This grant blog addresses the following topics:

o   Why few start-up grants exist

o   Start-up grants presented in the following categories: agriculture, Aboriginal, and technology

o   A couple secret gems

Don’t Wait! Download our "Three Steps to Winning a Government Grant" PDF here -

Do grants exist for start-up companies?


Are there many?


Where are they?

Further down in this blog.

Contrary to what you probably heard, you will find few grants for start-up companies. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Governments are risk adverse; they are reluctant to give money to start-up businesses.

Everyone knows that most businesses start and fail within a couple years.

Most grants are for established businesses (and established non-profits).

Many grants work like this: you spend the money first, and the grant reimburses you 50 percent or 75 percent – in the event of stacking.

Grant stacking is when you take two or more grants and apply them to the same project. Grant stacking is usually encouraged by grant agencies. 

Here is the stacking section from the Alberta Innovates Product Demonstration Program guide:

Stacking Image.JPG

Some grants do exist for start-up businesses, and we present them here for your convenience.

1. AGRICULTURE | BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM -note the new agricultural grants are expected to be released this summer and fall. Stay tuned for the update.

Value: New entrants will be reimbursed for 75% of eligible consulting fees to a maximum of $5,000 per activity up to $30,000 for the life of the program.


The purpose of the program is to help Alberta’s new or established producers, agri-processing companies and agricultural organizations enhance their competitiveness and growth prospects by connecting them with expert business advice. Successful applicants are eligible for reimbursement of between 50% and 75% of certain non-capital costs related to researching and planning a new business venture.


  • Producers
  • Agri-processor
  • New industry entrants
  • Agricultural organizations

Eligible Expenses:

  • Feasibility studies for new opportunities
  • Business plans (expansion and diversification)
  • Market research
  • Value chain development
  • Marketing plans
  • Business management coaching sessions and succession plans (once per farm business)

Deadline: Currently closed. Future deadline to be determined.

Contact: Stephanie Kosinski | (780) 980-4888 |



Value: Funding maximums are up to $99,999 for Aboriginal individuals and incorporated businesses and up to $250,000 for community owned businesses.


ABED works with Aboriginal entrepreneurs, communities, and organizations to achieve their business goals by providing a range of services and support that promote the growth of a strong Aboriginal business sector. Support will vary depending upon the needs of the client, the availability and sources of funding, the eligibility of costs, the economic benefits, and the project viability.


Clients must be individuals of Canadian Aboriginal heritage — Status or Non-status Indian (on or off-reserve), Métis or Inuit — or a majority-owned Aboriginal business, or an Aboriginal community and/or development corporation

To be eligible for support, clients should also be involved full-time with the proposed business in a management capacity and must be able to provide some level of cash equity to support the project

Eligible Expenses:

Business planning

  • Establishment (capital) costs
  • Business acquisitions
  • Business expansions
  • Marketing initiatives that are local, domestic, or export oriented
  • New product or process development
  • Adding technology to improve operations and competitiveness
  • Operating costs in association with capital costs
  • Financial services, business support, business-related training, and mentoring services

Deadline: Ongoing. Speak with regional Aboriginal Financial Institution (AFI) before applying.

Contact: Alberta Métis Development Inc. (AMDI) | 1-800-252-7963 |



Micro-Voucher | Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF):

Value: Up to $10,000, paid directly to a Service or Product Provider.


The Micro-Voucher is designed to support technologies in the early developmental stages, from TRL 2 to TRL 4 inclusive – for early start-up development. The Service or Product Provider provides any one or more of the following items for the benefit of the Applicant:

  • Market assessments
  • Business plan development
  • Intellectual property assessments
  • Acquisition of materials and/or equipment critical to the Applicant’s operations

The Applicant must pay a minimum cash contribution of 25% of the Project Costs directly to the Service or Product Provider. Strategic Timelines Inc. is a service provider for this program.


The Service or Product Provider (applicable for the Micro-Voucher Program only) – the person or entity named in the Application who is providing services and/or products to the Applicant during the course of the Project must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have demonstrated qualification, capabilities and capacity to successfully perform the work required or deliver the applicable product in or for the Project in a timely manner
  • Must be Arm’s Length from the Applicant (cannot have any legal relationship with the Applicant
  • Does not have an outstanding balance or otherwise owe money to an Alberta Innovates organization, subsidiary, or partner
  • Must provide the service(s) and/or product(s) at reasonable market rates

Deadline: Ongoing

Contact: Neelum Mangat | 780.450.5085 |



As we’ve been building the Alberta Business Grants database for years, we’ve come across government funded programs.

Are they exactly grants? No. But they are government programs you can benefit for free.

Gem #1: FREE Government Funded Self Employment Training

It's a training program designed to help Albertans get into business quickly. The folks at the Microbusiness Training Centre are awesome. A program exists in Calgary too.  Learn more here: Here is the contact information: Call:  780-482-4462, email:

Gem #2: I spent the labour day weekend in rural Alberta. As we all know, it is harvest time. So let’s go back to agriculture for a grant that start-up companies can qualify.

Business Management Skills Development - Value: $20,000 per application to a maximum of $40,000 for the life of the program. Learn more here:

Thank you,

Phone: 780.297.6177