Government grants, contributions, and tax credits are a great source of funding for SMEs. Unlike equity investments, grants mean you don’t have to give funders a stake in your business to attract this money. However, the volume of funds available and complex application process often overwhelm entrepreneurs. Here are 10 tips to help your business simplify the process and secure money.
Venture off the beaten paths.
While competition is very high for a handful of well-known government funding programs, there are hundreds of others that are less in demand and offer great advantages to applicants. A winning strategy combines applying to both popular and smaller funding programs.
Highlight the ways that your business contributes to the economy.
Demonstrate in your application how the funds you receive will help create new high-value jobs, contribute to the growth of your local economy, or establish your business as a serious competitor in international markets.
Collaborate with academic leaders.
Some government funds that support innovation and R&D require corporate applicants to partner with academic researchers. It’s a win-win for both parties.
Explore different types of government funding.
Many businesses are familiar with tax credits, but are not aware of hundreds of grants, wage subsidies, and vouchers available at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.
Present a winning business case.
A three or five-year strategy is often required to attract more substantial funding commitments. Make sure your financial projections add up and are realistic.
Apply to more than one fund.
Companies that are successful at securing government funding year after year apply to multiple funding programs based on a funding strategy that is grounded in facts, data, and analytics.
Don’t overlook the details.
About 80% of applications into government funders are rejected at the screening stage because they simply don’t meet the basic compliance criteria.
Double your money by leveraging successes into capital markets.
Businesses that come to the table “cashed up” through government funding processes tend to catch the eye of private investors, angels, and venture capitalists.
Step back and think like a politician.
You can dramatically increase your chances of securing funding if you align your application with the objectives of your target funds. Make sure you match your word choice and tone to the funder.
Expand your online toolkit.
Online tools match your business with the best funds for your company. The City of Richmond Economic Development, for example, offers a free funding search tool on its website at ca/services/links-to-funding/.
Popular Funds for September 2018
- National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP): Open to all industry sectors, this program helps SMEs to undertake innovative R&D projects.
- SD Tech Fund: This national program provides grants to businesses in the cleantech sector.
- CanExport: This program provides grants to businesses seeking to export their products and services to new international markets.
- BC Tech Co–op Grants Program: This fund helps companies in the tech sector by providing up to $2700 towards a co-op student’s salary.
- Strategic Innovation Fund: This program provides grants and contributions for large-scale innovation projects ($10M+ in requested contribution).
Posted September 10, 2018
Guest post by Fundingportal.com
Fundingportal.com is a Canadian funding services and solutions provider that helps companies and organizations get funded.