...for Consulting and Training
While consulting and training can be very helpful, cost can often be a barrier. "We'd love to hire you, but we just don't have the money." I get it. That's why I've pulled together information on a few of the best funding sources, which can cover from 75% to as much as 100% of the cost hiring a professional consultant or trainer like me or my associates.
CONSULTING ADVISORY SERVICES
The Consulting Advisory Services (CAS) program is designed to give applicants access to technical and financial assistance by engaging consultants to assist them with various issues, opportunities and challenges. The CAS is funded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and administered by Community Business Development Corporations operating throughout rural Atlantic Canada. Eligible applicants include: small and medium-sized enterprises, social enterprises and not-for-profit organizations (emphasis is business) that otherwise would not have access to this type of resource. Eligible activities include assistance with: diagnostic assessments, business management development practices, accessing capital, market readiness / export potential, specific studies / business plan mentoring, aftercare mentoring and follow-up.
The CAS covers 75% of the consulting cost (exclusive of HST), to a maximum contribution of $5,000. So, for example, for a project with a budget of $6000 (before HST), the program would contribute up to $4500 (75% of the budget), and the applicant would be responsible for the remaining 25% plus HST charged on the total amount. Applications are acccepted on a continuous intake basis, until the local CBDC pays out its annual budget for the program. To learn more and/or apply, click the button below, find the CBDC in your area, and contact them about the CAS program.
INNOWEAVE - SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
Innoweave is an initiative of the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation. It offers a variety of capacity building modules designed to enhance the operations of community sector organisations. The Social Enterprise module focuses on "increasing participant’s knowledge about social enterprise and explore the value it can add to their non-profit, while helping participants to think about whether social enterprise is appropriate for their organization at this time." This module also offers financial support - 100% of the cost, up to $10,000 - to hire a skilled coach to assist with moving the enterprise forward.
Organisations that have attended an Innoweave workshop can "submit funding applications up until the first working day following January 1st and July 1st. Applicants will receive a response within 4-6 weeks of these deadlines. Organisations that have not attended an Innoweave workshop can submit an Expression of Interest directly to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15th or November 15th (or by the first working day following the 15th)."
To learn more about Innoweave's coaching support, click the button below.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The Business Development Program, or BDP, is an initiative of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The BDP is designed to "help you start up, expand or modernize your business. Focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises, the BDP provides access to capital in the form of interest-free repayable assistance. Most business sectors are eligible except retail/wholesale, real estate, government services, and services of a personal or social nature. The BDP also provides financial assistance, in the form of non-repayable assistance, to not-for-profit organizations that provide support to Atlantic businesses."
The "Improving Your Competitiveness" stream of the BDP will help cover the costs of a range of activities, including: developing and implementing a marketing plan, training, productivity and/or quality improvement, consultant advice, and assistance with selling to government. The BDP will cover up to 75% of project costs to a maximum contribution of $500,000. Gulp.
AND PRODUCTIVITY SKILLS INCENTIVE
The Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive, or WIPSI, is an initiative of the Canada - Nova Scotia Job Grant. Applications may be submitted by individual businesses or by an organization/association on behalf of a group of businesses. WIPSI supplements employer contributions to train full-time staff (permanently located in Nova Scotia) to: “improve productivity and profitability; increase innovation; adapt to new technology, machinery and equipment, or work processes; increase inter-provincial and international competitiveness; and foster workplace diversity.”
“Small businesses in Nova Scotia with less than 50 employees may be eligible for up to 100% of their training costs to be covered, up to $10,000. For larger businesses, WIPSI provides up to 50% of direct training costs. WIPSI may also cover other expenses such as travel, books for participants and accommodation costs for persons with disabilities. Associations who apply for WIPSI funding on behalf of member businesses may also be eligible for WIPSI to cover administration costs to host the training.”