International trade plays a significant role in the success of Canadian businesses and the Canadian economy as a whole. Canada generated a whopping $521 billion in global revenue, accounting for over 30% of the country’s GDP. As a business owner, taking advantage of the various funding options available to help your business enter or expand into foreign markets is essential. One program that is particularly popular among small and medium-sized businesses is CanExport. This program, offered by the Canadian government, can provide the support you need to succeed in the global market.
What is CanExport?
CanExport is a government funding program that supports Canadian businesses in their efforts to enter or expand into international markets. It provides financial assistance to offset the costs associated with international marketing activities, such as business travel, trade show participation, and market research.
With CanExport, eligible businesses can receive up to 50% coverage for project expenses, with a maximum grant of $50,000 per application. There are two opportunities to apply per fiscal year, opening more opportunities for businesses to secure funding for their export expansion efforts.
What Are the Steps to Apply for CanExport?
The CanExport application process starts by identifying specific international export activities your business would like to invest in. Eligible businesses should submit their application package well in advance of incurring project expenses, as applications may take up to 25 business days to be reviewed, and only costs incurred after an application is accepted will be eligible for grant reimbursement.
To be eligible for CanExport funding, your business must:
- Be a for-profit company
- Be an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP)
- Have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business identifier number
- Have a minimum of one full-time equivalent (FTE) employee and a maximum of 250 FTE employees (based on the number of T4 slips produced by the company)
- Have no less than $200,000 and no more than $50 million in annual revenue declared in Canada during the last complete fiscal year (based on line 101 of the GST 34 return or the FP-500-V for Quebec-based applicants)
It is also important to note that the CanExport funding program is not intended for businesses that have been exporting to a specific market within the last 24 months.
What are the Eligible Expenses covered by CanExport?
The CanExport program provides funding to offset the following project expenses:
- Business travel
- Participation at trade fairs
- Market research
- Adaptation of marketing tools for a new market
- Legal fees associated with a distribution or representation agreement
Keep in mind that these expenses must be related to a specific export project and must be incurred after your application is accepted.
What are the Suitable Projects for CanExport?
When applying for CanExport, it is important to choose a project that aligns with the program’s goals and objectives. The CanExport grant is designed to support projects that allow businesses to expand their presence in international markets, improve competitiveness, generate new sources of sales revenue, and execute export marketing activities.
Keep in mind that, in order to qualify for CanExport funding, applicants must select a foreign market where less than $20,000 or less than 10% of international revenues has been generated in the last 24 months. This ensures that the program is supporting businesses in their efforts to enter new markets rather than simply supporting the expansion of existing operations.
Some examples of suitable projects expenses for the CanExport grant include:
- International trade show or event participation and related rental costs
- Travel and per diem costs for up to two representatives (up to $400 per day)
- Export marketing materials such as design, print, and product packaging resources
- Translation and translator costs for marketing content
- Consulting fees (up to 25% coverage)
- Legal fees for establishing distribution networks
- Freight fees
- Product certification costs to meet foreign government standards
Tips for Winning the CanExport Grant
Now that you have a good understanding of the CanExport program and what it takes to be eligible, here are some tips to help you increase your chances of winning the grant:
- Make sure your project is a good fit for CanExport: Your project must meet specific eligibility requirements to qualify for CanExport grants. Be sure to carefully review the guidelines to ensure your project is a good fit for the program.
- Plan ahead: It is important to submit your application package before incurring your project expenses. This will give you plenty of time to gather all the necessary documentation and ensure your application is complete and accurate.
- Tailor your application to the program: Make sure your application clearly demonstrates how your project meets the goals and objectives of the CanExport program. Use specific examples and quantify your results whenever possible.
- Answer the CanExport questions as thoroughly as possible: The grant application will likely include a series of questions you’ll need to answer to be considered for funding. Make sure to answer these questions as thoroughly as possible, using specific examples and data to support your responses. This will show the grant reviewers that you’ve put in the effort to understand the program and how your project aligns with it.
- Use a grant writing service: If you don’t have experience with grant writing or the time to devote to it, consider hiring a grant writing service like ours. Our team can help you craft an application that stands out from the crowd and meets all of CanExport’s requirements
The CanExport program is a great opportunity for businesses ready to take their international ambitions to the next level. By following the eligibility requirements and submitting a well-planned application, you can increase your chances of winning this grant and secure valuable funding to enter or expand into foreign markets.
CanExport will be accepting 2023 applications soon, and the earlier you apply, the higher your chances of being approved for grant funding. If you need extra support with your winning grant application, our team at BSBCON is here to help. As Canada’s top CanExport Grant writing team, we have the expertise to guide you through the process and help you secure a grant of up to $50,000. Don’t wait – contact our team today and let us help you bring your business to the global market!