Export Business Grants: 24 Grants, Loans & More to Help Get Your Products Overseas

Expanding your business into international markets might seem daunting, which is why the government provides export grants and other types of support to help businesses grow overseas.

Markets are more global now than ever before, and if you don’t get in on that, you might be missing out on valuable opportunities!

And while it may be a bit of a process to qualify and apply to grants for exporting, isn’t it worth taking that one extra step that could see your business soar?

What Can Export Business Grants Be Used For?

Export business grants can be used to pay for many aspects of starting or running a business. Here are some of the uses that are covered by programs in our grants database:

  • Developing export opportunities for products and services in new international markets
  • Commercializing innovative solutions to increase productivity, strengthen capabilities, grow supply chain, and expand international reach
  • Covering operating expenses related to exporting, including inventory purchases, product shipping, marketing and advertising, payroll and more

See the section below with a complete list of export grants available for businesses.

How Much Export Grant Money Can I Get for My Business?

In our database we currently have grants ranging from $10,000 to $90,000.

Am I Eligible for an Export Business Grant? 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 export business grants in our grants database, and these are the most common qualifications we identified:

  • Be businesses developing their presence internationally
  • Be companies engaging in export-ready products and services
  • Be industrial or commercial businesses, registered and incorporated in Canada
  • Have the authority to enter into legal agreements

Note: these are just the most common eligibility criteria – there are many grants with different requirements.

Export Business Grants for Ontario: Current Grants Available

In the table below we list the export grants currently available to Ontario businesses.

To learn more about each program, just click the program name and you’ll be taken to a web page that provides detailed information on the program, including eligibility, the dollar amount of the program, and how to apply for the grant:

Export Grants for Ontario Businesses

Other Types of Export Funding for Ontario Businesses

Our goal is for this guide to be a complete source of export funding information for Ontario businesses. So, in this section you’ll find all the other money programs (besides grants) that are available to export entrepreneurs:

Export Loans for Ontario Businesses

  • Government Export Loans for Ontario Businesses

A loan might not sound as good as a grant, but many export loans for Ontario businesses have a low interest rate. While they might not be free money, if you don’t qualify for a grant, a low-interest loan is probably the next best thing.

The programs below include government export loans and loan guarantees (which are loans that are provided by commercial banks but guaranteed by the government):

Government Loans for Exporting

Name of ProgramAmountType
FinDev Canada Financing and InvestmentNo Fixed AmountGrant / Loan / Loan guarantees / Equity investments
Structured and Project Finance – Export Development Canada (EDC) (2021)No Fixed AmountLoan
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Purchase Order Financing (2022)No Fixed AmountLoan

Government Loan Guarantees for Exporting


Guaranteed Government Grants

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    Name of ProgramAmountType
    FinDev Canada Financing and InvestmentNo Fixed AmountGrant / Loan / Loan guarantees / Equity investments
    Export Guarantee Program – Export Development Canada (EDC) (2022)No Fixed AmountLoan Guarantee
    • Commercial Loans for Exporting Businesses

    If you’re not eligible for a government loan, you might consider one of the commercial loans available for entrepreneurs. Below is a sample of current loan programs offered by the “Big 5” Canadian banks that are available specifically for exporting businesses:

    • Lines of Credit for Exporting Businesses

    In addition to loans, there are lines of credit offered by some commercial banks specifically for exporting businesses.

    Here is a line of credit currently available for exporting businesses:

    • Bank Accounts for Exporting Businesses

    While not exactly a type of funding, some commercial banks in Canada offer bank accounts in USD or other currencies that are of great help for exporting businesses. These accounts offer special perks and are worth checking out:

    Online money transfers and multiple currency accounts might also come in handy for your exporting business. Though it’s not provided by a traditional bank, you might want to have a look at the Wise Business Account.

    • Investment Programs for Ontario Exporting Businesses

    An investment is a form of financing where capital is provided in exchange of ownership in the company.  It is an alternative to conventional methods of raising capital (loans, issuing stocks, selling bonds) and the good thing about it is that you do not have to make monthly payments. Common investment includes private equity and venture capital.

    Here are investment programs currently available for Ontario exporting businesses:

     Investment Programs for Ontario Exporting Businesses

    • Competitions for Ontario Exporting Businesses

    A competition usually refers to pitch competition, a contest where entrepreneurs give a pitch (a short and compelling presentation of their business concept) to a panel in the hope of winning a cash prize or investment capital.

    Here are the competition currently available for Ontario exporting businesses:

    Here are investment programs currently available for Ontario exporting businesses:

    Competition for Ontario Exporting Businesses

    Name of ProgramAmountType
    Startup Canada - Startup Global$75000 Competition, In-Kind Support

    Best Export Business Grants, Loans & More

    While there are lots of good programs available, below we highlight some of the best export grants, loans, loan guarantees & more for Ontario businesses:

    Best Government Export Grants for Ontario Businesses

    Global Affairs Canada – CanExport SMEs

    Is increasing your international market opportunities on your wish list this year? Does it seem like expanding your export capacity is just too daunting?

    If you’re a Canadian SME with an exportation project in mind, then you’re in luck. This is the program for you.

    If you’re an LLP or are incorporated, have a CRA business number, less than 500 full-time employees, and claimed between $100,000 and $100 million in revenue last year, get your application in for this program.

    You could get funding of up to 50% of eligible costs for $10,000 to $50,000 in funding per project. The applicant is responsible for the remaining 50% of eligible project costs (in-kind contributions are not permitted)

    There are plenty of costs associated with international market development that are deemed eligible, such as travel, expert advice, market research, and taking part in trade fairs, so give this program a shot.

    Telefilm Canada – Export Assistance Program

    The Export Assistance Program provides financial support to distribution companies having acquired exploitation rights of eligible Canadian feature films in selected foreign territories.

    Telefilm Canada – International Promotion Program

    This program, formerly the Participation in international festivals and events support program, offers financial support to Canadian producers, distributors, and sales with projects officially selected at an international festival, as well as producers invited to an international coproduction forum and to present a project as part of one of its international initiatives.

    The Program reflects Telefilm’s priority of supporting the Canadian film industry to achieve new levels of success by supporting the marketing and promotion of Canadian content and talent abroad.

    Best Government Export Loans for Ontario Businesses

    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:

    • complement a line of credit (accept larger contracts, purchase inventory to fulfill orders quickly),
    • launch growth projects (expand into new markets, domestic or international),
    • improve profitability (pay suppliers upfront to get special discounts, avoid currency exchange fluctuations).
    Export Development Canada (EDC) – International Finance Direct

    Here we have yet another program from Export Development Canada. 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.

    Export Development Canada (EDC) – Structured and Project Finance

    This program offered by Export Development Canada can give you the help you need to realize a global project requiring an enormous amount of capital. This is ideal when you’re dealing with billion-dollar projects or projects with lots of partners.

    The Structured and Project Finance component of those programs offered by EDC includes access to international project experts to help you and offers funding for companies that export regularly and have global projects on a larger scale than usual in a number of sectors including industrial, infrastructure, utilities, and more.

    This particular funding is designed specifically for long-term projects that require more capital than the majority of projects, such as those that bring in more than $50 million in revenue.

    Best Government Export Loan Guarantees for Ontario Businesses

    Export Development Canada (EDC) – Export Guarantee Program

    Speaking of other programs from Export Development Canada, here’s one that could help you grow your business.

    The Export Guarantee Program isn’t quite a loan program, but it may just be the missing piece that helps you get that loan you need for working capital or get you a larger loan.

    How does it work then? What the program does is offer to share the risk with your bank. If you qualify, the program will give your bank a guarantee on the money you borrow, which makes it more likely you’ll get that loan or that you’ll be able to access an amount you didn’t think you could get but need.

    To qualify, you only need to be a Canadian business, a good credit risk, and have exported any goods or services or a combination of both sometime in the last year.

    Best Government Investment for Ontario Exporting Businesses

    Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Deep Tech Venture Fund

    BDC’s Deep Tech Venture Fund helps early-stage companies develop their markets and commercialize their innovations in Canada and abroad.

    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.

    Export Development Canada (EDC) – EDC Inclusive Trade Investments Program (ITIP)

    Canadian exporting businesses owned and led by people identifying as women, Indigenous, Black and other dimensions of diversity, one of the main barriers to growth is lack of equitable access to capital. EDC Inclusive Trade Investments Program (ITIP) helps address that challenge and create more opportunities for growth.

    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 Non-profit Export Grants for Ontario Businesses

    FACTOR – Collective Initiatives – Showcase Production for Export-Ready Artists

    This component supports international market development initiatives that benefit export-ready Canadian artists. It is intended for Applicants whose activities engage a number of export-ready artists in showcase opportunities of international significance.

    Musicaction – Canvassing

    The Canvassing program supports the movement of music professionals for the development of new markets on the national and international scene.

    Best Non-Profit Competition for Ontario Exporting Businesses

    Startup Canada – Startup Global

    Startup Global connects a pan-Canadian cohort of entrepreneurs committed to growing global businesses with a network of partners committed to their success. They are hosting several live webinars, a pitch competition, and exclusive in-kind help to support entrepreneurs’ journey to exporting. This annual flagship program empowers founders to start their business with a global mindset and connect with key industry partners to set up for success.

    The Bottom line

    While there isn’t a boatload of funding programs in the export world, there are still plenty to choose from, and there’s probably at least one that could work for you.

    Getting out into the big, wide world can be intimidating, but with the right support, it can be easier and more rewarding than you may think. You might be in just the right place right now to take your product, service, or process to a whole new level, and with the help of these programs, you may just find unexpected opportunities!

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