Funding Programs in Western Canada
Getting a new company off the ground is hard work. But you’re not alone. In this article, we introduce you to the Business Scale-up and Productivity Program (the “BSP”): a funding program developed by Western Economic Diversification Canada (“WD”) for emerging companies in Western Canada.
For over 30 years, WD has been developing and diversifying the economy in Western Canada (i.e. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) and has been delivering programs and services for supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in this geographic region. Such services include business support for entrepreneurs, funding support for innovators, funding support for not-for-profits, community support, general delivery of information and economic outlook, and more.
Further guidance on the full suite of programs and services offered by WD can be found at this link.
One of the funding programs offered by WD to emerging companies is the BSP. The BSP is designed for emerging companies that:
- are experiencing high revenue increases year over year (generally at least over 20% year over year);
- are scaling up;
- are innovating goods, services and other technologies; and
- are active in any of the following main areas: (i) advanced manufacturing; (ii) clean resources; (iii) clean technology; (iv) digital industries; (v) life sciences; (vi) natural resources; (vii) agriculture; (viii) fisheries; and (ix) aquaculture.
Acceptance into the BSP is by application only, and potential applicants into the program must meet the following criteria:
- be incorporated to do business in Canada;
- have operated in Western Canada for at least two years;
- have operating facilities in Western Canada; and
- at least 50% of their funding for the proposed “project” costs must be from “non-governmental” sources.
BSP is well suited for “projects” of the following nature:
- productivity improvement, wherein the emerging company acquires, adapts, and adopts new technologies and processes, or improves manufacturing capacity;
- business scale-up, wherein the emerging company expands or further develops its market and business opportunities, and adopts best management practices, processes and systems; or
- technology commercialization, wherein the emerging company is in the late stages of product development and is on the verge of showcasing or demonstrating its technology.
Expressions of interest will be accepted at various intake periods during the year. For more information on application deadlines and details, please visit this link.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders like yourself are the ones who drive Canada’s economy and innovation forward. Programs like the BSP help you get from one level to the next. As business lawyers, McMillan LLP understands the pressures that emerging companies face. We are here to backstop your legal positions at every step of your business journey.