Type of Program:

Wage Subsidy


The Access to Talent Program helps Canadian SMEs or start-up companies hire an experienced individual to carry out a project to achieve key milestones that support the development of a natural product or technology (Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 4-9).

Comments on Funding:

Funding is up to 40% of the cost of the new employee’s salary to a maximum of $75,000.
The company is required to contribute 60% of the cost over the project period. The project period is a maximum of 18 months.

Funds from this program are applied to salary costs only.
The combined level of financial assistance from all government sources (federal, provincial, territorial, municipal) can not exceed 75% of eligible costs by SMEs and start-up companies.

When It Ends:



Rolling deadline


Minimum Eligibility Requirements:

  • Canadian incorporated SME, start-up company with fewer than 10 employees.
  • Applicant has a novel pre-commercial (TRL 4-9) natural product or technology.
  • SMEs and start-up companies must have the potential to achieve $10MM to $15MM in annual revenue within a reasonable period for the market or sector.
  • Potential for significant economic, social, health and/or environmental benefits.
  • Technological advancement and benefits to the natural products ecosystem across Canada.
  • Technical feasibility of the project.
  • Potential for commercialization in Canada.
  • Potential spillover benefits to more than one sector.
  • Potential for improving the representation of women, visible minorities, and Indigenous peoples in the natural products ecosystem.
  • A member of Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster.

Applications Steps:


Companies or academic research institutes interested in applying to the Program should contact NPC at


An NPC team member will follow up with the applicant to review the Minimum Eligibility Requirements, in addition to the scope of the potential project.


Applicants that meet the eligibility assessment will be invited to submit an application.

Other Things to Note:

  1. 1
    NPC is a not for profit focused on Canadian natural product innovations that can replace synthetic products to benefit people, animals and the planet. 
  2. 2
    Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Program Contact:

Access to Talent Program

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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