Canada Start-Up Grants: Key Programs & How to Qualify

There approximately 17 grant programs specifically designed for startups in Canada at the Federal level. This is a small subset of the 68 Federal programs for established small businesses grants, although the majority are better suited for small businesses with at least 1-2 years of tax records. Startups can access a modest selection of programs that focus on non-dilutive funding, crucial for companies looking to retain full ownership while securing financial support.

Of the available programs, a significant portion are tailored towards hiring and staffing, providing subsidies and incentives rather than direct cash grants. This reflects a governmental focus on job creation and economic stimulus through human resource development.

While direct funding for operational costs is rare, startups can find specific opportunities in areas like research and development, market expansion, and technology commercialization. It's important for new companies to navigate these options carefully, understanding that the best fit might often come from less traditional grant avenues. Start-ups should also check for Regional and Provincial grants, which often come with fewer strings attached.

Canadian Start-Up grants active in 2024
Canadian business grant programs active including provincial, territorial, and nonprofit/university initiatives.

Key Grant Programs for Canadian Startups (2024)

Program Name Grant Range or Benefit Ideal Applicant
Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) Up to $500,000 in R&D funding Startups focusing on technology commercialization
Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund Loans up to $50,000 Women entrepreneurs, especially in early-stage businesses
Futurpreneur Canada Program Up to $60,000 in financing Youth entrepreneurs aged 18–39
CanExport Financial support for export market development Startups and SMEs looking to enter new markets

Canada Startup Grant Program Summaries

Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)

IRAP provides up to $500,000 in funding to support R&D projects for Canadian startups. The program focuses on helping businesses commercialize technology products, processes, and services.

Startups aiming to bring innovative technology solutions to market are ideal candidates for this program.

Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund

This program offers loans up to $50,000 to women entrepreneurs, particularly those in the early stages of business or from underrepresented groups.

It is designed to support women in overcoming financial barriers to business success.

Futurpreneur Canada Program

Futurpreneur offers up to $60,000 in financing along with mentorship and business resources to young entrepreneurs aged 18–39 who are starting or purchasing a business.

This program is an excellent resource for young entrepreneurs looking to make a mark in the business world.


CanExport provides financial assistance for Canadian small and medium-sized businesses aiming to develop new export markets. The support includes funds for travel, marketing, and legal fees related to market expansion.

SMEs looking to grow internationally and enter new markets are perfect candidates for this program.