What is the ESSOR financing program?
By Émile Audet
October 13, 2023

What is the ESSOR financing program?

The ESSOR financing program is a government tool set up within the framework of the Economic Development Fund (FDE). Its aim is to meet the financing needs of companies and support them in carrying out their investment projects. The program aims to support companies in their growth and development by offering financing solutions tailored to their needs. Whether for the acquisition of new equipment, the expansion or modernization of existing facilities, or the development of new products or services, the ESSOR program helps companies bring their projects to fruition by providing them with the necessary financial resources. Thanks to this program, companies can propel their growth, create jobs and contribute to the province's economic vitality. The ESSOR program is a real springboard for companies looking to innovate, grow and invest in their future.

What are ESSOR's objectives?

ESSOR aims to increase the competitiveness of Quebec companies, both locally and internationally. To achieve this, the program encourages digital transformation, as growth is increasingly achieved through the use of new technologies. ESSOR aims to rethink business models and the way companies operate, so that they can adapt to the demands of today's marketplace. The program also recognizes the importance of supporting private investment, as this enables companies to benefit from additional resources to develop their potential and stand out from the competition. By encouraging digital transformation and rethinking business models, ESSOR aims to help companies become more competitive, grow in local and international markets, and prosper in an ever-changing economic environment. The organization acts as a catalyst for economic development in Quebec, offering programs and services to support companies in their growth and success. By working with companies and supporting them in their projects, ESSOR aims to stimulate the Quebec economy and foster innovation and technological progress.

ESSOR program components

Component 1: Support for investment projects

Component 1 of the ESSOR program aims to accelerate the implementation of investment projects by providing financial support. To this end, it enables feasibility studies to be carried out in order to assess the viability of projects. In addition, it promotes the development of digital diagnostics, digital plans and implementation plans. In this way, it encourages companies to go digital by implementing effective digital strategies. To benefit from this component, companies can obtain funding of up to 50% of eligible expenses, with a maximum amount of $100,000 per project. For digital plans, funding can cover up to 80% of eligible expenses, with a maximum amount of $20,000. By offering significant financial support, Section 1 of the ESSOR program enables companies to invest in promising projects and bring them to fruition quickly.

Component 2: Support for investment projects promoting business productivity and expansion

Component 2 of the ESSOR program is designed to provide financial support for investment projects that promote business productivity and expansion. It offers a range of support options for companies wishing to increase their production capacity, create a new business, expand, modernize their infrastructure or make a technological transition. To benefit from this financial support, companies must demonstrate the potential to increase their productivity, which can translate into higher profitability or higher payroll. The types of assistance available include interest-free loans, equity loans, repayable contributions and lines of credit. In addition, the program also allows for equity investment, with a minimum amount of $1 million, and also offers the possibility of receiving grants. Thanks to these various financial mechanisms, the ESSOR program's Component 2 gives companies access to the resources they need to realize their investment projects, and thus foster their growth, competitiveness and long-term development.

Component 3: Support for investment projects designed to reduce a company's environmental footprint

Section 3 of the ESSOR program provides financial support for investment projects aimed at significantly reducing a company's environmental footprint. This component is specifically aimed at projects with a minimum value of $100,000. Companies wishing to benefit from this support must demonstrate their willingness to use clean technologies to save natural resources. Financial assistance is available in the form of loans, equity investments and grants. The main objective of this component is to promote the sustainable development of businesses by encouraging their transition to more environmentally-friendly practices. By investing in projects that reduce their environmental footprint, companies contribute to preserving the environment while improving their own economic performance.

Component 4: Supporting the internationalization of companies 

Section 4 of the ESSOR program is dedicated to supporting the internationalization of companies. The aim of this program is to provide resources and financial support to Quebec companies as they expand abroad. Participating companies can benefit from financial assistance in various forms, including loans, loan guarantees, equity investments and subsidies. One of the export strategies encouraged by this component is the acquisition of freight forwarding facilities, enabling companies to optimize their supply chain and offer more efficient services to their international customers. Companies may also consider forming joint ventures with foreign partners, enabling them to share the risks and costs associated with international expansion. The acquisition of distribution networks abroad is also encouraged, as this enables companies to access new markets more easily. In addition, companies can be supported in their plans to acquire businesses located outside Quebec, which can offer significant growth opportunities. Finally, Component 4 also promotes the opening of foreign offices or subsidiaries, enabling companies to strengthen their presence on international markets.

Who is ESSOR for?

ESSOR is aimed at Quebec-based, for-profit companies operating in the province. In addition, this initiative is also intended for collective enterprises. However, certain eligible sectors and industries depend on the program component. Thanks to ESSOR, these companies can access additional financial resources to develop their activities and thus contribute to the economic prosperity of the province of Quebec.

How to participate

To take part in ESSOR, you first need to check your eligibility. Once this step has been completed, for Component 1, you need to fill in the pre-qualification form. This form collects the information needed to determine whether the proposed project meets the program's eligibility criteria. Once the form has been completed, it can be submitted for evaluation by the ESSOR team. For other components and for more information, we recommend that you call 1-844-474-6367. This telephone number is available to answer participants' questions and guide them through the process. ESSOR professionals are on hand to provide all the necessary information and help participants through the various stages of the participation process.

Program key points

In conclusion, the ESSOR program is an essential government tool for supporting the growth and development of businesses in Quebec. It offers a wide range of financial and coaching resources to help bring investment projects to fruition, encourage digital transformation, help reduce the environmental footprint and support the internationalization of businesses. ESSOR is aimed at Quebec-based companies, whether for-profit or collective, and is an important lever for stimulating the province's economy. Key points to remember :
  1. ESSOR objectives: Increase the competitiveness of businesses in Quebec, encourage digital transformation, support private investment and foster economic growth.
  2. Component 1: Support for the realization of investment projects: Provides funding for feasibility studies, digital diagnostics and implementation plans, thus promoting rapid project realization.
  3. Component 2: Support for investment projects promoting productivity and expansion: Provides various types of financial support to increase production capacity, modernize infrastructure and stimulate business growth.
  4. Component 3: Support for investment projects reducing the environmental footprint: Provides financial support for projects aimed at adopting clean technologies and reducing the environmental impact of companies.
  5. Component 4: Support for business internationalization: Provides resources and financial support to help companies expand abroad, whether through the acquisition of facilities, the formation of joint ventures, the acquisition of foreign companies, or the opening of foreign offices.
  6. ESSOR is open to Quebec-based companies, whether for-profit or collective, with certain eligible sectors and industries depending on the program component.
  7. To participate in ESSOR, it is essential to verify your eligibility and complete the pre-qualification form for Component 1. For the other components, we recommend that you contact 1-844-474-6367 for information and assistance throughout the participation process.
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Related Tags
Business aid
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About the author

Émile Audet - Canadian grants specialist

Émile Audet

Canadian grants specialist
Working at helloDarwin for some time now, I'm in charge of providing you with the information you need on government aid. Dedicated to helping companies in Quebec and Canada reach their full potential, I write on the helloDarwin blog about the various programs, allowances and funding available to enable organizations to make their digital transformation through access to federal and provincial support.

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