New Digital Canada 150 plan outlines funding for SMEs

On Friday, the federal government unveiled Digital Canada 150, a set of 39 initiatives to help advance the country’s digital future. Several of these new initiatives aim to help SMEs adopt digital technology, as well as to improve access to venture capital financing in the ICT sector. Read on to learn what funds are available to your business.

Key Digital Canada 150 initiatives for businesses:

  1. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will allocate an additional $200 million to provide financing to SMEs pursuing the adoption of digital technologies.
    Through its Technology Financing solutions, BDC helps SMEs invest in hardware (such as computers and servers), software (such as customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning applications), and consulting services (such as IT planning, online sales and Internet marketing).
    Financing is delivered in two streams: Small Business Loans of less than $50,000 with flexible repayment terms, and larger loans which offer longer amortization periods and capital payment holidays.
  2. BDC Venture Capital will invest an additional $300 million in companies in the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector.
    BDC Venture Capital currently has a portfolio of more than $1 billion in past and planned investments in the Canadian IT, health, energy and cleantech sectors. Its IT fund focuses on businesses in the enterprise, Internet and mobile sectors.
    Previous investments include Radian6, which was acquired by Salesforce, Opalis, which was acquired by Microsoft, and Q1 Labs, which was acquired by IBM.
  3. The Government will provide an additional $40 million to support up to 3,000 internships in high-demand fields, and another $15 million a year for internships within SMEs.
    The federal government currently provides funding for internships under several programs, including the Science and Technology Internship Program at Natural Resources Canada, the Youth Internships program at FedNor, the Environmental Youth Corps program at Eco Canada, the Young Canada Works in Both Official Languages program at Canadian Heritage, the Science Horizons Youth Internship Program at Environment Canada, and the Connect Canada Internships program which supports advanced R&D projects.
  4. The Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP) will receive an additional $100 million to support the country’s most promising business accelerators and incubators.
    First announced under the federal Venture Capital Action Plan, the National Research Council of Canada’s Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program provides funding to high-potential business accelerators and incubators across the country. Grants delivered through the program are targeted at supporting service offerings for early-stage companies and entrepreneurs.

Visit The Funding Portal today to learn more about these funds and identify the top sources of funding for your business.

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