A common conversation I have with entrepreneurs is some variation of:  “I see other businesses accessing funding programs – and curious if there may be something available for us?”

Whether through peer groups or over social media, it’s hard not to notice the highlight reel of funding wins that companies are having. But we know that’s not the full story…

As we attempt to figure out which grants may help and when we can apply, it all becomes overwhelming pretty quickly. It’s not surprising that many entrepreneurs quickly turn to grant writers for support. While we can be helpful for certain applications – I’d challenge you to understand how the system works before going down this path.

Canada offers valuable support to help small businesses grow. Each level of government provides different types of funding options. Sometimes the number and variety of programs available can make identifying the best resource for you challenging to navigate.

As you begin your planning process for the year ahead, here 3 steps that will help you navigate the government funding landscape:


Strategize: What will your business look like in December 2022?  Aligning the vision and goals you have for your business with the actions you take in the first thirty days of the year can have a powerful impact on the outcomes you achieve. Are you clear on your plans for hiring, research and development, digitization and new markets you’ll be entering? Mapping out what your business will look like in these areas can help to identify government funding programs designed to accelerate your growth.


Research and Evaluate: If identifying and selecting grant programs to apply to were easy, you may not have read this far. With over one thousand funding options available to small businesses in Canada, it can be challenging to figure out where to start. Websites like Funding Portal, Fundica and Pocketed are a great starting point to identifying available programs. Evaluating which applications to allocate your time and resources towards comes back to assessing how well the program and its requirements are aligned with your business goals.


Preparation: When a grant program becomes available and is a good fit for your business – will you be ready to meet the application requirements and deadlines? If you prepare in advance, the answer will hopefully be yes. Understanding the types of questions that will be asked and beginning to draft responses in advance can make the application process less intimidating. 

Starting September 22nd, in partnership with SBX I’ll be delivering a 3-part program called Funding Roadmap to help you along the path to navigate government grants.

We’ll develop:

  • Your 2023 Funding Roadmap

  • A system to research and track funding opportunities

  • Grant Application Building Blocks

For the full details, click the button below!


Jeremy O’Krafka is the Founder of MENTORnetwork and the Funding Roadmap program. Over the past decade he has worked with accelerators, innovation and small business centres to help hundreds of small businesses like yours, find and access government programs best suited to their growth goals. He is a Senior Grant Writer with GetGrants, Funding & Partnerships Manager with TimeSaved and EiR with the DMZ Innisfil.

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