Business Funding and Support Resources

The Almaguin Highlands are truly “Positioned for Growth”.

In Northern Ontario, entrepreneurs and investors have access to a variety of support and funding opportunities tailored to stimulating their growth and the growth of the Province. Below you will find information regarding the various programs that may be available to help you reach your goals within our community.  Book your consultation today to learn more about our commitment to helping you grow with us!

Funding Opportunities

Innovative Initiatives Ontario North (IION)


The iRAPID program assists innovative Small to Medium Sized Enterprises with up to $10,000 towards research and development projects during the pre-commercialization stage.

Step Forward Entrepreneurs Program

The SFEP’s goal is to enhance innovation and commercialization for Small to Medium Sized Enterprises with up to $10,000 in assistance for sales and marketing, product development or business enhancements. Emphasis will be placed on companies who identify business growth opportunities and are looking to reach new markets and expand sales.

Employee Development Program (EDP) program 

  •   EDP (formally known as YEPP) is a 16-week paid placement program that matches an innovative company with a high-potential participant to advance company projects.

  •   $7200 grant employee assistance grant

They have extended this to existing employees or those that had been working in the last 6 months.

Visit Their Website

Blue Sky Net

The primary functions of BSN are to facilitate the enhancement of broadband access to unserved/underserved areas, develop and implement ICT applications, and to offer training, education, and awareness of technologies to surrounding communities.


Blue Sky Net, through BTIF, is committed to helping small-to-medium-sized businesses in the Blue Sky Net region within Northeastern Ontario who are looking to enhance their capacity for business technology and their ability for technology adoption.

  • Assistance and consultation throughout the application process

  • Access to training to prepare for E-business applications

  • A list of Northern Ontario vendors to select from

  • Through BTIF, businesses could be eligible to receive up to a maximum of $5,000.00 to adopt broadband and e-business and marketing solutions, including websites, and up to $25,000.00 to acquire digital technology such as software and in each scenario would be required to contribute a minimum 50% toward the project.


BAIMAP is a GIS application developed by Blue Sky Net which has access to broadband infrastructure data for Northern Ontario down to the property parcel level.

Visit Their Website

National Research Council Canada (NRC)


Financial support for technology innovation through NRC IRAP

NRC IRAP Youth Employment Program

Northern Ontario Women (NOW)

A project to stimulate women-owned and women-led business start-ups and scale-ups by increasing access to business development supports throughout the Northern Ontario region.

  • Enable female entrepreneurs to access professional services they would typically not be able to afford on their own

  • Enable female entrepreneurs to access experts in the transportation sector

  • Provide access to consultants who can assist female entrepreneurs in operating more efficient businesses/realizing cost-saving measures

  • Educate female entrepreneurs with regards to the regulatory requirements involved in exporting goods

  • Provide female entrepreneurs with the opportunity to attend, free of charge, workshops hosted by their local Community Funding Development Corporations

Visit Their Website


NECO is a Community Futures Development Corporation, funded by Fednor/Industry Canada and is managed by a volunteer board of directors. NECO has been helping small business in the East Nipissing and East Parry Sound region since 1987 and has invested more than $17 million in small business loans and community projects over this period.

NECO is a regional economic development organization, which invests in, and nurtures small business, and develops partnerships with private and public sectors to create and maintain jobs in our communities.

Visit Their Website


FedNor is the Government of Canada’s economic development organization for Northern Ontario. Through its programs and services, and through its financial support of projects that lead to job creation and economic growth, FedNor works with businesses and community partners to build a stronger Northern Ontario.

Featured Programs: 

Small Business Loans: FedNor supports a network of 24 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) in Northern Ontario. These local, not-for-profit organizations provide business financing, as well as business planning and other services.  For the Parry Sound District, the organizations are:

Parry Sound Area CBDC –

Muskoka CFDC –


Youth Internship Program: Targets businesses that are interested in hiring a recent graduate (persons under 30 years of age) for eligible roles under the Northern Ontario Development Program or Economic Development Initiative guidelines.  Funding of up to $31 500 is available to a maximum of a 50% contribution (for businesses) and 90% contribution for not for profit organizations.

Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI)

Supporting the growth of Canadian businesses, their expansion into new markets and their adoption of new technologies and processes.

Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP)

Supporting communities’ efforts to plan and mobilize their resources, enhance business growth, and exploit new opportunities for economic development and diversification.

Community Futures Program (CFP)

Encouraging the growth of small and medium-sized businesses via a network of 24 Community Futures Development Corporations spread out across the region.

Economic Development Initiative (EDI)

Enhancing the economic viability of the region’s Francophone communities through support for innovation, economic diversification and business growth initiatives.

Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF)

Investing in projects that capitalize on Northern Ontario’s strength to grow the region’s tourism sector.

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC)

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation offers assistance to businesses and organizations through the delivery of several support streams and programs.  These programs are delivered under the strategic direction of the Northern Ontario Growth Plan.    Make sure to review the Growth Plan for a list of priority sectors for investment to see if your project could qualify.

Visit Their Website

Support Organizations

Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce

The Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization who’s mission is to be the voice for a prosperous community that fosters pride in our area and help develop economic growth on behalf of its members.

Joining your area’s Chamber of Commerce can be a smart move for your business. Businesses that participate in the Chamber have the opportunity to assist with promoting the Almaguin Highlands and our collective businesses.  Working together, we can help your business grow and prosper.

Visit Their Website


Agilec has been helping people and organizations across Ontario for over 30 years. Their locations offer a full range of services including; business professional services, vocational rehabilitation, and employment government services. Each designed to help you adapt to change, move forward and succeed.

Visit Their Website

Women's Own Resource Centre

Our Mission is to provide information, referral, and support to assist women in working toward their economic goals.

  1. To promote women’s access to resources and opportunities

  2. To promote and celebrate women’s successes

  3. To support women in becoming economically independent through creating sustainable livelihoods.

  4. To assist with self-reliance, raise self-esteem and a positive self-concept.

Visit Their Website

Employment North

As a non-profit, community-based agency, we help individuals to get the training, skills and experience to achieve their goals.

If you are looking for a job, career change, would like to work in the trades, need education or training, or if you are an employer looking to hire, we are here to help.

Visit Their Website

The Labour Market Group (LMG)

The Labour Market Group (LMG) is one of 26 workforce planning boards across Ontario funded by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. Servicing Nipissing and Parry Sound Districts, we engage various community stakeholders in a consultative and inclusive local labour market planning process.

Our goals include:

  • To develop a better understanding of labour market issues and their impacts;

  • Generate awareness of existing workforce trends; and

  • Increase local capacity for planning, collaboration and partnerships.

Visit Their Website

The Business Centre (TBC)

The Business Centre Nipissing Parry Sound is a provincially funded not for profit organization that strives to help entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey. At TBC we know that successful businesses build thriving communities, and our goal is to assist entrepreneurs by providing free training, resources, programs and advisory services.

Visit Their Website

Innovative Initiatives Ontario North (IION)

Innovative Initiatives Ontario North (IION) is a Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) and a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE); a network of strategic regional and provincial partners that deliver programs and services to help entrepreneurs and established businesses grow and succeed.

IION Provides:

  • Business advisory and mentoring services

  • In-house funding opportunities targeted to help businesses grow and innovate

  • Direction and guidance on gaining public and private capital investment, including connections to angel investor networks

  • Access to market intelligence

  • Connections to sector, financial and legal experts.

Visit Their Website

Parry Sound Muskoka Community Network (PMCN)

The Parry Sound Muskoka Community Network mission is to create economic value by building information and communication technology (ICT) capacity through community partnerships. PNCM is provided with 3-year operational funding from FedNor to promote the adoption of digital and e-business applications throughout the region. Over the last eight years we have invested $1.35 million in the form grants to help more than 500 business owners take their ideas and ambitions further.

Visit Their Website

RTO 12

The RTO will give priority to partnerships that encompass culture, arts and live entertainment along with partnerships that potentially align with our ‘region-centric regenerative tourism approach’, thus creating innovative opportunities for industry sustainability, wider community development, and organization stability.

Visit Their Website

Northern Ontario Exports Program

Could your company benefit from new export marketing and business development activities outside of Ontario? Would optimizing your sales, production, and supply chain operations improve your sales and profit margins?

If growing your sales outside of Ontario is your goal, the Northern Ontario Exports Program has funding and expert advisers to support you. Since 2011, we have supported more than 500 export-building projects at companies across Northern Ontario. Get in touch to learn how we can help your company take on the world.

Visit Their Website


Jenni Myllynen, Program Manager, Northern Ontario Exports Program

705-674-4455 x4428