This grant blog addresses the following topics:

  • Why few start-up grants exist
  • Start-up grants presented in the following categories: agriculture, Aboriginal, and technology
  • Two secret gems
  • Other start-up resources

Do grants exist for start-up companies?


Are there many?


Where are they?

Further down in this blog.

DOWNLOAD NOW! 5 Grant Gotchas

There is grant money waiting for YOU! BUT if you step in a “grant trap,” your application is a NO! Learn the FIVE most common errors to AVOID in government grants! Get the 5 Grant Gotchas now to save you countless hours.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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).

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

3 Grants You Need To Know About


Value: The Program provides grants on a cost-shared basis to cover Eligible Expenses for approved Projects up to a maximum of $50,000 per Applicant per Fiscal Year. Eligible Capital Expenses shall be cost-shared at 25% grant and 75% Applicant; and b) Eligible Non-Capital Expenses shall be cost-shared at 50% grant and 50% Applicant.


The purpose of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Products to Markets Program is to support growth of Alberta’s agricultural industries by supporting development of New Products and/or processes, commercialization of products in New Markets, and expansion into local, domestic and international markets.


  • Processors;
  • Industry Organizations;
  • New Entrants; and
  • Producers who are: i. adding value past primary agricultural production; or ii. involved in international market development activities.

Eligible Expenses:

  • Product and Process Development
  • Label and Package Development (must be supported by marketing plan)
  • Processing Capacity Expansion
  • Market Development
  • Export Preparation and Planning
  • Product Demonstration
  • Activities to Support Aggregation and Distribution of Food
  • AF-led Outbound Trade Initiatives

Deadline: Closed – but it will likely open soon.




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.


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:


Finding grants can be time consuming and painful, so I put my entire grant database online for you for FREE! Enjoy.

DOWNLOAD NOW! 5 Grant Gotchas

There is grant money waiting for YOU! BUT if you step in a “grant trap,” your application is a NO! Learn the FIVE most common errors to AVOID in government grants! Get the 5 Grant Gotchas now to save you countless hours.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


While few grants exist for start-up businesses, Alberta has several government-funded and private organizations to help you get started. Here is a list to help you get started:

Business Link:


Business Link is Alberta’s entrepreneurial hub. We are a non-profit organization that helps Alberta entrepreneurs start their own businesses. You’ve got an innovative idea and the motivation to take the next step. Now what? We’ll give you the tools to make your business idea a reality, and connect you with the most relevant small business resources to help bring your idea to life.

Contact: Business Link | 780-422-7722


Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE):


Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enabling women to build successful businesses. AWE provides unique programs and services to women at all stages of business through advising, financing, mentoring, and skills and network development.

We believe our communities and economies are stronger when women are full participants in entrepreneurship.

Contact: Alberta Women Entrepreneurs | 1 800-713-3558 |


Startup Canada:


Startup Canada is a grassroots network of entrepreneurs working together to build an environment for entrepreneurship in Canada. Through online platforms, grassroots Startup Communities and cross-sector initiatives, Startup Canada is advancing entrepreneurial momentum and a culture of entrepreneurship, as the voice of Canadian entrepreneurs.

Contact: Startup Canada | (613) 627-0787 |


Platform Calgary

Platform Calgary is focused on three core areas of work:

Alberta Enterprise:


Formed as an independent corporation in 2008, Alberta Enterprise is a key component of the Government of Alberta’s goal of building a more sustainable, diversified technology industry in Alberta, one where home-grown innovation is encouraged and technology entrepreneurs have greater access to venture capital.

Our mission is to promote the development of Alberta’s venture capital (VC) industry. We achieve this by investing in VC funds that finance early stage technology companies and that have a commitment to Alberta – including a full-time presence in the province. We also support Alberta’s VC ecosystem by connecting investors, entrepreneurs, and experienced technology veterans who share our passion for building a bright, innovative Alberta.

In the long term, our activities will help Alberta claim a larger share of the venture capital invested in Canada. We anticipate venture funds will be more active in pursuing investments here with local lead investors and in looking at Alberta-based companies and technologies. Alberta’s investment community will also be better networked within Alberta, across Canada and internationally.

Contact: Alberta Enterprise | 1-877-336-3474 |


Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC):


BDC is Canada’s business development bank and the only financial institution devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs.

BDC helps create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financing, advisory services and capital, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.

  • BDC supports entrepreneurs in all industries and at all stages of development from 118 business centres across Canada and online at
  • BDC is committed to the long-term success of Canadian entrepreneurs and understands that a business is more than just dollars and cents
  • BDC complements the role played by private-sector financial institutions and have been serving Canadian entrepreneurs since 1944
  • BDC is a financially sustainable Crown corporation and operates at arm’s length from its sole shareholder, the Government of Canada

Contact: Business Development Bank of Canada | 1-888-463-6232


ATB BoostR

Our rewards-based crowdfunding platform that helps small businesses in Alberta raise capital.

Through ATB BoostR, businesses can raise money, test ideas, and gain exposure and market insights from the crowd. All that in exchange of a reward—a product, service, or experience.

Entrepreneurs also get:

A team of supportive advisors that entrepreneurs can reach out to before, during and after their crowdfunding journey.

Coaching and guidance through monthly Crowdfunding 101 workshops in Calgary and Edmonton.

Opportunities for exposure through live pitch events and ATB’s marketing channels.

Helpful resources! Even if you’re not crowdfunding you can tap into these!)

BoostR is for businesses of all stages—from startup to well established—whether you’re looking to launch or reach the next level of growth.

ATB X Accelerator

Get your business to market faster with ATB X.

20 startups. 14 weeks. Endless opportunities.

Our intensive, 14-week business accelerator program supports Albertan entrepreneurs from diverse industries, who are in the market validation stage, with a curriculum, connections and community.

If entrepreneurship is the path you’ve chosen, you don’t have to go it alone. That’s why we created ATB X—a three-month accelerator program built and operated by ATB, exclusively for our early-stage entrepreneur clients.

What you get:

Dedicated 24/7 office space.

Tailored networking opportunities and weekly workshops.

Access to our Advisory Panel for one-on-one support.

Celebrate the journey and the wins.

We’re here to support you from a 360 degree perspective with:

Curriculum. Validate your business model and target customers while you test your go-to-market strategy.

Connections. Grow your network in a meaningful way by tapping into ATB’s connections.

Community. Co-work and collaborate with other ambitious Alberta entrepreneurs.