Grants

Hiring Grants Available For Seed Stage Companies- Part I

Federal (2021 Edition)

Read Time: 5 mins.

The best and first non-dilutive government funding for an early-stage company should be hiring grants. Pre-seed or seed-stage founders (less than 2 years)  often ask,  “Is there a hiring grant available for us?”  The answer is yes!

Before diving into each grant, it is important for us to know why they exist. Keeping a low unemployment rate is one of the KPIs to the government’s success, and the government pays close attention to new workforces who need employment opportunities. The hiring grants are designed to incentivize companies to hire those (age 15 – 30) who are new to the market. If you are planning to use a hiring grant to recruit a senior executive, then you are likely to be disappointed. However, there are many young professionals with master’s degrees or post-secondary degrees and have 3-5 years of work experience in your industry. All these candidates could qualify for grants. If this is something for you, then keep reading!

**Please refer to the agency’s website for detailed funding eligibility and restrictions.

Please keep in mind that many programs will be depleted by the end of the year and replenish again in Q2 when the government approves a new budget. It could be good to check on this list quarterly or establish relationships with agencies and service partners who can keep you informed while you are busy growing your company. 

Agency: Employment and Social Development Canada

Objective: To create quality summer work experiences for people aged 15 to 30 years

Status: Active; December 21, 2020 – January 29, 2021

Duration: Latest Job start month is July; The average funded job duration was 35 hours/ week for 8 weeks

Amount: Employers to receive funding for up to 50% of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage. As of 2021 January, subsidy temporarily increased to 75% 

Eligibility: Employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees

Candidate: As in 2019, funded employers are no longer restricted to hiring students: all youth aged 15 to 30 years may be eligible participants

**Please refer to the agency’s website for the detailed funding eligibility and restrictions.

Agency: Employment and Social Development Canada, delivered by various industry associations 

Objective: Gives post-secondary students across Canada paid work experience related to their field of study

Status: Active

Duration: Provide full-time or part-time employment up to a max. of 16 weeks

Amount: Up to $7500 (special COVID-19 increase)  towards 75% of student wage

Eligibility: Canadian businesses and non-profits who can provide a meaningful, tech-focused work placement opportunity to a student

Candidate: Student registered in an accredited post-secondary institution 

**Please refer to the agency’s website for detailed funding eligibility and restrictions.

Agency: Employment and Social Development Canada

Objective: Increase the supply of highly qualified workers

Status: Closed ( as of January 2021) 

Amount: The maximum cost per participant is $20,000 per project regardless of the length of the intervention  

Eligibility: Public, private, for- profit & non-for- profit 

Candidate: Youth aged 15 to 30 years may be eligible participants

**Please refer to the agency’s website for detailed funding eligibility and restrictions.

Agency: National Research Council Canada 

Objective: Help young Canadians get career information, develop skills, find good jobs, and stay employed

Status: Active; rolling basis 

Duration: 6 to 12 months. A minimum of 30 hours per week

Amount: Up to 30,000 per graduate 

Eligibility:  Incorporated and for-profit SME  with less than 500 or fewer full-time equivalents

Candidate:  15 to 30 years of age and a post-secondary graduate

**Please refer to the agency’s website for detailed funding eligibility and restrictions.

Agency: Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) 

Objective: Provide youth meaningful work experience and the digital skills needed for the jobs of the future

Status:  Closed ( as of January 2021) 

Duration: 6 to 8 months. A minimum of 30 hours per week

Amount: Up to $30,000 towards an intern’s salary and training expenses 

Eligibility: Incorporated and for-profit SME  with less than 500 or fewer full-time equivalents

Candidate: Youth aged 15 to 30 years may be eligible participants

**Please refer to the agency’s website for detailed funding eligibility and restrictions.

Agency: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Objective: To equip underemployed post-secondary graduates with valuable training and work experience related to digital skills so that they can succeed in the digital economy

Status: Active

Duration: 3 to 6 months

Amount: Subsidy of up to $30,000 to cover the wages and associated training costs 

Eligibility: Provide the intern with digital and soft-skills experiences that will prepare them for the workplace.

Candidate: Post-secondary graduate 15 to 30 years old

**Please refer to the agency’s website for detailed funding eligibility and restrictions.

Agency: Mitacs – an independent, national not-for-profit organization

Objective: Connect academic research resource and exposure of talent pool to the private sector 

Status: Active; rolling

Duration: 4 to 6 months

Amount: Max $15,000 for a four-to-six-month project; Max $13,300 per project for projects beyond six months with three or more interns

Eligibility: For-profit corporations in Canada and For-profit businesses operating outside Canada. Eligible intern-owned start-ups at approved incubators

Candidate: Full-time students and post-doctoral fellows at Mitacs partner colleges and universities in Canada

**Please refer to the agency’s website for detailed funding eligibility and restrictions.

Agency: Mitacs – an independent, national not-for-profit organization

Objective: Connect academic research resource and exposure of talent pool to the private sector 

Status: Active to January 29, 2021 

Duration: 4 months

Amount: $10,000 internship by outstanding business students

Eligibility: For-profit corporations in Canada and for-profit businesses operating outside Canada. Eligible intern-owned start-ups at approved incubators

Candidate: Business students

**Please refer to the agency’s website for detailed funding eligibility and restrictions.

The article is prepared by OKR Financial and supported by our partner organizations: Mitacs, Ayming Consultants, and Stratesol Consulting.

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only.

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