CanExport, the Canadian government’s program that helps small and medium sized companies do business abroad, has announced changes to its eligibility criteria. As of August 22, 2019, the CanExport for SMEs project funding limit increased up to $75,000 to cover up to 75% of eligible expenses related to international market development. The CanExport SMEs program requires applicants to submit a project for which expenses total between $20,000 and $100,000. The program now reimburses up to 75% of eligible costs to offer between $15,000 and $75,000 in funding per project. Companies participating in trade missions organized by Global Affairs Canada for groups under-represented in international trade (e.g. women, LGBTQ2 and Indigenous exporters) may exceptionally submit a project of less than $20,000 for consideration.
The CanExport program will provide your company with financial support and will allow you to gain access to personalized advice from experienced trade commissioners that will help you identity potential markets, partnerships, and opportunities to achieve your international business needs.
If you want your business to grow globally, you may choose up to five export markets to target where your company has no or minimal business. In order to be eligible, your company must be for-profit, be an incorporated legal entity or LLP, have a CRA business number (unless Indigenous-owned or led), employ no more than 500 full-time equivalent employees, and declare between $100K and $100M in annual revenue in Canada during the last 12 months.
Activities eligible for CanExport SMEs funding include business travel, market research, participation at trade events and fairs, adaptation and translation of marketing tools, intellectual property protection, and adaptation of contracts, as well as expert advice on business, legal or tax matters. Most applications are approved in less than 25 days.
On top of supporting Canadian SMEs, CanExport also provides funding to innovators who want to develop R&D collaborations to commercialize new technologies through partnerships in foreign markets, to associations that would like to pursue international business development activities, and to Canadian communities that wish to attract, retain and expand foreign direct investment.
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