Posted: February 4, 2022



Type of Program:



The VERGE Startup Fund provides loans to local early-stage social enterprises with both a solid business case and a strong community impact model. 

Comments on Funding:

Loans between $10,000 and $100,000 with an interest rate of prime + 2% and flexible terms up to 5 years.
There is no application fee, no penalties for early repayment, and no excessive collateral or personal guarantees required.

When It Ends:



Rolling deadline


Applicants must have:

  • be entrepreneurs over the age of majority without limitations around industry sector, stage of growth;
  • be structured as a for-profit business or non-profit organization;
  • be early-stage social enterprises;
  • have operations in Southwestern Ontario.

The eligibility criteria is focused around two key questions: 

  • Are you a social enterprise, and does your work align with our investment priorities?
  • hat is your social enterprise’s contribution and commitment to local communities and economies in Southwestern Ontario?

Application Steps:



must complete and submit the "Inquire now" form and they will receive a response in 2 business days.


will work with Verge to put together a strong and compelling loan application. When ready, the application is assessed by a review panel of 4-6 volunteers with diverse backgrounds in terms of lived experience and professional expertise. This due diligence period takes approximately two weeks.


must prepare a 15-20 minutes presentation to tell their story and share their vision and values.


must present to the review panel, either in-person or via videoconference. The review panel also has an opportunity to ask questions about the applicants' social enterprise and get to know the applicants and their team better.

The review panel discusses the application as a group, and makes their recommendation to VERGE Capital to approve the loan, or that further work is needed for an approval. This decision is communicated to applicants within a week of their presentation.

Other Things to Note:

  1. 1
    Fund size & structure: Revolving loan fund of over $1 million from grants and donations from the Government of Ontario, the Ursuline Sisters of Chatham, the Government of Canada, Highstreet Asset Management, and the Canadian Alternative Investment Foundation.
  2. 2
    The fund is co-managed with Libro Credit Union, who administers the loans, manages repayments, and contributes 25% of every loan.

About the author 


Maurice (Moe) Muise learned the ins-and-outs of government while an employee of the Government of Canada in Ottawa for 10 years. His current focus is helping small businesses in Ontario to identify and maximize government grants to grow their business.
Click here to learn more about Moe's background and how he can help your business.


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