Government funding offers numerous opportunities for businesses to receive compensation for different purposes, including salaries, capital equipment, research and training, innovation and development, and commercialization.

Following the previous installments, which introduced government funding basics and how to access funding as a startup, this post will focus on obtaining funding as a well-established, late-stage business.

There are challenges to accessing funding regardless of size or stage, but for more established companies, the application process can be more complex, with longer applications, multiple steps, and high expectations for well-documented and innovative projects.

What qualifies as a late-stage business?

Later stage corporations typically have higher revenues, bigger-scale operations and are in a position to use government funding to grow, expand and upgrade facilities, and target new markets. Such corporations have typically already demonstrated utility and value within the sector, and have commercialized products and/or services which are publicly available.  

What kind of funding can a late-stage business receive?

While some programs are focused on assisting newer companies, many programs also support growth of late-stage companies in expanding and developing new technologies. Depending on whether your business is a small- to medium-sized enterprise, or a larger corporation, the type and amount of funding will vary.

Generally, for more established companies, government funding will be geared towards repayable loans, although grants are also available. Loans received from the government are often on better terms than banking loans, with no or low interest.

Some examples of funding opportunities include the Strategic Innovation Fund, which offers large-scale funding for business innovation and growth; FedDev, which provides funding and services to support economic growth, including business scale-up funding, and AgriInnovate, which provides repayable contributions up to 50% of project costs for agri-sector innovations.  

How can I ensure my application is successful?

As an established company, you have likely already proven that your product or service is an asset to the industry, but this does not mean that you will receive funding automatically. It is still crucial to prove that funding is needed for specific purposes and will be used appropriately through clear documentation. 

It’s important to note that any of the government funding programs you apply to will not fund day-to-day operations. You must have a specific project in mind which you are looking to fund, and the project objectives must align with the objectives of the program you are applying to.

Similar to startup funding, how you frame your project is critical to a successful application. If you present your project in a way that does not meet the objectives and requirements, you risk being rejected from a program even if you are technically eligible. Due to the complexity and strict requirements of applications, you may find it helpful to speak with an expert from NorthBridge familiar with funding programs on what programs you qualify for, how to frame your project, and how to apply in order to increase your chances of a successful application.