Despite the significant amounts and varieties of government funding available for businesses across Canada, almost half of all Canadian businesses don’t take advantage of these opportunities, according to a 2014 study from PricewaterhouseCoopers. This might come as a shock to many—what are the causes for these surprising statistics?
Small size, last prize?
Lack of awareness is a part of the puzzle, but that’s only one answer. A bigger concern is that many smaller businesses assume they don’t have the time or money to apply for various government funding initiatives. Doing so denies them valuable and unique opportunities to secure funding that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.
Most businesses believe they lack the clout to compete with bigger businesses for government funding, when the reality is that there are various grants designed specifically for smaller businesses, or there may be special caveats that prioritize businesses with a low number of employees. Businesses located in rural areas also receive consideration, for instance.
As such, many businesses seek out angel investors, friends, family, or other investment sources instead of applying directly for government funding. They often do this because they believe this is an easier, more reliable solution for their capital conundrum. What they don’t realize is that they will likely have to repay these investors down the road, regardless of the success of their idea or project. Angel investors might even request or insist upon partial ownership in their business, or ask to become shareholders.
Size doesn’t matter when applying for funding—it’s time for more businesses to see just how many options they have to maintain their fiscal independence while achieving success.
Restructuring opinions on government funding
Some people hold the belief that applying for government funding for their business is a losing battle—that the deciding bodies already made their decision before they even accept any applications.
The reality couldn’t be further from the truth! Granting that agencies don’t pick favourites to provide loans to the “right” firms, or provide minimal funding to every firm that applies. Applying for grants isn’t an easy process: it requires major time and preparation investments.
Many businesses seeking funding to get their ideas off the ground will pitch their ideas to potential investors. Applying for a government grant isn’t so different to this process. Networking with funding agencies and funding bodies is one of the best ways to establish important relationships in this community, and understand exactly what is expected from their project and their application.
Those who take the time to create a persuasive and compelling case for why their business deserves government funding are typically the ones who are most successful.
Get educated about government funding
The best idea, coupled with countless hours of preparation, will come to nothing if the business applies for the wrong grant. There are countless Canadian government funding programs that businesses can apply for—each with their own sets of rules, requirements, and eligibility criteria. It might seem overwhelming, but with the right planning and strong execution, almost anything is possible.
Find the right assistance
Networking can go a long way, but at the end of the day, your business still needs to submit an effective application. For this, consider getting in touch with North America’s oldest grant writing agency—INAC Services can help you find the government funding your business deserves, and prepare applications accordingly.
We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if you do. Don’t let the size of your business or project deter you from applying for government funding. Get the recognition you deserve today!