Let’s get funding!

In case you don’t know this already, my husband Jon and I are starting a market farm this year. We have land to grow on and lots of enthusiasm and elbow grease to get us started. That’s about it. 

As you probably know, starting a small business is a little easier if you have some moolah, so we are on the hunt for any and all federal and provincial funding we can find. 

I am mostly interested in grants, but will definitely explore loan options as well.

Since we live in Ontario, we will be focusing on Ontario provincial funding. 

In this article, I will lead you through the google searches I did in order to obtain more information about small business funding.

I link to every resource that I find so that you may easily access information on those programs for yourself.

I am not applying to programs in this article, it’s simply a resource.

When I do apply for funding, I will create another article outlining that process and link it here.

I will also update our results in future articles.

With that being said, I tried to make this article as straightforward as possible by providing pics to the right of the text (or under it if you are on your cell reading this), so I hope it is easy to follow. 

Please let me know in the comments if it is confusing so I can modify it. Thanks!

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to it!

First Google Search: Small Business Resources In Ontario


1. Ontario.ca Small Business Access

On this page, there is information on applying for training, mentoring, and a  $5000 grant through Starter Company Plus.

To qualify for a grant, you must:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • An Ontario resident or Canadian citizen
  • Be able to make a contribution in cash of at least 25% of the grant amount

Ontario Funding

You can apply through the Small Business Enterprise Centre in your region

Each municipality has its own website, so it will vary from place to place. 

I highly encourage you to check out the Small Business Enterprise Centre in your area. These websites are very useful because they not only have information on funding availability but also what steps you need to take when starting a business (registering, necessary permits, etc).

Since they are region-specific, you may find funding available for your specific area.

In Northumberland County, where we are located, you can set up an appointment for a free consultation with one of their advisors. 

Usually, you can set up an appointment online, but since we are currently in a lockdown due to the pandemic, you need to phone them to set up an appointment via email, phone, or zoom.

Small Business Enterprise Grant

2. Business Advisory Services

There are 12 Business Advisory Service offices in Ontario and around the world.

They offer:

  • access to government programs and events
  • market intelligence
  • market development support, including help with exporting
  • financial analysis and other benchmarking tools
  • access to financial assistance
  • support for innovation and new technology
  • networking and expert advice
  • information on government regulations, licenses, and permits for business.

The ontario.ca website also links to ONEbusiness.ca where there is a plethora of information about small businesses, entrepreneurship, and yes funding.

3. Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs

This is an awesome resource for many aspects of entrepreneurship, so be sure to explore it thoroughly! 

Let’s just stick to the funding element here though.

First, click on start a business

One Network Entrepreneurs

Next, scroll to the bottom of the Starting A Business page in the Youth Entrepreneurship section (if you are under 39 yrs old.)


youth entrepreneurship

Since my husband and I are just under 39, we can squeak into the Futurpreneur Canada category.

Click on the link that applies to you, for our purposes, we will explore the Futrpreneur Canada link.

Here is an overview of what Futurpreneur Canada offers:

  • A total of $60,000 in collateral-free loans, if you qualify
  • Mentoring
  • Resources for writing a business plan, building a network, access to experts in the field, and local support

In order to receive any of these services, you have to apply and be approved for their Startup Program.



futurpreneurship process

Honestly, I’m not sure this is the right route for our business specifically, as I am looking more towards farming and agriculture grants as opposed to loans, so I don’t think I am going to pursue this option right now.

If our situation changes, I will definitely update this article.

Second Google Search: Funding For Small Farms


1. Canadian Farm Grants


Canadian Farm Grants

Scroll down to the Farm Funding Finder and click on the link.

The Farm Grants and Funding Finder tool is available to help determine if there are grants to be had for your particular situation.

You may qualify for funding if you:

  • currently own a farm
  • are actively starting a farm
  • have reasonable business goals
  • are ready to take your farm to the next level

If you meet these requirements, you could be eligible for $15,000 to $750,000 in government grants, government secured loans, or government subsidies.

This tool takes you through a step-by-step process to see if you qualify for any of the available funding.

Farm funding Grant

After I completed the simple questionnaire, I was directed to a page stating that I did in fact qualify for grants but they did not tell me any specifics.

Instead, I had to fill out a contact sheet and someone from Ottawa is going to contact me to go over what grants we qualify for.

I will update this article with the information I receive from them.  


Third Google Search: Small Business Grants


1. Business Grants and Financing


Next, click on Government Financing Programs. 

This link leads you to the Business Benefits Finder where, like the Farm Funding Finder, you fill out a questionnaire to see what programs or services you might qualify for.

business grants and funding

What I like about this tool is that it takes just a few minutes to fill out the questionnaire and it gives you instant results.

They tell you what programs you may qualify for and the links to all the websites you need to check out.

Here are our results.

business benfits finder

If you go a step further and click on the results, the program is even further explained and you can see whether or not they are currently accepting applications.

Business benefits finder funding results

Overall, I think this last tool is the best one to use as it lists all the resources you may qualify for.  However, it is up to you to do the rest of the work and actually contact the organizations and apply for their resources.

I will definitely be doing update articles on the specific funding we pursue. I surely have my work cut out for me tonight, application time! Who doesn’t love that?

Finding and applying for funding is definitely takes a lot of time, patience, and effort but I think is worth it if the end result is some moolah that can help make starting a business just a little bit easier.

I hope this article helped make your search for funding just a tad less complicated.

Again, please let me know in the comments if anything is unclear so I can fix any issues. Thanks!

 If you have received funding and you feel comfortable doing so, please share with us in the comments what type and how you applied for it. Thank-you!

Trying to figure this all out is a wee bit frustrating and time-consuming so any additional information is greatly appreciated. 

Stay Local,

Kathy & Jon

your friendly neighbourhood growers

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