontario-centric programs and incentives that could propel your business forward:

  1. Rural Economic Development (RED) Program – Offered by Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, this program aims to bolster economic development in rural areas. It consists of two streams: Economic Diversification and Competitiveness, and Strategic Economic Infrastructure, focusing on projects that enhance job growth, economic diversification, and infrastructure development.
  2. Ontario Trillium Foundation Grow Grants – This grant supports projects that contribute positively to economic development and community welfare. It encourages the adaptation, growth, or improvement of programs for broader community impact.
  3. Government of Ontario Forestry Growth Fund – Aimed at benefiting the forestry sector, this initiative offers both grants and loans for projects that innovate, improve productivity, or strengthen supply chains.
  4. Government of Ontario Grassroots Growth Program – This funding aids short-term agri-food projects that promote sustainable agriculture and economic growth in rural communities.
  5. Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Place to Grow – Agri-food Innovation Initiative – This program, divided into Funding for Sectors and Strategic Solutions Streams, supports projects enhancing the agriculture sector, including health management, technology solutions, and market development.
  6. Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund – Tailored for arts, cultural, and heritage non-profits, this fund supports new or expanded events aimed at boosting tourism and industry revenue in Ontario.
  7. Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit – This tax credit is available for Ontario-based businesses developing digital gaming and other e-learning products, offering relief on marketing, labor, and distribution costs.

Southern Ontario Specific Incentives:

  1. FedDev Ontario Community Economic Development and Diversification Stream – This program focuses on developing the market through collaboration and innovation, supporting Southern Ontario’s non-profit organizations in their local economic transformation efforts.
  2. FedDev Ontario Regional Innovation Ecosystem – This loan program assists small and medium-sized businesses in Southern Ontario with project funding, aiming to enhance regional market growth and competitiveness.

Eastern and Southern Ontario Incentives:

  1. Government of Ontario Regional Development Program – Available for Eastern and Southern Ontario, this program supports business projects that stimulate economic development, job creation, and private sector investment.

Northern Ontario Specific Incentives:

  1. FedNor Regional Innovation Ecosystems Stream – This program funds projects that benefit Northern Ontario’s economic growth and innovation, covering a significant portion of eligible costs.
  2. FedNor Community Economic Development – Aimed at organizations in Northern Ontario, this grant program supports projects that bolster economic growth in sectors like agri-food and mining.
  3. FedNor Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario – Grants from this initiative are available to tribal groups, Indigenous communities, and rural municipalities, focusing on sector development and job creation.
  4. FedNor Economic Development Initiative – This program targets organizations aiming to enhance opportunities in Northern Ontario’s Francophone communities, offering funding for various development projects.

The current landscape presents an opportune moment for Ontario businesses to launch or elevate market development projects. With numerous funding options available, the financial burden of such ventures is significantly reduced, making it an ideal time for growth and market expansion. Additionally, forging partnerships through these programs can lead to valuable connections and future opportunities for business and market development.

Business Advice

28 Capital Investment for Ontario Businesses: Facilitating New Equipment, Technology, and More Purchases in 2024

For small business owners in Ontario, managing capital expenses is a critical challenge. Necessary investments in hardware, software, equipment, and infrastructure often come with substantial costs. For many entrepreneurs, these expenses can be daunting without immediate financial resources.

The question then arises: how can these business owners fund these crucial purchases? Outside of unexpected windfalls or successful investor pitches, sourcing funds for essential business needs is a practical concern. It’s not feasible to simply forego these critical investments. So, where does one turn for financial support?

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of available funding for small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario. These programs offer a range of financial assistance, from grants to loans, helping businesses overcome the hurdle of high upfront costs.

Capital Investment Incentives in Ontario for 2024

Ontario’s businesses, irrespective of their industry or size, can access various provincial programs designed to assist with funding for crucial business improvements. While many of these programs are repayable, they offer flexibility and favorable terms.

Key Capital Investment Programs for Ontario Businesses in 2024

  1. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Canada Dairy Processing Investment Fund: Dairy processors in Ontario can access funding for new infrastructure, technology upgrades, facility modernization, or expansion. This fund is open to both non-profit and for-profit small and medium-sized enterprises.
  2. Canadian Heritage Canada Cultural Spaces Fund: This grant program aids non-profit organizations in Ontario in renovating or constructing spaces for arts and heritage activities, including the acquisition of specialized equipment.
  3. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Advance Payments Program: This loan guarantee can assist agri-food and agricultural businesses in Ontario in making significant purchases, even if other incentives have not been accessible.
  4. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Program: Aimed at farmers and producers, this program supports capital expenses like land and building purchases. Businesses must apply directly to financial institutions, as the program is not directly administered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
  5. Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Equipment Financing: FCC offers financing solutions for purchasing new equipment or leasing with an option to buy, providing immediate access to necessary tools and machinery.
  6. Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Environmental Solutions: This program supports the purchase of equipment for transitioning to renewable energy sources, featuring flexible terms and interest-only payment options.
  7. Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Women Entrepreneur Program: Designed for women entrepreneurs in the agri-food, agriculture, or agri-business sectors, this program offers loans with low down payments and flexible terms.
  8. Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Credit Lines Advancer Loan: This line of credit assists farmers in Ontario with capital investments, offering reduced payment options and interest-only payments.
  9. Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Land & Buildings: This program supports the expansion of farms in Ontario through land and building purchases, offering flexible payment options.
  10. Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Farm Transfers: Facilitates farm ownership transfers in Ontario, with options for structured payments beneficial for both buyers and sellers.
  11. Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Xpansion Loan: Provides flexible loan options for business expansion, including deferred payment options to ease the financial burden.
  12. Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Indigenous Entrepreneur: Offers financing for Indigenous entrepreneurs in Ontario for various business needs, including fixed asset purchases.
  13. Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Commercial Real Estate Financing: Assists businesses in Ontario with the purchase of new buildings or land, featuring long repayment periods and flexible terms.
  14. Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Business Transition Custom Financing: Supports the acquisition of businesses in Ontario, tailored for companies with established financial reporting and management teams.
  15. Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Equipment Purchase Financing: Provides funding options for the purchase of new equipment, with flexible repayment terms.
  16. Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) ENCQOR 5G Demonstration Program: Supports tech businesses in Ontario in advancing projects using the ENCQOR 5G Platform, covering capital expenses like testing tools and equipment.
  17. Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and Government of Ontario, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Canadian Agricultural Partnership: Offers cost-share funding for agriculture-related projects in Ontario, including technology and equipment upgrades.
  18. Ontario Ministry of Finance Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive: A provincial tax program allowing Ontario businesses to fully write off the costs of purchasing new machinery or equipment, including clean energy equipment.
  19. Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada, Canada Small Business Financing Program: A loan guarantee program to assist Ontario businesses in making capital investments, taking on some of the risks to encourage lending.

In Ontario, these various funding programs provide significant support for capital investments, enabling businesses to purchase the equipment, technology, and other assets they need to stay competitive and efficient. Whether through grants, loans, or tax incentives, these programs are designed to alleviate the financial strain of capital expenditures, encouraging business growth and sustainability. Entrepreneurs in Ontario should explore these options to find the most suitable financial support for their specific needs.

Business Advice, Business Planning

31 Incentive Programs Tailored for Indigenous Entrepreneurs in Ontario

For Indigenous entrepreneurs in Ontario, 2024 brings an array of funding opportunities designed to support and empower Aboriginal business ventures, including those run by Metis and First Nations entrepreneurs. These programs span a wide range of purposes, from supporting Indigenous youth and women to fostering collaborative endeavors. Many of these programs are stackable, allowing entrepreneurs to combine different sources of funding for maximum benefit. They cover a multitude of expenses, including operating costs, capital expenditures, and microloans for craft supplies, ensuring a suitable program for every business need.

2024 Small Business Indigenous Funding Incentives in Ontario

Indigenous entrepreneurs in Ontario can access numerous financing programs provided by the Canadian government. These programs offer significant advantages, such as non-repayable funding and the ability to combine them with provincial funding.

Notable Business Incentives for Aboriginal Entrepreneurs in 2024

  • Government of Canada, Indigenous Services Canada – Relief Measures for Indigenous Businesses: Provides interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions to support Inuit, First Nations, and Metis businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • Waubetek Business Development Corporation – Business Loans: Offers a range of business loans to entrepreneurs in Northeastern Ontario to establish, expand, or purchase a business.
  • Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) – Various Programs: Provides emergency loans, business stabilization support, recovery funds, and professional services relief grants for Aboriginal businesses within NADF’s service area.
  • Two Rivers Community Development Centre (TRCDC) – Financing Programs: Includes general loans, express financing, and start-up financing for First Nations entrepreneurs within the TRCDC service area.
  • Rainy Lake Tribal Area Business & Financial Services Corporation – Micro Loan Program: Available to members of the Rainy Lake Tribal Area, offering funding assistance for documented Aboriginal entrepreneurs.
  • Toronto Arts Council (TAC) – Indigenous Arts Projects: A yearly grant program for Indigenous collectives, artists, and organizations in Toronto to promote the creation and presentation of Indigenous arts.
  • Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario (IAPO) – Various Financing Options: Provides business financing and farm and business loans to First Nations businesses and entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Ontario.
  • Ontario Arts Council (OAC) – Indigenous Visual Artists’ Materials: Supports Indigenous artists in Ontario working in visual arts, crafts, or traditional Indigenous art forms.
  • AgriDiversity Program – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Offers non-repayable contributions to under-represented groups in Canadian agriculture, including Indigenous entrepreneurs.

Grants for Aboriginal Businesses from the Federal Government

  • Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development (ABED): Assists Indigenous entrepreneurs with capital for various business activities, including marketing and expansion.
  • Canadian Agricultural Partnership Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative: Supports Indigenous communities in launching agriculture and food system projects and building capacity in the agri-food sector.

Business Loans for Aboriginal Entrepreneurs

  • Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) Indigenous Entrepreneur Program: Offers enhanced financing options for Indigenous businesses across Canada, including more favorable terms for a wide range of business needs.

Internship Subsidy for Aboriginal Youth

  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Housing Internship Initiative: Provides a wage subsidy for First Nations and Inuit organizations offering on-the-job training and work experience to Indigenous youth.

Ontario Aboriginal Business Incentives

Provincial funding sources for Indigenous-owned businesses in Ontario complement federal programs. These Ontario-specific grants and loans offer tailored support for Indigenous entrepreneurs, with some programs focused on particular regions within the province.

Ontario Aboriginal Business Grants

  • Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) Aboriginal Business Financing Program (ABFP): Offers funding to Indigenous entrepreneurs in Ontario to support marketing efforts and business growth.

Ontario Aboriginal Business Loans and Financing

  • Wakenagun Community Futures Development Corporation Programs: Provides various loan programs and strategic planning support for entrepreneurs in its catchment area, including the Business Enhancement Loan, Helping Hand Loan, Women in Business Loan, and Youth in Business Loan.
  • Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) Loan Programs: Offers a range of financing options to support Aboriginal businesses in Northern Ontario, including Winter Road Financing and Microloans.
  • Metis Voyageur Development Fund (MVDF) Financing Solutions: Provides flexible funding options for Metis-owned businesses in Ontario, supporting development and growth.

In 2024, Indigenous entrepreneurs in Ontario have access to a wealth of funding opportunities designed to foster business development and growth. From federal to provincial programs, these incentives offer financial support for a wide range of business needs, encouraging Aboriginal business owners to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. With careful planning and utilization of these funding sources, Indigenous entrepreneurs can substantially enhance their business ventures and contribute to the broader economic landscape in Ontario.

Business Planning

38 Research and Development Funding Opportunities in Ontario for 2024

The focus on research and development in Ontario for the year 2024 highlights a significant opportunity for local businesses and organizations to access a variety of funding programs. These programs are designed to support diverse sectors, enabling advancements in technology and industry practices. Here is an expanded overview of the specific opportunities available in Ontario.

Expanded Overview of Ontario-Specific Research and Development Funding in 2024

  1. Ontario Research and Development Grants:
    • CENGN and Ontario Centres of Excellence NGN Demonstration Program: Supports small and medium-sized enterprises in leveraging the advanced CENGN testbed for developing innovative projects. This program is particularly beneficial for businesses focusing on cutting-edge network solutions and digital infrastructure advancements.
    • CENGN and Ontario Centres of Excellence NGNP TalentEdge Internships: Facilitates partnerships between academia and industry by enabling students and recent graduates to engage in practical, hands-on projects. This initiative not only fuels innovation but also helps in nurturing the next generation of tech talent in Ontario.
    • OCE ENCQOR 5G TalentEdge Internships: Concentrates on the burgeoning field of 5G technology, offering students and recent graduates unique opportunities to work on projects that push the boundaries of high-speed communication technologies.
    • OCE AVIN AV R&D Partnership Fund Stream 1: This fund supports the rapidly evolving autonomous and connected vehicle sector. It encourages the development of advanced vehicular technologies and smart infrastructure, vital for future transportation solutions.
    • OCE AVIN TalentEdge Internships and Fellowships: Provides invaluable work experience in the autonomous vehicle industry, bridging the gap between academic knowledge and industry application.
  2. Ontario Research and Development Tax Credits:
    • Canada Revenue Agency – Ontario Innovation Tax Credit (OITC): Offers a significant incentive for smaller businesses undertaking innovative work in Ontario. This 8% refundable tax credit is aimed at reducing the financial burden of R&D activities, thereby encouraging more businesses to engage in innovative projects.
  3. Northern Ontario Research and Development Grants:
    • Innovation Incentives Ontario North iRAPID Program: Tailored for the unique business landscape of Northern Ontario, this program focuses on accelerating the commercialization of innovative products and services. It supports companies with potential for growth and job creation in new and emerging sectors.

The range of R&D funding opportunities in Ontario for 2024 provides a robust platform for businesses to innovate and grow. These grants, internships, and tax credits are structured to support a wide array of industries, from digital infrastructure and 5G technologies to autonomous vehicles. By tapping into these resources, Ontario businesses can drive forward their R&D initiatives, contributing significantly to both provincial and national progress in technology and industry practices. Proper utilization of these programs, backed by thorough planning and documentation, can open up new avenues for innovation and economic growth in Ontario.

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