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Funding for your Business

As you do some research and develop your business plan, you will start to ask yourself:
  • What types of funding programs exist and how do I access them?
  • Are there grants to help me get started or get growing?
  • How do I know if I am eligible for them?
It's critical to ensure you have enough funds to cover your start-up expenses, equipment costs, and daily operations you will incur.

There are two programs offered by the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre:

Summer Company is a program for youth who are in school and planning to start a business. The program includes business training, guidance from the SCEC, mentoring, and a grant of up to $3000

The second is Starter Company Plus:

Starter Company Plus

 Starter Company Plus - St Catharines

Starter Company Plus is a program that includes business training, guidance from the St Catharines Enterprise Centre (SCEC), mentoring, and a grant of up to $5000.

Eligibility includes:

  • The business must be a new startup or less than one year old;
  • The business must operate full time;
  • The recipient does not have full-time employment or
    studies outside of the Project more than 12 hours per week;
  • The recipient must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident;
  • The recipient must be 18 years of age or older;
  • The recipient is fully responsible for the on-going
    operation of the Project and is the majority owner (50% or more)

Full eligibility will be discussed at an intake session with the SCEC.

This program is delivered by the SCEC and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth. There are a limited number of grants available.

Complete the Starter Company Plus Intake Form to get started. Once completed, save and send the form to


Financing your Business

There are different options to suit every business and business's needs. Some of those options may include include:

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) helps create and develop Canadian businesses through financing, venture capital and consulting services, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Canada Small Business Financing Program

The Canada Small Business Financing Program seeks to increase the availability of loans for establishing, expanding, modernizing and improving small businesses. It does this by encouraging financial institutions to make their financing available to small businesses.

Financial Institutions and Credit Unions

Banks and credit unions provide a number of financing options, including lines of credit, short-term loans, long-term mortgage loans, and even loans against inventory and/or receivables.  Organizations that offer loans typically require a business plan to support the loan request.

Granting programs

While there are a number of grants available to businesses in Ontario, most of the existing programs are targeted strictly to specific industries, geographical areas or particular groups of entrepreneurs. A trusted resource where you can search for potential grants online is at the Canada Business website.

Venture Niagara

Venture Niagara can provide your business with up to $150,000 in a loan to purchase equipment and inventory, finance purchase orders and cover operating expenses. Term loans, operating lines and on occasion, equity investments are available if your business qualifies. They also offer a Small Business Express Loan which lends up to $10,000 to qualified applicants.

Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada lends to entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-39. They partner with the Enterprise Centre to provide business training, application support and mentor recruitment. You can access up to $45,000 and will be matched with a local mentor for 2 years through this program.

Become a SCEC client

These are still only some of the programs that exist to support entrepreneurs.
To find out more about programs available to support small business, become a client of the SCEC and work with our team as you start your business.
Please download and complete the SCEC client intake form. Once it is completed, save it and send it to The SCEC team can help you identify your funding options, the eligibility requirements, and how to apply. 
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