Grants

Grants are the ultimate win-win for all parties involved. Hiring grants help employers bring on new talent that they couldn’t otherwise afford, which in turn opens up new opportunities for employees. On the flip side, learning grants help students afford tuition they otherwise couldn’t, which deepens the skilled talent pool for employers.

Despite this beautiful cyclicality, many grants are going under-utilized.

There are many reasons people don’t apply for grants. They may not know where to start, they may get overwhelmed by the process, or they just think the paperwork isn’t worth it. The truth is, it absolutely is worth it! Taking advantage of these initiatives contributes to the overall growth of the economy and can help you skyrocket past your competition (or into a new career).

Tech loves grants. We love helping.

Closing the tech talent gap is a top priority for the Canadian government. They see the incredible growth in the industry and recognize the (really cool) impact strong tech teams can make. If developers are powering your business, there’s probably funding available for you.

At Lighthouse Labs we’ve helped many people move through the process, and put together applications that succeed. We’ve had employers send their designers and QA testers for skills upgrades, and self-employed students get their course covered for business development. And we’ve had many employers hire alumni using grants! Much like how our Career Services team works with students on their career goals, we’ll work with employers and prospective students on their grant goals.

The trick is...

Knowing the rules of the game. Here are some tips that apply to any grant you apply for:

  • Don’t assume you will be accepted, wait for the good news.
  • Small mistakes hold up a big process! Read through your personal and business information carefully.
  • CRA # and corporate address are not the same.
  • Always keep copies of all documentation you submit.
  • Make sure you create backups of any information that you provide.
  • If you miss out on a grant, keep checking in. There is no real way of knowing when funding is running out.
  • Eligibility is key! Common criteria may include,
    • Employed or unemployed
    • Age
    • Are you receiving EI, and if so for how long?
    • Are you a Canadian citizen/permanent resident?
  • Grants are assessed on a case by case basis, it’s better to include more information than less when applying.
  • Be absolutely clear as to why you are applying for the grant, make sure you understand why you meet the requirements.
  • Understand the overall goal of the grant and why would you benefit from receiving it over someone else.

So, what's out there?

Employers

Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG)

Provides funding for employers to send current and future employees for training to upgrade their skills.

Canada-BC Job Grant

Same program as COJG but for BC. Provides funding for employers to send current and future employees for training to upgrade their skills.

Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)

Provides innovation and funding services customized to a company’s specific needs. IRAP’s goal is to help you accelerate the growth of your business through innovation and technology.

Ontario, Communication Technology Council. ICTC - Career Connect

If you are planning to hire an unemployed or underemployed post-secondary graduate for a full-time ICT position, they will subsidize half the eligible participant’s salary up to a certain amount.

Canada Small Business Financial Program

This makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions because the government shares the risk with the lender.

SmartStart Seed Fund

If you’re an entrepreneur between 18-29 years old, a student or a recent graduate participating in a Campus-Linked Accelerator program or on-campus entrepreneurship activities, you can get up to $35,000 to launch and grow your technology or innovation-based business.

Additional Resources

211 Ontario - Shows the service providers closest to you that can assist you with information and resources.

Explore more grants, loans, and funding in B.C - Additional resources for funding in B.C.

Employment Ontario - Additional resources for employers in Ontario.

YMCA Youth Job Match - This grant is one we way we can help employers hire our students at a subsidized wage.

Canada Business Network, NRC RAP Concierge - These resource pages are great places to get more information about general funding.

If you have more questions about grants and funding, please reach out to us - we're happy to help!