The Alberta provincial government has committed to giving Alberta a competitive edge by opening the province up to national and international markets. According to a 2006 CIBC Bank World Markets report, Western Canadian provinces such as Alberta lead the way in the formation of small businesses in Canada. This leadership may result in part from innovative financing options and grant programs geared toward establishing a strong foundation for entrepreneurs. Providing small business with grants and other financial incentives fosters an environment of financial empowerment and independence needed to strengthen an economy.
The Growing Forward Business Opportunity Grant program provides funding to farmers, agricultural producers and small agribusinesses to access expertise to help expand their businesses. Recipients can use grants of up to $30,000 to hire contracting services such as market researchers, independent risk management consultants and business analysis consultants to help investigate and plan new business ventures.
Growing Forward Business Grants 200, 7000 113th Street Edmonton, AB T6H 5T6 Canada 780-310-3276 growingforward.alberta.ca
Alberta Innovation Vouchers
Alberta Innovation Vouchers help small technology and knowledge-driven businesses market their products and ideas. Businesses in emerging growth sectors such as environmentally clean energy, health care and bio-technology can receive grants of up to $50,000.
Innovation Client Services Advanced Education and Technology 5th Floor, Phipps-McKinnon Building 10020 101A Avenue Edmonton, AB T5J 3G2 Canada 780-701-3323 advancededandtech.alberta.ca
Child Care Space Creation
Government grants are available to licensed child-care providers through the Space Creation Innovation fund, which offers up to $1,500 for each child space created. Child-care providers can use funds to offset costs of business planning, minor renovations, purchasing supplies, equipment and toys.
Child Development Branch Children and Youth Services 6th fl Sterling Place 9940 106th Street Edmonton, AB T5K 2N2 Canada 800-661-9754 child.alberta.ca
Aboriginal Entrepreneur Grants
Individuals of Canadian Aboriginal, Métis or Inuit descent can apply for Aboriginal Business Canada grants of up to $100,000. The grants promote Aboriginal entrepreneurship and offer business development support. Community-based business projects qualify for up to a $1 million.
Aboriginal Business Canada Suite 725, 9700 Jasper Avenue Edmonton AB T5J 4C3 Canada 780-495-2954 ainc-inac.gc.ca/ecd/fnd/index-eng.asp
The Self-Employment Program provides unemployed individuals with training in business plan development, one-to-one business counseling, coaching, guidance and follow-up during business plan implementation.
Alberta Employment and Immigration 10242 105th Street Edmonton AB T5J 3L5 Canada 800-661-3753 employment.alberta.ca/selfemploymentprogram
Based in western Canada, Maya Bailey has been writing since 1999. She writes for ehow, and her areas of expertise include the Canadian criminal justice system, African aid and develpment issues, and fitness and nutrition. Bailey holds a Bachelor of Arts in media studies from St. Thomas University.