However you look at it, continued skills development is necessary to both growing your career and growing your business – and you can reduce the financial burden by checking out the Ontario training grants covered in this guide!
Take advantage of them to either learn what you need to know or learn what you want to know. Alternatively, apply for one of them to give your employees a chance to learn something new so they can apply that knowledge to your company’s products or processes.
Take a peek at the available options and see if any of them pique your interest!
What Can Ontario Training Grants Be Used For?
Here are some of the things that training grants can be used for, according to the programs in our grants database:
See the section below with a complete list of grants available to train your employees.
How Much Grant Money Can I Get to Train My Employees?
In our database we currently have grants ranging from $1,500 to $25,000,000.
Am I Eligible for an Ontario Training 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 Ontario training grants in our database, 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.
Training Grants for Ontario Businesses: Current Grants Available
In the table below we list the training 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:
Training Grants for Ontario Businesses
Other Types of Training Funding for Ontario Businesses
Our goal is for this guide to be a complete source of funding information for businesses seeking opportunities to improve their employees’ skills. So, in this section you’ll find all the other money programs (besides grants) that are available to Ontario entrepreneurs:
Training Loans for Ontario Businesses
A loan might not sound as good as a grant, but many training loans for 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 loans:
Government Training Loans for Ontario Businesses
A subsidy is a type of financial assistance usually provided by the government in order to promote a social good or an economic policy. Wage subsidies are the most common subsidies.
In the table below you’ll find the subsidies currently available for training your employees:
Training Subsidies for Ontario Businesses
In-kind support refers to non-cash resources provided to support businesses. In kind-support can take various forms: access to coaching, mentorship, investors, logistical and technical resources (space, equipment, computers, internet and software, free testbed), training programs, business advice and counseling. Entrepreneurship centres, accelerators and incubators provide valuable in-kind support to new and existing entrepreneurs.
In-Kind Training Programs for Ontario Entrepreneurs
|Name of Program||Amount||Type|
|Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario - Beginning Farmer Program||$50000||Grant, In-Kind Support|
|Business in the Streets - BITS Boot Camp||N/A||In-Kind Support|
|Canada’s Ocean Supercluster - Innovation Ecosystem Activities||no fixed amount||Grant, In-Kind Support|
|Métis Nation of Ontario - Métis Self-Employment Program||no fixed amount||Grant, In-Kind Support|
|NECO Community Futures Development Corporations - Investment Program||no fixed amount||In-Kind Support, Investment|
|Métis Voyageur Development Fund - MVDF Loans||$1500000||In-Kind Support, Loan|
|Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NOIC) (formerly NWOIC) – Kenora and Rainy River District Business Accelerator Fund||$5000||Investment|
Best Ontario Training Grants, Loans & More
While there are lots of good programs available, below we highlight some of the best training grants, loans, subsidies & more for Ontario businesses:
Best Government Training Grants for Ontario Businesses
FedNor – Youth Internship under the Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP) and under Regional Economic Growth Through Innovation (REGI)
If “FedNor” didn’t give it away right away, this 2-part funding program is only for those organizations located in Northern Ontario and whose projects result in either improving the economic development of Northern Ontario communities and businesses under NODP and the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, products, services and processes under REGI.
Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade – Regional Development Program: Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness (AMIC) Stream
The Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness (AMIC) Stream will provide financial support to advanced manufacturing companies with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises across Ontario. It will provide investments in capital equipment, technology adoption and skills development.
Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development – Achievement Incentive (AI)
The Achievement Incentive is a grant program that helps employers train apprentices by reducing some of the cost of training and that supports apprentice progression by giving grant payments to employers when their apprentices reach major milestones. The program offers up to $17,000 to eligible employers when apprentices meet training and certification milestones.
Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development – Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJC)
Skills development is valuable, so the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will grant money to any Ontario business that wants to give their employees more training.
As long as you have a definitive plan to provide short-term skills training for your employees, you qualify, whether you’re big or small or incorporated or not. But you do have to be licensed to operate in Ontario and ensure the training is to be delivered in Ontario and related to jobs also located in Ontario.
Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) – People & Talent Program: Workforce Development Stream
The intent of the Workforce Development Stream is to strengthen and develop Northern Ontario’s workforce through business partnerships by offering internships.
Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and Enbridge Gas Inc. – Save on Energy – Training and Support
IESO’s Save on Energy provides incentives to businesses for a range of energy management training programs.
Best Government Training Loans for Ontario Businesses
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP): Boost Your Business Technology
The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), by the Government of Canada, helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt digital technologies to increase their competitiveness. Eligible businesses will receive a grant to build their digital plan, followed by a 0% loan of up to $100,000 to implement it.
The loan can be used for:
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) – Working Capital Financing
The Working Capital Loan helps Canadian businesses complement other lines of credit, launch growth projects (expand into new markets, develop new products, protect intellectual property, launch a marketing campaign) and improve profitability (pay suppliers upfront to get special discounts, obtain certification, train employees).
Best Government Training Subsidies for Ontario Businesses
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) – Student Work Placement Program
This is just one of a few financial incentives offered by Employment and Social Development Canada to help you grow your team and offer an opportunity to a student.
This one will give you up to $5,000 for every student you hire through this program, and up to $7,000 for every first-year student, woman in STEM, those with disabilities, newcomers, or Indigenous students.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) – Science and Technology Internship Program: Green Jobs
The Science and Technology (S&T) Internship Program provides wage subsidies to encourage organizations to hire and mentor interns and invest in the workforce of tomorrow.
It also provides opportunities for youth to gain relevant work experience and skill development in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields in the natural resources sectors: energy, forestry and mining, earth sciences, and clean technology.
Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development – Ontario Job Creation Partnerships
The Ontario Job Creation Partnerships program offers funding to eligible employers for projects that give work experience to unemployed Ontarians, help their community and benefit their local economy. Job seekers, also known as participants, can work on projects that:
Best Non-profit Training Grants for Ontario Businesses
Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) and Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) – Next Generation Network Program (NGNP) TalentEdge Internships
Take special note Ontario SMEs: if you’re developing or implementing next generation network technologies in your products or services and have in-house research and development capacity within Ontario, this grant will be of interest to you.
Hire an Ontario undergraduate, master’s, or PhD student (or any one of these who’ve graduated in the last 3 years) as an intern on your project and you could get $10,000 in funding to help with the cost of both the intern and your project.
Digital Technology Supercluster – Talent + Capacity Building Program
The Talent + Capacity Building Program aims to partner with employers, educators, learning and development technology companies and community organizations to build job ready, world-class talent and teams. Digital Technology Supercluster co-invests in projects that help Canadians develop the skills, leadership and opportunities needed to grow innovative digital enterprises.
Under the Capacity Building program, Digital Technology Supercluster co-invests in two types of projects:
Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) – Cluster Building Projects
The objective of a Cluster Building Project is to support a group of Canadian for-profit SMEs to work together to within an industry-lead membership-based organization to enhance the capabilities and growth of those organizations through the application of, or access to, advanced manufacturing technologies, best practices, global benchmarks, workforce development, enhanced training and/or market expansion.
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.
Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO) – Business Development Skills Program
OBIO’s Business Development Skills Program (BDSP™) grants funding for the training and development of employees and senior management who work for health science companies commercializing their intellectual property in Ontario. BDSP™ helps companies scale and grow by enabling key team members to enhance critical capabilities in-house.
SOCAN Foundation – Professional Development Assistance Program
The Professional Development Assistance Program grants are provided to SOCAN composers, writers and music publishers across all genres of music, for upgrading their skills and knowledge or acquiring new skills and knowledge to advance their careers.
Best Non-profit Training Loans for Ontario Businesses
Wakenagun Community Futures Development Corporation (Wakenagun CFDC) – Wakenagun CFDC’s Investment Fund – Business Enhancement Loan
Wakenagun CFDC’s Investment Fund – Business Enhancement Loan provides funding to businesses for marketing initiatives, promotional items, attendance at trade shows, staff training and certifications.
Best Non-profit Training Subsidies for Ontario Businesses
Some of the subsidies below are related to the government subsidies mentioned above. These non-profits are the government’s delivery partners for their programs. Businesses who want to apply, must check the specific eligibility criteria and apply to these non-profits.
BioTalent Canada – Student Work Placement Program (SWPP)
This program offers a current STEM or business student an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in biotechnology, and you’ll be rewarded with all the excitement, creativity, new ideas, and new knowledge that comes with those still in school. Besides, you’ll also be rewarded with funding of up to 70%, or $7,000 of the intern’s salary. Alternatively, you could get up to 50%, or $5,000, of a co-op student’s salary or 70%, or $7,000, of the salary for a first-year or underrepresented student.
BioTalent Canada – Career Starter Program
The Career Starter Program will facilitate the transition of barriered youth into the labour market and increase their knowledge of the sector’s needs through recent and practical work experience.
Career Starter provides bio-economy employers with 50% of a youth’s salary to a maximum of $20,000 in wage subsidies for a three to nine-month job placement. This will help the employer adopt a diverse and inclusive work culture while satisfying their need for skilled labour.
Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) – Career-Launcher Digital Tech Internships
This CICan program will also give you up to $15,000 for the intern’s salary and training. You can use up to $4,000 for training, and for-profits can use the remainder to cover up to 75% of the intern’s salary, 50% for nonprofits.
Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) – Discovering Potential Program
The Discovering Potential Program supports employers who provide youth with green work experience through internships and on-the-job training. Positions in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and/or relating to electricity, renewable energy, environment, and natural resources can qualify.
Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) – Green Jobs Program
The Green Jobs Program will help shape the next generation of Canada’s mining workers! Employers will gain access to a wage subsidy and leverage talent for future recruitment needs. Participants will gain valuable paid work experience that will help take their career to the next level.
North Claybelt Community Futures Development Corporation (North Claybelt CFDC) – Northeastern Ontario Youth Internship Program
The Northeastern Ontario Youth Internship Program provides a wage subsidy of up to $31,500 to businesses for the eligible costs of salary, employee benefit expenses, training and training related travel costs for professional and business skills development for a period of 12 months in a full-time position.
The United Nations Association (UNA) in Canada – Canada Green Corps: Science Horizons (SH)
Science Horizons is a wage subsidy programme for employers that begins or elevates the careers for youth in Canada in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. Science Horizons (SH) is dedicated to breaking down barriers for youth in Canada who are un or underemployed.
Best In-kind Support Training Programs for Ontario Entrepreneurs
Have a look at the in-kind support programs below! Some of them provide both in-kind support and funding.
Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement (University of Waterloo) – Grebel Peace Incubator: Peace Incubator Fund
The Grebel Peace Incubator advances expansive and innovative understandings and practices of peace locally and globally. It enables students, recent grads, and community members to take their initiative to the next level. Through the Peace Incubator Fund, incubator members are able to access seed funding once per semester to accelerate their learning and stimulate the development of their venture.
Seneca College – HELIX (Incubator)
HELIX, Seneca’s on campus innovation and entrepreneurship incubator, invites Seneca students, graduates, faculty and staff, along with members of the community, to explore and develop their entrepreneurial mindset. HELIX provides the tools needed to design and launch a scalable startup or to innovate from within an existing organization as an intrapreneur. Supports for entrepreneurs include coaching/mentorship, co-working space, networking introductions and events, guest speaker presentations, funding application assistance, enhanced experiential learning opportunities and ecosystem engagement.
SOCAN Foundation – TD Incubator for Creative Entrepreneurship
The TD Incubator for Creative Entrepreneurship is a program powered by SOCAN Foundation, and provides emerging music creators with seed funding, mentorship, and the opportunity to participate in a progressive webinar series that will hone their skills of entrepreneurship while providing them with the tools and resources needed to turn their talent into a sustainable career.
Western Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship (Western University) – Western Accelerator
RH Accelerator – RHA Online
The Entrepreneurship Hatchery (University of Toronto) – Hatchery NEST
The Hatchery NEST is University of Toronto (U of T) engineering-based process, with more than 94 startups launched since its creation. It is an experiential learning opportunity that instills and nurtures the entrepreneurial mindset in all U of T students and faculty. In the Hatchery’s unique environment, students experience the successes and failures of the entrepreneurial journey within a challenging yet supportive setting.
Kingston Economic Development Corporation (Kingston EcDev) – Social Enterprise Fundamentals
Social Entrepreneurship Fundamentals is an 8-week, part-time online program that covers the foundations of social entrepreneurship, from making sure entrepreneurs have identified the right problem, to developing a solution, to turning their idea into a sustainable business model. If they’re ready to roll up their sleeves, invest in their personal and professional growth, and turn their idea into impact, this is the right course for them.
Other In-kind Support Programs
Business in the Streets (BITS) – BITS Boot Camp
The BITS Boot Camp program works with emerging entrepreneurs to develop an actionable plan for existing businesses. Through the program, the applicants will receive:
Canada’s Ocean Supercluster (OSC or Ocean Supercluster) – Innovation Ecosystem Activities
OSC’s Innovation Ecosystem program is mobilizing the ecosystem to collaborate on ocean initiatives that transform the innovation landscape and have lasting impacts on the ocean economy. The program is designed to address shared talent challenges identified by OSC’s members, attract the best entrepreneurs to the cluster, support the growth of work integrated learning environments and skill agility of the ocean workforce. The OSC provides financial and in-kind support for approved projects.
Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) – Métis Self-Employment Program
MNO’s Métis Self-Employment Program offers participants the skills and support necessary to develop a business plan, start a small business, and sustain their business activities. The Program also provides funds and support to assist clients with mentorship, coaching, and ongoing technical advice.
The Bottom Line
There’s an abundance of funding programs to help with skills development, and a great variety to choose from, all geared toward different sectors – so there’s probably one that’s right for you!
While it’s easy to say we don’t have time to work on or update our skills and hard to find the time in our busy schedules with all the other work that needs to be done, there’s nothing that screams success like a fully trained employee with cutting-edge knowledge. And, given that knowledge is changing more and more rapidly, it’s smart to keep yourself and your employees learning! So why not start now?