Expanding a business can be done many ways – and there are LOTS of funding programs available to support that growth!
In fact, in our grants database we have 224 grants for expanding a business…
In this comprehensive guide we cover the best of those business expansion grants, along with some attractive loans, loan guarantees, tax credits, in-kind programs, and more.
What Can Business Expansion Grants Be Used For?
Expanding a business grant can be used to pay for many aspects of running a business. Here are some of the uses that are covered by programs in our grants database:
See the section below with a complete list of grants available for expanding a business.
How Much Grant Money Can I Get for My Expanding Business?
In our database we currently have grants ranging from $500 to $10,000,000.
Am I Eligible for a Grant to Expand My Business? Common Eligibility Criteria
Two of the most common questions we get asked at Ontario Business Grants are “Am I eligible?” and “How do I qualify?”.
We analyzed the grants in our database for expanding a business and these are the most common qualifications we identified:
Note: these are just the most common eligibility criteria – there are many grants with different requirements.
Best Business Expansion Grants, Loans & More
While there are lots of good programs available, below we highlight some of the best grants, loans, tax credits & more for expanding a business:
Best Government Grants for Expanding a Business
FedNor – Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) Stream under the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) Program
The Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) Stream aims to accelerate the growth of firms and assist with the adoption and adaptation of new, innovative technologies that support scale-up, productivity, development of and entry into new markets to help companies become competitive in both domestic and global markets.
FedNor – Regional Innovation Ecosystems Stream under the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) Program
The Regional innovation ecosystems (RIE) Stream aims to create, grow and develop strong and inclusive regional ecosystems that support business growth and innovation, as well as the entrepreneurial environment necessary to foster more innovative regional economies and increase the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) – Strategic Innovation Fund Stream 2: Firm Expansion and Growth
Strategic Innovation Fund’s Stream 2 facilitates the growth and expansion of firms in Canada. It provides repayable and non-repayable contributions to firms of all sizes across all of Canada’s industrial and technology sectors.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) – Start-Up and Scale-Up Funding
SDTC helps high-potential companies take that next leap and achieve market readiness by funding the development and demonstration of clean technologies. Start-up funding provides support to develop emerging innovations and reach applicant’s target market.
SDTC’s scale-up funding targets the needs of high-growth companies: those with growing revenues, a clear path to profitability and the potential to deliver significant environmental benefits in the short to medium term. Scale-up investments are meant to advance firms through early commercialization and market leadership.
Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) – INVEST North Program: Investment – Grow Stream
The Investment – Grow Stream provides financial support to businesses expanding existing operations in Northern Ontario.
Best Government Loans for Expanding a Business
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Indigenous Entrepreneur Loan
This program offers more financing at better terms and for a wider variety of purposes than most other financing programs, and it’s available across the country.
Finance your start-up costs or franchise fees, start exporting, fill up your operations piggy bank, or anything else your business requires with financing of up to $350,000 for qualifying Indigenous entrepreneurs.
It doesn’t matter what industry your business is in, if you’re on or off reserve, if you’re old or young. This program has what you need today and is perfectly tailored for you. They’ve helped 700 Indigenous entrepreneurs across Canada, so they can help you!
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Purchase Order Financing
The Business Development Bank (BDC) Purchase Order offers financing to businesses that want to take on new business opportunities and are short of cash. Businesses can increase their cash flow to fulfill large orders without shortchanging their operations.
Financing can be used to:
Export Development Canada (EDC) – International Finance Direct
Here we have yet another program from Export Development Canada. As opposed to the previous one, this one is an International Finance Direct program.
EDC’s International Finance Direct provides financing support for new investments in foreign markets. EDC helps businesses scale revenue and capacity for global growth.
It’s as simple as it sounds: if you’re an export-heavy business—big or small—then EDC wants to offer you a secure loan to help you achieve your international expansion plans.
This is often a better way to go than working with a bank simply because Export Development Canada is more likely to be able to and want to take a risk than a bank. So if you want, or need, to grow your business, get in touch with them first. They have a variety of different types of loans to suit you such as bilateral loans, club deals, or syndicated loans.
FedDev Ontario – Community Economic Development and Diversification Stream under Rural Growth and Innovation in Southern Ontario
The Community Economic Development and Diversification Stream aims to generate sustainable, inclusive growth and help small and rural communities to fully participate in, and benefit from economic opportunities.
Best Government Investment Programs for Expanding a Business
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Growth & Transition Capital
The Growth & Transition Capital provides a full range of financing options such as mezzanine, cash flow and quasi-equity financing, all designed to keep vital cash flow in their client’s rapidly-growing company, without diluting ownership.
Their Growth & Transition Capital team offers financing solutions on flexible terms to both mid-market and high-revenue Canadian companies. These solutions allow businesses to raise capital when they have insufficient tangible assets to pledge for security and don’t want to dilute ownership.
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Growth Equity Partners
The Growth Equity Partners Fund is aimed at empowering Canadian entrepreneurs to accelerate their growth strategy and scale into global champions. The Fund provides minority equity investments to mid-market growth businesses looking to become leaders in their industry.
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Growth Venture Co-investment Fund
The $300 million Growth Venture Co-Investment Fund 2 targets late-stage innovation-based businesses that are at an inflection point and show strong potential for meaningful scale.
Export Development Canada (EDC) – EDC Investment Matching Program
EDC’s Investment Matching Program provides investments with a goal of accelerating the growth of Canadian businesses. EDC will work with the applicant’s venture capital or private equity investor(s) to increase the capital available to the applicant under the latter’s commercial terms.
Best Tax Credit for Expanding a Business
Ontario Ministry of Finance – Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit
The Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit is a 10% refundable Corporate Income Tax that supports business investment, economic growth and job creation in designated regions across the province that lagged in employment growth between 2009 and 2019.
Best Non-Profit Grants for Expanding a Business
Bioenterprise Corporation Canada – SmartGrowth Program
The SmartGrowth Program provides SMEs in southern Ontario’s food and agri-technology sectors access to acceleration financing to support scale-up and expansion projects.
Bioenterprise’s SmartGrowth program is a matching fund that provides eligible enterprises with:
FACTOR – Support for Eligible Music Companies – Business Development
The Support for Eligible Music Companies program provides funding for business development initiatives that support the marketing and promotion of the company and its services, domestic and international travel to support the company’s development objectives through three components: Business Travel, Business Development, and Songwriter Support for Music Publishers.
The Business Development component is intended to support the costs of outward-facing development projects that are incremental to and expand the existing business of the company. Such projects must have a beginning and an end; they cannot go on indefinitely.
Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NOIC) – Next Level Program
The Next Level program provides funding for Northwestern Ontario businesses with an innovative product or service and looking to expand. The support may be applicable to contracted expertise, services or direct costs in any of the following areas: equipment purchase, expansion to new markets, conference & tradeshows costs ($1,000 max), training & certification costs.
Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) – Grow Your Business Online
As part of the Canada Digital Adoption Program, the Government of Canada has partnered with Digital Main Street and their ShopHERE powered by Google program to deliver the Grow Your Business Online grant to small businesses across the country. Eligible businesses will receive a micro-grant of up to $2,400 to help with the costs related to adopting e-commerce and supported by a network of e-commerce advisors.
Best Non-Profit Loans for Expanding a Business
Bell Fund – Slate Development
The purpose of the Slate Development Program is to help Canadian independent production companies build and diversify their slates by offering financial support for the development of original intellectual property (“IP”) with the intent to grow and foster the independent production industry.
Community Futures Eastern Ontario – Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII)
The Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII) supports high-growth, innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Southern Ontario rural and urban communities by offering interest-bearing business loans of $150,000 to $500,000 to support all aspects of growth challenges facing them.
Financing is provided for:
Community Futures Program – Access to Capital
Through Access to Capital program, Community Futures Ontario administers local investment funds to help finance new or existing small businesses and social enterprises for start-up, expansion or stabilization plans that help maintain or create jobs in rural Ontario.
Greenstone Economic Development Corporation (GEDC) – 3-Tier Lending Program
GEDC’s 3-Tier Lending Program was developed to assist new and existing small to medium enterprises (SME) to finance startup, expansion, purchase of assets or working capital. There are 3 types of loans:
Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario (IAPO) – Financing for Business Start Ups & Expansion Program (FNBSEP)
FNBSEP provides business financing and grants to qualified First Nations entrepreneurs, businesses and economic development corporations across Ontario to enhance community level economic development by supporting the success of high potential business start ups and expansions.
Areas of financing include: seed capital, start-up and early-stage loans, expansion capital, and business acquisition.
Best Non-Profit Investment Programs for Expanding a Business
Muskoka Futures – Investment Program
Muskoka Futures invests in new, existing or expanding businesses within the District of Muskoka. They aim to empower and encourage entrepreneurs to succeed by offering experienced guidance and financial assistance in their ventures.
Muskoka Futures offers flexible investments that are unique for each business’ individual needs. Their investments can be used for:
NORCAT – Sudbury Catalyst Fund (SCF)
NORCAT’s Sudbury Catalyst Fund (SCF) is a unique $5 million venture capital fund designed to accelerate the growth of scalable tech start-ups. SCF brings together a variety of partners and angel investors eager to build Northern Ontario’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by investing in and supporting a diversified portfolio of high-growth companies.
Best Competitions for Expanding a Business
Pow Wow Pitch – Pow Wow Pitch Competition
Pow Wow Pitch is a pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs across Turtle Island to shine the spotlight on pow wow vendors, artists, business builders and innovators from all backgrounds and industries, whether just starting or looking to grow to the next level.
ventureLAB – HardTech Pitch Competition
The HardTech Pitch Competition, held in partnership by ventureLAB and the Regional Municipality of York, is open to small and medium enterprises incorporated in Canada developing hardware innovations. Finalists will have the opportunity to pitch for their chance to take home a collective $50,000 in cash and showcase their breakthrough products and innovations in hardware technology to a broad audience including industry, investors, government, media, and more!
Best Private Organization Investment Programs for Expanding a Business
InvestEco – InvestEco Sustainable Food Fund III
InvestEco Sustainable Food Fund III is investing in expansion-stage companies in North America that promote health and sustainability in the food and agricultural sector.
Round13 Capital – Round13 Capital
Round13 Growth invests in growth opportunities including those in technology and healthcare, as well as more traditional industries where there is an opportunity for technology enablement. They focus solely on Canadian based growth companies where their knowledge, experience and relationships can be utilized to help drive growth and to positively and actively influence outcomes. They help to bridge the late-stage growth funding gap in Canada between traditional venture capital and public market investors.
Best In-Kind Support Programs for Expanding a Business
Have a look at the in-kind support programs below! Some of them provide both in-kind support and funding.
Innovation Hub (Carleton University) – Launch: Ventures
Launch: Ventures is a program for students looking to grow their existing business/company in an incubation-style environment. The program is sector-agnostic and focuses on preparing student-led ventures to progress towards achieving impact and experiencing rapid business growth.
Innovation Hub (Carleton University) – Breakthrough
Breakthrough is a program for students looking to scale and expand their existing business/company in an accelerator-style environment. The program is sector-agnostic and focuses on preparing ventures to expand to new markets, achieve investment and experience rapid business growth.
Futurpreneur Canada – Growth Accelerator
Futurpreneur Canada’s Growth Accelerator is an exciting opportunity for Futurpreneur entrepreneurs looking to take their business to the next stage. This program will connect a cohort of young Futurpreneur entrepreneurs across the country, enabling them to network, learn together, and share ideas as they grow and pivot their businesses.
Innovation Guelph – Rhyze Up! Accelerator
Rhyze Up! is a national accelerator for women-founded scale-ups across Canada who are ready to advance their businesses. Companies will receive $5,000-$10,000 in support for business scale-up services (Support includes one-on-one leadership coaching sessions).
League of Innovators (LOI) – Ready To Accelerate
The Ready to Accelerate Program is provided through the League of Innovators (LOI) Labs, a national virtual accelerator that offers 12 weeks of support, community, resources, skills, and everything eligible applicants need to accelerate their growth.
ventureLAB – Accelerated Growth Program
The Accelerated Growth Program is a six-month incubation program for companies who have launched their product or are in-market. Our hands-on advisory services and tailored programming will help accelerate your company’s growth while also offering you the tools and resources to build sustainably.
Innovation Guelph – Rhyze Ventures: Scalable Business Stream
Rhyze Ventures is a custom-designed program created by women entrepreneurs, for women entrepreneurs. They have crafted a balance of in-class learning, practical hands-on project work, mentorship, and peer-to-peer networking to address your biggest business challenges, push your boundaries, and see you through to implementation. There are 3 program streams: Small business, Scalable business, and Social enterprise.
Rise Asset Development – Youth Small Business Program
Are you serious about starting a business or expanding one? Are you between 16 and 29? If you said yes to both of these and you meet the rest of the criteria listed earlier, such as self-identifying with a mental illness or addiction challenge, then try this program.
As long as you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and located in Ontario, this program will give you access to free workshops and free coaching over the course of the 3-month program. You’ll attend, on average, 2 workshops a week with the end goal of creating a solid business plan and sharp, effective pitch.
This program will leave you with all the tools, strategies, and concepts you’ll need to run a successful business. On top of all that, you even get to borrow a laptop from them for the whole course of the program. And the best part? Once you graduate, you’ll be able to access their small business financing, and you’ll get to choose between keeping that laptop you borrowed or a $500 grant. What are you waiting for?!
ventureLAB – Tech Undivided
Tech Undivided offers a comprehensive 6-month program to challenge women-led tech companies to scale their businesses. Through the pillars of capital, talent, IP & technology, and customers, this program creates a support ecosystem of resources and networking opportunities for women founders to thrive.
Tech Undivided is designed for founders building breakthrough solutions leveraging hardware and/or enterprise software technologies. It draws on the combined expertise of ventureLAB Advisors, Strategic Mentors, and exclusive partners to offer strategic and tactical support to help them refine their product-market-fit, amplify their sales, and navigate relevant sources of funding – and help hone their pitch to better prepare for customer and investor meetings.
Other In-Kind Support Programs
Communitech – Fierce Founders Intensive Track
Fierce Founders Intensive Track helps women and non-binary founders on their path to scale. Participants receive hands-on support from our experienced growth coaches to execute a customized growth plan. The strongest growth plans qualify to receive matching seed funds of $50,000 from the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario.
Communitech – Fierce Founders Uplift
Fierce Founders Uplift helps participants accelerate their path from startup to world leader. Participating companies receive $10,000 in non-matching funds and one-on-one advice from Communitech growth coaches.
Innovation Guelph, Haltech Regional Innovation Centre, Innovate Niagara, WEtech Alliance, Innovation Factory and TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario – i.d.e.a. Fund
The i.d.e.a. Fund supports a more sustainable economy and equitable recovery in Southern Ontario by providing recipients with $30,000 in matching seed funds and up to 40 hours of expertise from Regional Innovation Center (RIC)’s Venture Growth team.