• Hannah Ross

Prepare Your Business for International Markets with CanExport

Are you a small to medium sized business owner or operator that is looking to expand in international markets? As a Canadian startup, there are tons of amazing resources and funding programs at your disposal like the CanExport SMEs programs.

CanExport SMEs is a funding program that is designed to promote and enhance Canada’s trade diversification efforts. This program offers a variety of grants and solutions that Canadian businesses can access to help them establish a presence in international markets. This program supports exploratory activities and long-term strategy for internationalization.

How does funding work?

CanExport SME provides funding on a cost-sharing basis with the recipient. You must submit a budget that is at least $20,000, and no more than $100,000. The program will fund up to 75% of eligible costs and you as the recipient will be responsible for the remaining 25%.

When can I apply?

CanExport SMEs funding is available year-round, and you can apply at any time. If you’re seeking support for a multi-year project you must submit a budget that divides activities by the government’s fiscal year which begins on April 1st and ends on March 31st of the following year.

It’s important to note that you can’t transfer funding between fiscal years. You must incur the expense and complete activities within the same government fiscal year in which the funding was allocated. It is essential that you break down your costs by the fiscal year that you will be paying them in.

Can Export SMEs

The CanExport SMEs program provides small and medium sized companies with the ability to access up to $75,000 in funding to assist with international market development activities. The program will cover up to 75% of costs for the export marketing of your products and services in international markets where you presently have little or no sales. Click here to learn more about your eligibility for this program.


You must meet the following criteria to apply:

  • be for-profit

  • be an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP)

  • have a Canada Revenue Agency business number (unless registered on First Nations lands)

  • employ 500 or fewer full-time equivalent employees

  • have $100,000 to $100 million in declared revenue in Canada during its past fiscal year (or 12 months for quarterly filers)

CanExport Innovation

Innovators from Canadian organizations can leverage the CanExport Innovation program to access up to $75,000 in funding to assist with research and development. The program will cover up to 75% of costs that can be used to fund research and formulate agreements with international partners and investors.


You must meet the following criteria to apply:

  • Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises

  • Canadian academic institutions

  • Canadian non-government research centres


Additionally, your organization must be registered in Canada and have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) number. You must also own, co-own, or have decision-making authority over the intellectual property (IP) rights for the technology in addition to a prototype that has a technology readiness level of 4 or higher with the intention of commercially launching within 5 years. Click here to learn more about your eligibility for this program.

Are you Interested in Learning More?

If you’re interested in learning more about what funding options are available to you as an entrepreneur, you can check out this blog. If you would like to learn more about an additional funding option, you can check out this blog on the IRAP program.