CanExport Funding Program: Frequently Asked Questions
This article aims to answer frequently asked questions regarding CanExport grants, including general program information, eligibility criteria, and how to apply. For more program details, please see our full summary of the CanExport funding program.
What is CanExport?
The CanExport program offers government grants to Canadian businesses in support of export market development. Funding is provided for activities such as trade show participation, product promotion and travel to international markets to help businesses secure sales in new export markets. Since inception, the CanExport program has awarded over $21 million in government grants to 1,700 Canadian businesses.
How much funding can a business receive?
CanExport offers project funding of up to 75% to a maximum of $75,000. Applicants can apply for additional export market development grants after they have completed their initial projects, however total funding is capped at $99,999 per government fiscal year (April 1 – March 31). Businesses may only have one active project at any given time. Up to two applications can be submitted per government fiscal year.
Who can apply?
To be eligible for the CanExport funding program, applicants must:
- Have 1 to 500 full-time employees;
- Have annual revenues of $100,000 to $100 million;
- Be an incorporated business or limited liability partnership (LLP)
- Be financially stable and able to complete the proposed project
What activities are eligible?
The CanExport program supports export market development activities including, but not limited to, the following:
- Travel to target markets
- Tradeshow attendance and product promotion
- Market research
- Development of new marketing tools for international markets
- Obtaining professional advice (such as hiring a market consultant)
What can funding be used for?
CanExport offers government grants for the following expenditures:
- Consultants, and contracted services (e.g. hiring a market consultant)
- Translation and adaptation of marketing materials/packaging (e.g. translation of product information sheets)
- Legal fees (e.g. drafting a distribution agreement)
- Airfare, and ground transportation
- Creation of new promotional materials
- Tradeshow registration
- Meals, accommodation and incidentals
Reimbursements are provided to successful applicants after eligible costs are incurred and claimed.
What markets are eligible?
New markets must be generating revenues of less than $100,000 or 10% of total sales. CanExport projects may occur in all international markets, provided Canada has not imposed sanctions against that country.
Who administers the program?
How are projects assessed?
Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Incrementality: The project goes beyond core operating activities and yields incremental results
- Export Business Case: Applicant preparedness and feasibility of the export business plan
- Government Trade Strategies/Priorities: Increasing the international presence of Canadian companies abroad, specifically those that are led by women, LGBTQ2 and visible minorities
- Market Potential: New export markets demonstrate an opportunity for new sales
- History and Export Readiness: Previous success completing export market development projects
How long does it take?
CanExport applications are typically 10-12 pages in length. The time to complete an application varies depending on export market readiness. Once submitted, CanExport will determine whether an application is successful within 25 business days. Companies should apply at least 4 weeks before their project’s planned start date as costs incurred prior to receiving approval are ineligible for reimbursement.