There are funding opportunities and business support programs designed to help new ventures, but it can be difficult to determine which ones may apply to your business.
Business Advisors at the London Small Business Centre can help you navigate the options and discover the right funding solutions. They will meet with you for free, one-on-one consultations to discuss your business idea, review your plans and help you explore funding options.
If you have questions regarding your business financing, make an appointment with one of our Business Advisors to discuss your options. Complete a Request for Service Form, and a Business Advisor will connect with you as soon as possible.
Government Funded Programs
The Small Business Centre administers several programs that provide financial assistance as well as business planning and ongoing coaching while starting your business. These programs include: The Ontario Works Self Employment program; and the Summer Company program just to name a couple.
Visit our PROGRAMS page to see the complete list and review the qualifications.
Grants and Other Contributions
The Innovation Canada web site provides a comprehensive listing of grant, loan and additional contribution programs available across Canada to assist the start and growth of businesses. Visit the web site to research financing opportunities that may apply to your business.
BDC - The Business Development Bank of Canada
The BDC – Business Development Bank of Canada is the only financial institution in Canada dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs. BDC helps create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financing, consulting services and securitization, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.
Through their subsidiary — BDC Capital, they also offer a full spectrum of specialized financing, including venture capital, equity as well as growth and business transition capital.
Canada Small Business Financing Program
The Canada Small Business Financing (CSBF) Program has been helping small businesses with their financing needs for over 50 years. Under the program, the Government of Canada makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders.
Financial institutions deliver the program and are solely responsible for approving the loan. If you qualify, you can secure up to $1,000,000. Discuss your business needs with a financial officer at any bank or credit union in Canada.
Rise Small Business Lending Program
Rise is a national charity that provides mentoring, and financing of up to $10,000 to help qualified and eligible individuals achieve their business goals. The Rise Individual Lending Program provides access to low interest business loans to launch or grow your small business. Eligible individuals must be unable to access traditional bank financing for their small business, and must self-identify as having experienced mental health and or addiction challenges.
What does the program include?
Financing + Mentorship + Support
Financing: we offer low interest business loans based on your stage of business development, viability of the business concept and capacity to re-pay. Eligible entrepreneurs can access loans up to $10,000 throughout Ontario, with an average initial loan size in the $3,000 to $4,000 range.
- We offer a low interest rate and average loan term is 3 years.
- Repayment starts 30 days post loan disbursement.
- Our loans do not require security or a guarantee and there are absolutely no hidden fees at all.
Rise is a character based lender. We look at both the person and the business. Although we do consider credit history in making our lending decisions, we look at more than just a credit score. We consider the individual’s commitment to take the necessary steps to get their finances back on track.
Mentorship: we can connect you with a Rise mentor for guidance and support. Strong mentorship positions entrepreneurs for long-term success. Our mentorship program is designed to provide Rise entrepreneurs with the necessary support and guidance as they implement their business plan and grow their business.
Our mentors are successful business professionals who will share their extensive experience and business knowledge. Our matches are based on the area of strength/expertise of the mentor and the needs of the entrepreneur.
Support: we can assist you by reviewing your business plan and providing resources for you to improve your business skills and financial management. Eligible individuals may be able to participate in free training workshops.
Digital Service Squad Grant Program
Digital Main Street (DMS) is a program focused on assisting brick-and-mortar small businesses with their adoption of technology. The Digital Service Squad Grant Program will provide training, advisory support and funds to hire local Digital Service Squad members across Ontario.
Angel groups benefit entrepreneurs through exposure to a wider set of potential investor and a structured process that facilitates a relatively quick and efficient investment decision.
Located in London, the Southwestern Ontario Angel Group (SWOAG) is a not for profit corporation, founded in early 2008 with the goal of sourcing quality early stage investment opportunities and presenting them to a like-minded community of angel investors. SWOAG facilitates the introduction of entrepreneurs to potential investors through presentations, investment meetings, networking opportunities and more. SWOAG’s membership is comprised of individual angel investors interested in financing privately-owned companies and/or ventures typically in an early stage of development.
Visit the SWOAG website to find out if Angel Investment is right for your business.
SOFII – the Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation supports high-growth, innovative Small and Medium-sized businesses in rural and urban communities by offering loans of usually $150,000 to $500,000 to support all aspects of growth challenges.
The loans are intended to help finance: late stage commercialization, new product or service development, new applications or markets, or development/implementation of new processes or technologies.
Impact Loan offers financing of up to $5,000 to local enterprises that want to start or grow their business.
Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, usually via the Internet. Individuals are asked to make micro investments or donations to causes and ventures they believe in.
Two popular crowd funding platforms available in Canada are Indiegogo and Kickstarter. To learn more about crowd funding and determine if it’s right for your business idea visit the National Crowd Funding Association of Canada.