Funding for organizations that help businesses grow in southern Ontario: Who can apply

Funding for organizations that help businesses grow in southern Ontario

2. Who can apply?

  • Incorporated not-for-profit organizations in southern Ontario that support businesses and/or community economic development.
  • A legal entity capable of entering into legally binding agreements at the time of application.

These may include:

  • a group or consortium of collaborating partners
  • business accelerators and incubators
  • Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples) not-for-profit organizations
  • innovation centres
  • municipalities and other municipal-type organizations
  • post-secondary institutions
  • other not-for-profit and community development organizations

What activities do we fund?

We support the following activities:

Growing and sustaining economic clusters through multiple partners

Projects include strong industry participation with community buy-in, have broad geographic reach or support the adoption of leading-edge innovation.

Examples of eligible project activities could include:

  • leading an industry consortia that solves a key problem or invests in critical sectors and new technology that keeps expertise and grows companies in the region
  • supporting applied research and product development, commercialization and/or technology adoption for new applications and/or entry into new markets
  • encouraging first buyers for new products developed within an economic cluster or a business-led consortia

These types of projects are generally performed by business-led consortia, post-secondary institutions or other types of formalized business networks.

Enhancing regional capacity by addressing gaps and supporting growth sectors with global, national or regional opportunities

Projects target areas of competitive or strategic advantage to the region and support economic growth. Incremental activities normally support business growth and entrepreneurial activity, strengthen global competitiveness and/or focus on investment or talent attraction and retention.

Examples of eligible project activities could include:

  • improving availability of risk capital
  • providing services to help entrepreneurs and businesses grow, pursue export markets and attract and retain highly skilled talent
  • supporting firms to demonstrate and validate their technologies with early adopters
  • investing in new technology platforms, innovation assets and tools, and commercialization processes for growing firms
  • expanding collaborative efforts among industry partners to, for example, reach global markets and/or facilitate supply chain development

These types of projects are generally performed by an industry association, business accelerator, incubator or other economic development organization.

Strengthening economic resilience and diversification in small and rural communities

Projects focus on improving local economic outcomes by addressing gaps and opportunities in the community, attracting business, talent and investment to the region and/or connecting smaller communities to globally competitive economies.

Examples of eligible project activities could include:

  • supporting the expansion and resilience of anchor firms or major employers that generate significant economic prosperity for the community
  • building economic clusters to diversify the local economy and attract new investment and workers
  • promoting export and market diversification
  • facilitating supply chain localization
  • helping businesses access capital, expertise and support to reskill or train their workforce and /or adopt new digital and technological solutions (not duplicative of other government support programs)

These types of projects are generally performed by industry or sector organizations, municipalities or other not-for-profit organizations.

What results are expected?

Your project proposals should help us create broad and long-term economic benefits for southern Ontario by strengthening the region's capacity for innovation and clean, inclusive growth.

To contribute to the local economy, projects will:

  • create and maintain jobs
  • grow business revenue
  • increase exports
  • build economic partnerships and collaborations
  • leverage other sources of funding
  • generate sales from new products, services, or processes commercialized (if applicable)

Refer to the Application Guide for more information on project indicators and expected results. Applicants will be required to quantify and substantiate how their projects will achieve these results, and if approved, later report on them.