Create or start a business

Do you wish to create or start a business?

To find out if this activity is emphasized in your region, contact an advisor from your region's business office. He or she will be able to inform you, advise you or guide you in carrying out your project on the basis of the region's action priorities and availability of Agency funding.

For an immediate overview of the main eligibility criteria, the type of activities that can be supported or the available funding, please consult the following information


Eligible clients

  • Pre-startup and startup businesses (SMEs and organizations operating facilities or engaged in commercial activities)
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Business support organizations
  • Business incubation organizations
  • Entrepreneurship support and research organizations
  • Technology transfer centers
  • Economic development organizations
  • University value-added corporations

Non-eligible clients

  • Retail businesses

However, we invite you to consult our network of partners for assistance.

Main analysis criteria

Projects are reviewed based on specific criteria, i.e:

  • anticipated results of your project;
  • viability of your business or organization;
  • your technical and financial management capacity;
  • partner contributions in financial resources or professional services;
  • level of risk.


Examples of activities

  • Development of new products and services
  • Technology transfer to businesses
  • Spinoff
  • Business incubation
  • Patent or license purchase
  • Certification activities
  • Purchase of equipment, computer tools and technology
  • Fit-up, expansion or construction upgrading of facilities
  • Pre-commercialization activities
  • Implementation of a marketing strategy
  • Management capacity building
  • Recruitment of specialized resources
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Strategy development
  • Development of business leads and searching for funding
  • Networking
  • Consulting and guidance services
  • Information services

Financial assistance

Types of assistance

  • Repayable contribution
  • Non-repayable contribution

Rate of assistance

  • Generally up to 50 percent of authorized costs for SMEs
  • Generally up to 90 percent of authorized costs for NPOs

Authorized costs

All costs directly related to the project, deemed reasonable and essential to its completion. Restrictions may apply in certain cases.

Non-eligible costs

All costs that are non-essential and not directly related to the project.
  • The following costs in particular are non-eligible:
    • refinancing of an existing debt;
    • depreciation costs;
    • goodwill costs.

Submitting a project

Do you wish to submit a project? For information on project submission and funding application procedures, consult the project submission guide and contact an advisor from the business office in your region.

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