Whenever a startup business receives government funding support or money from any private or government source, all of us here at CanadaStartups cheer!
Exactly what happened this week with a local Toronto business startup (eCommerce startup) that successfully locked in funding from the Ontario government in the amount of $78,932.
The funding was provided by 3 funding agencies; a grant in the amount of $17,900 and a government backed low-interest loan of $61,032.
CanadaStartups is proud to say that Mark, the part owner of this eCommerce startup business first became a member in July of 2016 .
We asked Mark a few questions to give you a better idea on his success, his adventure so far and what his plans are for the future and for the $78,932 in funding.
Asking Mark about Government Funding Support:
What made you join CanadaStartups?
There are a ton of small business resources out there. The government offers some, and there are many resource centers for entrepreneurs but I truly felt that the services offered by CanadaStartups was what I think an all-in-one deal. I'm pretty good at doing anything with a little guidance, and obviously good online so having a service like this that I could do on my own time, from home I think was the deal breaker. I can't really see myself sitting in a classroom or trying to figure all this stuff out one step at a time. I just wanted all of it right away.
What are the tools/resources that you used the most, or that helped you the most?
Definitely the business plan tool. I knew I needed a business plan to apply for funding, and the business plan is one of the main reasons why I wanted to join. Once I started working on it I realized that the service offered also has a funding database with the programs that I actually need. So I sort of killed 2 birds with 1 stone.
How did you apply for funding?
Well there was a lot of helpful guidance to know what exactly to apply for, how much to apply for and what I needed to cover initially before I applied. I think that's what helped me the most. Once I completed my business plan, I was able to figure exactly what I needed money for and after that the funding database was simple to use and find funding.
What needs of funding did you apply for?
We needed to develop the platform of cross checking our products offered on our eCommerce website with top sellers on Amazon, on Ebay and other websites so we can keep an eye out on our inventory. This was a hiring issue which we didn't have the funds for. So definitely to cover hiring costs. The other cost which we really needed to get a little help with is marketing and advertising to get out there as it is pretty expensive and with nothing going on just yet, it makes it tough. I think that's why the loan versus a non repayable grant.
What type of funding did you obtain?
The grant we got in the amount of $17,900 is a hiring grant, however it is considered a partial contribution grant which means that it does not cover everything. So when we hire a in-house developer we are still responsible for paying his/her salary (for the other half, or percentage of pay). As for the loan, it was provided through a bank, however backed by the government and with a very low interest rate. With the great rate, we actually can focus on our costs and making sure we are profitable rather then worrying about paying it back with huge interest like with going directly to the bank.
What would you do different if you could?
Nothing. We believe we were successful from the start after joining CanadaStartups. In fact, we remain a member and are still looking for more funding. With this type of business, if you slow down you fail so we will keep sailing ahead. Government funding support is available, all you have to do is go and get it.
What is your advice to others like you, and other startup entrepreneurs?
Don't give up. If you have an idea, go and do it. Create your business plan, go present you idea to investors/government agencies and get what you want. Be sure to join CanadaStartups. I don't think we would have done this without them. At least not in the amount of time we did.
Mark sure did seem happy and very satisfied with his success, and he definitely had some advice for you...Join CanadaStartups and start your business plan, get your own government funding support and run your business.
If you found success, what is your story?