You’ve got an innovative idea and you’re ready to get started on your business. That’s great because the world needs innovative entrepreneurs like you! To launch and grow your startup, however, you will need more than just world changing ideas. Founders and entrepreneurs need access to funds and financing in order to present the world with their products and services to grow their start up.

If you are not sure who to approach and what financial resources are available to you, you’re in luck. Our XLRator team has compiled a list of various financing options available to startups in the region. Although funding options vary, those listed are what we know work best for most startups and founders.

1.  Apply for government grants and loans

Canada has multiple programs in place to help small businesses and start-ups get started or thrive through financial assistance. Listed below are some programs and resources that cater to small businesses and start-ups.

Canada Small Business Financing Program

Profit start-ups and small businesses earning a gross annual income of $10 million or less are eligible for loans of up to $1,000,000. As a start-up or small business in Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Langley, and Maple Ridge, we encourage you to learn more about the application process and eligibility to receive a loan for your start up through Canada Small Business Program. Visit their website at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/csbfp-pfpec.nsf/eng/Home.

Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development

Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development provides funds for entrepreneurs of First Nation/Aboriginal status in British Columbia. Eligible candidates looking to start a business can receive loans of up to $99,999. Learn more by visiting https://canadabusiness.ca/programs/aboriginal-business-and-entrepreneurship-development-1/.

Western Economic Diversification Canada

With an aim to diversify the western economy, Western Diversification (WD) Canada provides interest free, repayable funding to help qualified companies grow and expand. Learn more by visiting their website https://www.wd-deo.gc.ca/eng/19762.asp.

Community Futures British Columbia

Community Futures British Columbia offers up to $150,000 loans to small businesses in British Columbia, including start-ups in Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Langley, and Maple Ridge. Visit their website to learn more about how you can obtain a business loan for your tech start up https://www.communityfutures.ca/business-loans.

Women’s Enterprise Centre Loans Program

Women’s Enterprise Centre Loans Program offers business loans to women-owned businesses in BC. Whether you’re just starting out, purchasing a business, or growing your business, they can help! Visit their website at https://www.womensenterprise.ca/business-loans/business-loans-bc-women/faqs/.

2.  Apply to accelerator programs

Applying to an accelerator can be of tremendous benefit for your start up company. Essentially, Business Accelerators are programs that assist developing companies to gain access to mentorship, investors, and other forms of advantageous support that can service the growth of your start-up business. Identify and reach out to your local incubators and accelerators to access resources and funding options. Here is a list of some local accelerators that you can contact and apply to.

3.  Contact Angel Investors

An angel investor is an individual or enterprise who provides seed funds; capital to a business start-up in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. Unlike most investors and lenders who prefer investing when a business has been established and proven profitable, angel investors usually give support to start-ups at their initial stage. Most angel investors work in partnerships with accelerator programs. If you are not successful in receiving responses by directly contacting an angel investor, apply to a business accelerator program within your region and access an angel investor through them.

4.  Get a Loan from a Bank or Credit Union

Another option to fund your start up is loaning money from a bank or credit union. There are various loan types you can acquire, such as personal loans, lines of credit, and business loans. Your chances of receiving loans from a bank or credit union depends on various factors, including your credit score. Being a long time customer of a financial institution is also advantageous and increases your chances of receiving a loan or line of credit. A few reputable financial institutions to receive business loans from in Abbotsford include TD Canada Trust, RBC Bank, and Prospera Credit Union.  Visit your local bank or credit union branch and apply for a loan today.

5.  Use Personal Funds

If you have an innovative idea that you truly believe in and you have tried receiving funds from the parties mentioned above with no success, why not fund it yourself? Self-funding your start up can be extremely beneficial. You will not be in debt; therefore, you will receive all the profits generated by your company. Be it from your nine to five paycheck or your savings, fuel your start up with all the capital you can get. That is how some of today’s successful tech companies started, and yours could be next.

6.  Get Friends and Family to Assist You

If your family and friends support and believe in your innovative idea, make them a part of it. Ask those closest to you for financial assistance. You could give them incentives such as making them a part of your start-up company by way of limited partnership or shareholder and have them excited for what the future holds for your company and what they can gain from supporting you. It is much easier to convince those who know you personally to invest in your business.

Whichever channel you choose to fund your start up, we greatly encourage you to promptly do what you can to get started and commence your journey to make your entrepreneurial dream come true. We know it is not easy and some days can be challenging, so surrounding yourself with like minded entrepreneurs or being part of a start-up community can pay great dividends in the long run. Abbotsford’s tech community is growing and resources have been made simple to obtain.

Want to raise funds for your startup but not sure where to start? Join us to learn about HOW TO PREPARE YOUR COMPANY FOR ANGEL INVESTORS at our Tech Social Mixer in Fraser Valley.

XLRator Tech Social Mixer Speaker - Grant Lawrence Valhalla