This blog post was written by Howie Chan, Business Analyst at TechAlliance.
Recently, both the provincial and federal governments have released funds to support startup related needs. These include grants for hiring, training, and supporting young entrepreneurs.
The Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy, a $295 million budget line, was announced in the 2013 budget back in July 2013 and is currently being implemented. As of October 16, the strategy will be implemented through four streams. Federally, we also have the Youth Employment Strategy which has three main streams.
Youth Employment Strategy Streams
Level of Government
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
$6,800 per new hire
Launched in September 2013, open and rolling
$70M (2012-2014 for 3 streams)
HRSDC/ Service Canada
$20,000 per new hire
Open and rolling
$300,000 per organization (max)
Applications open December 2, 2013 and close January 10, 2014
Compared to the federal government, our provincial government has taken a direct stand behind entrepreneurship. However, only a single stream is currently available to startups and the other streams (not listed) will primarily be used to fund regional, institution-linked resources. Our provincial programs also have a higher potential of creating new startups with huge future economic potential while our federal streams seem to focus on subsidizing current hiring needs.
Future seed funding opportunities will likely come from indirect sources of government distributions. For example, the government (federal or provincial) can fund an organization in the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, who then distributes small grants directly related to typical startup costs to local entrepreneurs.
Grants not tied to hiring are typically small and are paid directly to a provider to recover the cost of a specific expense.
In the end, grants reflect a calculated return on investment strategy for the economy (dollars per new hire). Grants are great for established startups where labor dollars form a large portion of expenses.