Capital Investment Incentives for Starting a Business (2020): 12 Programs for Buying Equipment, Technology & More

Capital Investment Incentives for Starting a Business

You’re just about ready to make that leap. You’ve got a great idea, a winning plan, and some helpful investors. But you’re still a little short. You still need some essential equipment or land or technology. Now what do you do?

The good news is there are some programs available across the country designed to help you over that last hurdle. While many may be loan programs or some version of, they all come with flexible terms and low rates you wouldn’t find ordinarily.

Take a read through and see what you might be able to make work for you. You’ll be glad you did!

Check out the infographic at the end of this article, it summarizes the 12 Capital Investment Incentives programs.

12 Capital Investment Incentives for Starting a Business

Incentives Available Across Canada


Rise Asset Development Small Business Lending Program

Everyone deserves a chance—or a second chance. Mental health can be a major impediment to success, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent barrier.

This program can give you that leg up you need. Use it to make that purchase you need to make to get your shot at entrepreneurship!

The best part is, while they do look at your credit report to some extent, they also look at you. Who are you, what’s your idea, what’s your plan? If you’ve got a solid plan to pay the money back and for future success, give this one a try.

You could get up to $10,000, though most first-time loans sit around $4,000, with an interest rate of prime + 2.5%.

As long as you fit these criteria, you should qualify:

  1. be self-employed or starting small business
  2. self-identify as an individual who has experienced mental health and/or addiction challenges
  3. be unable to access traditional bank financing for your small business
  4. not be in active bankruptcy or behind on child support payments or government taxes
  5. live in Canada
  6. be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

Just apply online and submit these necessary supporting documents with your application form:

  1. business plan
  2. 1-year cash flow projection
  3. resume
  4. credit report

Still have questions? Sure you do! Just send them via email or pick up the phone and call 647-232-RISE (7473) or 1-855-464-RISE (7473) toll free.


Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Young Farmers

Many younger people can’t find the funds they need to start their businesses—in any field. It’s hard to convince banks and investors to take a chance on a person with little to no experience, no matter how much knowledge they have.

Farm Credit Canada fills that gap if you’re a young farmer. And they don’t mean you have to be really young either. They have 2 programs: the FCC Starter Loan for those between 18 and 25, and the Young Farmer Loan for those 40 and under.

If you’re just getting your farm off the ground and need to purchase equipment, livestock, or shares in another farm/company to help with that, then take advantage of one of these programs.

If you take advantage of the Starter Loan, you could even access special rates that you won’t find anywhere else, and they have no processing fees, which in itself is unusual.

If you choose the Young Farmer Loan, you could borrow up to $1 million to buy the equipment you need with an interest rate of just 0.5% plus prime but also with no processing fees.

All you have to do to get started is call 1-888-332-3301 or visit one of their field offices in person. Before you do though, here’s what you’ll need to have ready or bring with you:

  1. a net worth statement
  2. 3 years of tax returns or accountant-prepared financial statements, if applicable
  3. recent pay stubs or written employer verification for off-farm income, if applicable
  4. government-issued photo ID (driver’s licence, passport)
  5. shareholder agreements (if any)
  6. a business and marketing plan
  7. a cash flow budget

Want to learn more? Then just call 1-888-332-3301 for more information on either program, or visit one of their field offices.

National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) and The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) RBC Angel Investee Program

Here’s a new way to access that capital you need to buy the remaining equipment and such you need to get your business really started.

If you’ve already secured capital from an angel investor in good standing with NACO but it’s just not quite enough, you could apply for an RBC® Avion® Visa Business card.

It could give you an additional amount of up to $50,000, depending on your credit score and the other financial information you put in your application.

So as long as you’ve gotten your start-up a minimum equity financing of $125,000 from a NACO member angel investor in the last 24 months, you probably qualify, so give it a shot.

Applying is easy. Just apply online. You never know what can happen!

Incentives Available in Ontario

Welcome to Ontario! There’s always additional funding programs throughout the province, and it’s no different when it comes to starting your own business.

Take a few minutes to read through these programs. You just might get lucky!


Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services Ontario Disability Support Program: Employment Supports

Here’s a fantastic option for those with a disability! It may often be a bit tough to find or keep a job with a physical or mental disability, but you never let that stop you!

If you’ve got a great idea, a solid plan, and the desire to make it work, then you have everything you need to start your own business. This funding program from the Ontario provincial government will give you some of the money you need to start your business, such as business tools, equipment, and supplies. They’ll even help you pay for things such as licences and certifications and more.

You could qualify for this program if you have a physical or mental disability that doctors expect to last at least a year and that makes it difficult to find and keep a job, you’re 16 or older, you live in Ontario, and you can legally work in Canada. Here’s a good tip to help you know if you qualify: if you have a Disability Tax Credit Certificate on file with the CRA, you probably qualify.

All you have to do to apply is contact your local Ontario Disability Support Program office to talk to someone who specializes in self-employment. Just remember to have your Application for Employment Supports and your Verification of Disability/Impairment handy.

IAPO Financing for Business Start Ups & Expansion Program (FNBSEP)

Indigenous individuals in farming or the agribusiness across Ontario (or those in different sectors and located in South Central or Eastern Ontario) could access grants 

of up to $20,000 or loans of up to $200,000 with this program to purchase a business or expand your existing business whether new or not, or even to use as seed capital if you qualify.

And if your idea or business improves community development in your area, you very well could qualify. Here’s the additional qualification criteria:

  1. 1have a valid Certificate of Indian Status whether on or off reserve
  2. 2have a majority share in an Ontario Indigenous business
  3. 3be an Ontario economic development corporation owned by a First Nation
  4. 4show you need financing because you’ve tried and/or used every other funding option

Apply for this program quickly, however. It closes on March 31, 2020. But just call 1-800-363-0329 or email them to ask for an application.

Remember to have all your supporting documents ready when you do though. These will include everything listed above plus evidence of Aboriginal ancestry, other personal and project data, evidence of equity, a business plan, a resume, and evidence of the demonstrated market potential and business viability.

Check out their FAQs should you have any questions not answered when you called or emailed.


Community Futures Ontario Access to Capital

When you can’t find funding for the capital investments else you may need to start up your new business anywhere else, this program is definitely the right one for you. It’s almost like you’re safety net.

Ontario entrepreneurs should know this program is there for them. While you won’t get free grant money, you will have access to loans, loan guarantees, and equity investments. That’s nothing to sneeze at!

So when you think you’re out of options, look here. Send them an email or give them a call at 1-888-633-2326 for more information about the program and to learn how to apply.

Should you find yourself with questions about the program, read through the FAQs or get in touch with your lender.

Métis Voyageur Development Fund (MVDF) Financing Solutions

Are you Métis and need some help to make the purchases you need to get your great idea going?

Then look no further. MVDF specializes in helping Métis-owned for-profit groups obtain those purchases they need to start their business, whether equipment, technology, land, buildings, or more.

They’re able to offer flexible financing at lower rates than the usual banks can, and they want to help you, especially if you can offer some benefit to your community. They even offer help creating business plans or finding ongoing training or other professional assistance.

You can apply for up to $1 million at any time, and you can apply as often as you like as long as your outstanding balance never exceeds the $1 million cap.

So as long as you’re a Métis entrepreneur in Ontario, own an Ontario-located business, and have a minimum of 10% equity in your business, apply now.

Just get in touch with an MVDF administrator to start the application process via email or phone at 613-798-0133 or 1-855-798-0133 toll free. Then they’ll send you an application form you’ll need to submit along with the supporting documents they’ll ask for.

Incentives Available only in Southern Ontario

Now if you’re in Southern Ontario, you’ve got some great additional incentives to take advantage of. What have you got to lose?


VERGE Capital Startup Fund

Business isn’t always just about the numbers. Sometimes it’s about more than that.

For start-ups in Southwestern Ontario whose operation also solves a cultural, social, or environmental challenge, VERGE wants to help you.

With help from Libro Credit Union, London Community Foundation, Sisters of St. Joseph, and Svx, the VERGE capital fund from the Pillar Nonprofit Network will give you between $5,000 and $100,000 and 5 years to pay it back if you qualify.

All you have to do is apply online—but remember to have as many documents as you can at the ready!

And if you’d like some questions answered before you apply, just email them or give them a call at 519-433-7876.

Incentives Available only in Northern Ontario

Starting a business in Northern Ontario really pays off! Here’s a few programs you can take part in that aren’t open to anyone else, putting you a step of ahead. There’s even some free money in here!


Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) Northern Business Opportunity Program: Small Business Start-up Projects

This program covers a lot of eligible costs for those planning to start a business in Northern Ontario, including capital expenditures like new or used equipment, software, and more.

Provided your business will create jobs in Northern Ontario and you can bring an equity contribution of at least 15% to the table, this one’s for you.

There is one other qualification though: you’ll need to operate in a few priority sectors, whether existing or emerging. Here’s some examples:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • agriculture, aquaculture, and food processing
  • arts, culture, and creative industries
  • digital economy
  • forestry and value-added forestry-related industries
  • health sciences
  • minerals sector and mining supply and services
  • renewable energy and services
  • tourism
  • transportation, aviation, and aerospace
  • water technologies and services

But if this is you, you could find yourself with up to 50% of your costs covered by grant money from this program. But know that if you sell any of the assets the program covered within 3 years, you’ll have to pay the grant money back.

So how do you apply? Well, make sure you have a solid business plan ready and then simply click on the Apply Now button at the bottom of the page. Hurry though, this program ends on March 31, 2020!

Take a look at the FAQs if you have questions, or send them an email or give them a call at 1-705-945-6700.


Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) NADF Loans

Now if you’re an Indigenous entrepreneur in Ontario, this one’s for you!

Nab that last piece of equipment you’ve so far been unable to get or get your hands on that business you’ve been eyeing because you know it’s a steal of a deal and you’ve great ideas for it with this program.

As long as you’re also a legal adult and your soon-to-be business is to be located in Northern Ontario, you probably qualify. But be aware you will have to be able to also offer equity. The amount differs based on your age: if you’re over 35, you’ll need 15%, but if you’re younger, you’ll only need 10%.

There’s no deadline for this program, so apply anytime by getting in touch with NADF and hooking up with an account manager. You can do that with an email or a phone call at (807) 623-5397, (800) 465-6821 toll free, or at (705) 268-3940 if you happen to be in Timmins.

Or pop in in person:

Orion Building
100 Little Lake Road, Suite 101
Fort William First Nation, ON
P7J 0L2

OR in Timmins
273 Third Avenue, Suite 203
Timmins, ON
P4N 1E2

Just make sure you have a business plan ready and your financials in order!

Wakenagun Community Futures Development Corporation Investment Fund: Women in Business Loan

Got a great business idea? Are you located and intend to operate in the Wakenagun catchment area? And are you a woman?

Well then, get ready! This could be just the component you need to make that great idea a reality.

This program will give you a loan of up to $150,000 so you can make those capital investments you need to start your business. And you can also use this one for existing businesses. You do, however, need to have at least 10% equity to offer.

Once you’re approved, you’ll have up to 5 years to pay, but there is no penalty for paying the loan off early. You’ll also pay the usual fees and interest of between 2% and 7% plus prime depending on the financial risk you pose.

Ready to apply? Then just get in touch with them online or give them a call at 705-658-4428 or 1-800-989-4850 toll free.

But have these documents ready:

  1. a Statement of Intent form
  2. a project description including estimated costs
  3. a business plan
  4. a Statement of Personal Assets and Liabilities

Wakenagun Community Futures Development Corporation Investment Fund: Youth in Business Loan

Another program from the Wakenagun Community Futures Development Corporation is the Youth in Business Loan, designed to help youth between 18 and 35 start their own business.

If you qualify, they’ll lend you up to $20,000 that you can use to buy the hardware or software, a building, equipment, machinery, or whatever else you may need to start your business.

The catch, though, is you’ll still need to have a 10% cash equity, so you’ll have to work to find that before you qualify for this program.

If you do find it though, and you’re the right age and in the Wakenagun catchment area, you’ll have 5 years to pay the loan back, plus the fees and an interest rate of prime plus between 2% and 7%.

Excited? Then get in touch with them online—or call them at 705-658-4428 or 1-800-989-4850 toll free—and keep these documents handy because you’ll need to send them in when you apply:

  1. 1a Statement of Intent form
  2. 2a project description including estimated costs
  3. 3a business plan
  4. 4a Statement of Personal Assets and Liabilities

The Bottom Line

Don’t miss out on these opportunities to help get your new business off the ground. Just because you need to make a few large purchases doesn’t mean you should let that deter you from bringing the next great thing to life, so take a look through these programs that could help you find the money you need.

12 Capital Investment Incentives for Starting a Business

12 Capital Investment Incentives for Starting a Business

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