Funding Resources for Business.

This resource is meant to be a starting point for funding resources for businesses.

This list is not meant to be comprehensive and funding opportunities may be updated or changed without those changes being reflected in this list. 

What are different types of financial support for businesses? 

  • A loan is an amount of money that must be paid back to the lender (with or without interest depending on the loan type). Oftentimes, small businesses can receive low or no interest loans from the right lender. 
  • A microloan is a small loan that is usually defined as $50,000 or less. Since many banks are unwilling to provide smaller loan amounts. A benefit to microloans is that it may give access to capital to businesses that may not be able to access funding otherwise. 
  • A grant is a form of support that does not require you to pay the lender back. There are different forms of support available to small businesses including government grants and grants from outside foundations.


Questions & Answers Page about Applying for Government Funding


The Business Benefits Finder

The Business Benefits Finder is a useful search engine that narrows down different options for funding across Canada depending on the specific needs of your business. These include: 

  • Type of support required by the business
  • Business Location
  • Type of business
  • Resources required
  • Indigenous/non-Indigenous business


Resources for Businesses

General Resources for Businesses

Community Futures Ontario (CFDC)

  • National program across Canada that supports businesses in rural or non-urban areas
  • Each office offers similar products & services, however, it does vary
  • There are 61 CFDCs in Ontario
  • Funding of up to $300,000 available
    • Start-up loans
    • Expansions loans
    • Programs & Support

Ontario website:

Canada website:

CFDC of North & Central Hastings and South Algonquin:


Business Development Bank of Canada

Offers a variety of loans for different types of entrepreneurs including specific funding for Indigenous entrepreneurs:

  • Financing 
  • Advisory Services
  • Capital


Resources for Businesses Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Support for Businesses in COVID-19

Different measures are in place to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) interest-free loans
  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)
  • Loan Guarantee
  • Co-Lending Program


Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Grant for small businesses that were required to close or restrict services under the Province-wide Shutdown December 26, 2020.


Indigenous Business Initiative

  • Loan & grant
  • Part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
  • Financial support provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions
    • AFIs provide support services to First Nations, Metis and Inuit businesses in all provinces and territories
  • Supports small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses including current and former clients of an Aboriginal Financial Institution and a Metis capital corporation


Resources for Indigenous Businesses

Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program: Access to Capital

  • Indigenous individuals, Indigenous communities and organizations can apply
  • Promotes entrepreneurship in Indigenous communities
  • Provides non-repayable contributions for: supporting eligible business proposals, leveraging additional funds
  • Contact your local AFI to determine if you are eligible


Indigenous Entrepreneur Loan 

  • For Indigenous entrepreneurs
  • Loans of $350,000 or more to start or grow your business
    • Flexible repayment
    • Limited personal risk


Aboriginal Business & Entrepreneurship Skills Training (BEST)

  • Interested and committed people dedicated to becoming self-employed/an entrepreneur as a career
  • 12-session training series
  • Aboriginal BEST program provides job creation & skills training


Aboriginal Financial Institutions: Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund

  • Not-for-profit AFI in Northern Ontario
  • Qualifications:
    • 18+ 
    • Aboriginal heritage – First Nations, Metis or Inuit
    • Reside in Northern Ontario
    • Establishing a business in Northern Ontario
  • Committed to helping entrepreneurs in Northern Ontario prosper & realize their business dreams
  • Loans, microloans, winter road financing and grants are available


IAPO First Nations Farm & Business Financing

  • Provide financing and support to build sustainable communities for First Nation farmers and businesses
  • Specialize in Farm Financing
  • First Nations Farm and Business Financing
  • Business Financing
  • Farm Advisory Services
  • Links & Resources
  • Eligibility
  • Note: The majority of the programs require Status

Kagita Mikam Aboriginal Employment & Training Inc.  
  • Match training needs to training professionals 
  • Help those seeking employment find employment goals with qualified employers


Additional Resources for Indigenous & non-Indigenous Businesses

Futurpreneur Canada’s Financing

  • Collateral-free loans of up to $60,000
  • Mentorship Program


Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs

  • Collaborative network to help a business succeed
  • Resources focused on:
    • Starting a business
    • Growing a business
    • Financing a business
    • Youth entrepreneurship
    • Research & development


Small Business: advice, support services, regulations

  • Application is through Starter Company Plus
  • Offers one-on-one guidance from a Small Enterprise Centre advisor
  • Participate in business workshops, seminars or networking events
  • Talk to a mentor with experience
  • Grant of up to $5,000
  • Requirements: 18 years of age of older, an Ontario resident and Canadian citizen, not attending school full-time or returning to school


Resources for Businesses Led by Women

PARO Peer Lending Circles

  • PARO is one of the strongest peer lenders of small business loans in North America
  • Small groups of like-minded women
  • Share experiences, offer advice and expand networks
  • Access peer loans from $1000 to $5000 with matching grants of $500 and $1000 (meeting criteria)
  • Reduced rates for PARO events and equipment rentals


Government Funding: “Funding for Businesswomen”

Women in Trade – Export Development Canada (EDC)

  • For women exploring international markets & conducting trade outside of Canada
  • Helps to manage risk and cash flow
  • Credit insurance that makes it safer to do business overseas
  • Financing and working capital solutions that help pursue new opportunities
  • Equity growth capital through Trade Investment Program
  • Guides & expert advice offered through MyEDC
  • Opportunity to fill out the EDC Business Pivot Playbook for long-term recovery and growth


Women entrepreneur – Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

Financing options to fuel business growth.


Women in Technology Venture Fund

Dedicated to investing in women-led technology companies in three ways: Direct investment, Indirect investment, Ecosystem development



  • Start-up financing and mentoring
  • Option to mentor a young entrepreneur
  • Network building
  • Indigenous-specific funding available