Having a healthy and supportive business environment is suitable for the success of any business. Doing business in Ontario is easy, thanks to proper regulations and support from organizations that promote entrepreneurs in the region. These organizations provide funding or training programs for entrepreneurs who have creative and innovative ideas. The funding support could be either a grant or a loan payable within a certain period of time.
Organizations that support businesses ranging from government-funded organizations to private entities such as banks. Below are some of the organizations or programs that have a core mandate of promoting businesses in Canada.
Community Futures Program
This program is funded by the government of Canada and administered by Community Futures Development Corporations. The program finances new and existing small social enterprises and businesses to expand or stabilize their businesses with the main objective of maintaining or creating jobs. The businesses are supported through financing in the form of loans, equity investments, or loan guarantees.
Businesses are eligible for financing up to 150,000 Canadian dollars to start or grow businesses in rural Ontario. The local board of directors at the community level makes all Community Futures Development Corporations financing decisions. Entrepreneurs also receive other support, such as business training and planning, which are tailored depending on the stage of their businesses.
Toronto Business Development Centre
Toronto Business Development Centre offers several businesses support services and programs that help entrepreneurs start and grow their business. For instance, they offer a start-up visa program that targets international entrepreneurs with innovative ideas that can compete globally. They also offer an incubation program to create businesses that are investible and financially viable.
Toronto Business Development Centre also helps early-stage start-ups to come to life by partnering with the City of Toronto to support and create a conducive regulatory environment to start and operate their businesses. Lastly, they have an International Soft-Landing Program, which assists SMEs to develop the export market and carry out commercialization activities in Canada.
WaterlooEDC Incentives and Resources
WaterlooEDC fuels growth in several sectors by combining different factors such as a strong manufacturing base, top computer science, and engineering talent, and an internationally-renowned tech community. It is among the fastest-growing communities in Canada.
WaterlooEDC is inventing the future by fueling growth in critical sectors in the country. Some of the areas they develop include cybersecurity, automotive and mobility, artificial intelligence, business and fintech, manufacturing and industry, as well as food and beverage.
York Entrepreneurship Development Institute
York Entrepreneurship Development Institute offers several business support programs. One of their main programs is a six-week free business training. This training is coupled with certification, mentoring for a business, or a social enterprise.
After the intensive training, entrepreneurs may also qualify for the sending funding of up to 30,000 Canadian dollars and an opportunity to participate in entrepreneurship workshops. Here they can develop their business models and pitch their business ideas.
In Ontario and any other parts of the world, banks have been playing a key role in the development of businesses. Most businesses get financing from commercial banks in the form of loans. Some banks have entrepreneurial training programs for entrepreneurs with loan facilities with them. Most banks do not give start-up loans. They give loans for expansion or stabilization of businesses. Entrepreneurs need to check with their banks for the type of business loans they offer.
Some of the central banks that have been funding businesses include the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, and Bank of Montreal. Although the Bank Act regulates all these banks, they have different terms and conditions, and entrepreneurs should check with their banks what will be the terms and conditions of their loans.
These are some of the organizations that support businesses in Ontario. If you have a business idea or you would like to participate in their programs, visit their websites, and apply.