By Anne-Julie Therrien
May 06, 2024

Webinar: Complete guide to grants in 2024

On January 31, 2024, in collaboration with Panna Ventures, a webinar was held to present several grants worth a total of over $1 million to support projects in crucial areas such as commercialization, technology development and enhancement, and human resources.
During the event, participants had the opportunity to discover concrete examples of subsidized projects, illustrating the diversity and potential impact of initiatives eligible for this financial support. Notably, it was revealed that 50% of the projects presented on the helloDarwin platform benefit from a grant, underlining the importance of this partnership in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The webinar offers an insight into the opportunities available to entrepreneurs determined to accelerate the development of their businesses through targeted subsidies.


helloDarwin has positioned itself as a pillar of the Quebec entrepreneurial ecosystem, offering crucial support to companies engaged in their digital transformation. With over 15,000 companies supported to date, helloDarwin has established itself as a key resource, bringing together over 6,000 suppliers on its web platform. As an approved partner of CDAP and RBC, we affirm our commitment and reliability in supporting the innovation and growth of local businesses.

Grants in 2024

In 2023, the subsidy landscape experienced a remarkable dynamic, with a 49% increase in projects requiring subsidy compared to the previous year. This increase reflects the growing recognition of the importance of grants in entrepreneurial development. Financial assistance in 2024 is specifically designed to support the implementation of projects aimed at optimizing business operations, increasing sales and improving market strategies, thus providing companies with the means to realize their ambitions for growth and innovation.



The Programme de soutien à la commercialisation à l'exportation (PSCE) is a strategic initiative designed to encourage Quebec businesses to expand their horizons and conquer new international markets. With the primary objective of stimulating the development of international markets for SMEs and facilitating internationalization projects for large corporations, the PSCE plays a crucial role in Quebec's economic expansion on the world stage. Eligible expenses under this program encompass a wide range of activities, such as hiring market development specialists or sales representatives, developing diagnostics, business plans or strategies, implementing marketing strategies, participating in trade events outside Quebec, recruiting agents or distributors, conducting foreign market studies, and registering trademarks internationally.
The PSCE offers two subsidy streams: Volet 1, for projects in the Quebec market, offers up to $250,000 in partial advances, while Volet 2, aimed at markets outside Quebec, offers up to $100,000, also in partial advances. Significantly, the program is designed to cover up to 50% of eligible costs, providing substantial financial support to companies looking to take off internationally.
Start benefiting from the PSCE today!
Let one of our advisors guide you through the program and how it can help your business grow.

ESSOR Stream 1

ESSOR Stream 1 is an initiative designed to boost economic development by accelerating the implementation of investment projects within companies. The program aims to facilitate access to crucial preliminary studies, such as feasibility studies and digital diagnostics, which are essential to the successful planning and execution of investment projects. In recognition of the importance of these preliminary steps, ESSOR offers financial support to cover a variety of eligible expenses, including professional fees, costs related to the purchase of specialized information, as well as travel and accommodation expenses required to carry out these studies.
With grants of up to $220,000 per project, depending on the category, the program is committed to covering up to 50% of eligible costs. This substantial financial assistance is designed to encourage companies to undertake in-depth analyses and equip themselves with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions, thereby fostering the implementation of sound, viable investment projects. ESSOR Strand 1 is thus positioned as a strategic lever for companies aiming to strengthen their competitiveness and stimulate long-term growth.

ESSOR Stream 2

ESSOR Stream 2 is an ambitious initiative designed to boost the productivity of Quebec businesses through innovative technological transition and the acquisition of new technologies. The program is specifically designed to encourage investment in Quebec, whether through the establishment of new companies or the expansion of existing ones. By focusing on technological innovation, ESSOR volet 2 seeks to position Quebec as a leader in industrial modernization and competitiveness in the global marketplace.
Eligible expenses under this component cover a wide range of strategic investments, including the acquisition, construction, fit-out or expansion of buildings, as well as the purchase and installation of advanced equipment or software. In addition, particular emphasis is placed on expenditures related to major technological transitions, including the adoption of cloud solutions, business intelligence and artificial intelligence, underscoring the importance of innovation in Quebec's economic development.
The program also offers financial support in the form of loans, with the possibility of covering the working capital expenses required to complete an investment project. This assistance can take several forms, including loan guarantees, repayable financial contributions or forgivable loans, up to a maximum of 20% of total eligible expenses. In this way, ESSOR Stream 2 represents a pillar of support for companies embarking on bold, forward-looking projects, enabling them to take decisive steps towards success and technological excellence.
Discover ESSOR and increase your growth
Talk with one of our advisors to find out how you can take advantage of ESSOR and its two streams.

CAN Export SME

The CAN Export PME program is a key Canadian government initiative designed to support domestic companies in their international marketing efforts. By focusing on the provision of tailored resources and support, this program aims to meet the specific needs of Canadian SMEs seeking to expand their presence in global markets. Eligible expenses reflect the diversity of challenges encountered when expanding internationally, including the filing of applications for intellectual property protection and certification in international markets, as well as the translation, adaptation or creation of marketing material to target new customers abroad. The program also encourages active participation in events and visits to foreign markets to explore new growth opportunities.
With grants of up to $50,000 in the form of claims, CAN Export PME offers significant financial support, covering up to 50% of eligible costs. This approach makes it easier for Canadian SMEs to access the resources they need to successfully navigate the complex international trade environment, stimulating their growth and strengthening their global competitiveness.

Technological development and improvement

CAN Export Innovation

The CAN Export Innovation program is specifically designed to support Canadian innovators in their quest for international research and development (R&D) collaborations. The objective is to enable applicants to develop, adapt or validate their technologies through collaborative agreements with foreign partners. To facilitate these crucial interactions, the program recognizes a range of eligible expenses, including round-trip airfare to attend meetings with international partners, a per diem of CAD 400 to cover accommodation and meals for each approved traveler, as well as costs associated with single-entry visas, ground transportation to target markets, meeting room and audiovisual equipment rental, and in-person registration fees for two employees at one event per application.
With grants of up to $75,000 in the form of claims, CAN Export Innovation is committed to covering up to 75% of eligible costs. This substantial level of financial support is designed to reduce the financial barriers associated with exploring new international R&D collaborations, enabling Canadian innovators to further explore and validate their technologies on the world stage.
Explore the potential of CAN Export
Let an helloDarwin expert guide you through CAN Export SME and Innovation and their advantages.

Support for AI Innovation Projects

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Innovation Project Support program is a key initiative designed to encourage and support startups and SMEs in the development of innovative AI projects. These projects may involve the production of innovative goods and services, or in-house research and development (R&D), highlighting the crucial importance of artificial intelligence in the changing technological and entrepreneurial landscape.
Eligible expenditure for this program focuses primarily on costs directly linked to AI R&D projects, enabling companies to fully commit to their innovation initiatives. To support these efforts, the program offers separate grants: up to $150,000 over a two-year period for startups, as a partial advance, and up to $350,000 for SMEs, also as a partial advance. With a coverage rate of up to 50% of eligible costs for startups and up to 30% for SMEs, the program aims to significantly reduce the financial barriers associated with the development of artificial intelligence technologies, thus stimulating innovation and competitiveness within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Invest-IA is a flagship initiative designed to boost the productivity and competitiveness of Quebec businesses through the practical application of artificial intelligence (AI). This ambitious program aims to encourage the rapid adoption of AI solutions, with a short-term application horizon of no more than two years. It is designed to support companies in their transition to advanced technologies, facilitating the integration of AI into their day-to-day operations.
Expenses eligible for Invest-IA support are broad and tailored to the specific needs of AI implementation, including gross direct costs of project labor, technical subcontracting services, and professional fees for specialized AI services, including coaching. The program also covers the direct costs of materials and supplies, computer equipment and licenses (calculated taking into account the duration of the project in relation to the useful life of the equipment or license), equipment rental fees, the acquisition of studies or other relevant documentation, as well as costs associated with collecting, acquiring, digitizing, cleaning and organizing the data required for AI solutions.
With a grant of up to $1 million, Invest-IA is committed to covering up to 50% of eligible costs. This significant level of financial support is proof of Quebec's commitment to promoting technological innovation and positioning its companies at the forefront of AI adoption, thereby guaranteeing their competitiveness on the global market.

Human resources


The Novascience program is positioned as a key catalyst in the innovation landscape, offering significant employment opportunities in the field of digital transformation. This initiative is designed to foster the emergence of a skilled workforce ready to meet the challenges of innovation and contribute to economic growth in critical sectors. By focusing on skills development and practical experience, Novascience plays a key role in preparing young professionals and experts to fully exploit the potential of digital transformation.
Eligible expenses under this program focus on the workforce, recognizing the importance of investment in human capital. Novascience offers two levels of grants: up to $30,000 for junior positions and up to $75,000 for senior positions, both in the form of partial advances. Covering up to 50% of eligible costs, the program aims to ease the financial burden of companies investing in the future of digital transformation, and encourage the adoption of innovative practices. Novascience has thus established itself as a pillar of support for talent development in the fields of technology and innovation in Quebec.

MITACS - internship

The MITACS program is distinguished by its commitment to building bridges between academia and industry, offering students an invaluable opportunity to develop their talent through paid internships. This initiative aims to meet the specific needs of companies seeking new and innovative expertise, while providing students with valuable work experience in their field of study. By focusing on the workforce as an eligible expense, the program facilitates the integration of students into real working environments, where they can apply their theoretical knowledge to real-life issues.
With a $7,500 grant in the form of a partial advance, MITACS covers up to 50% of eligible costs, easing the financial burden for participating companies. This approach fosters fruitful collaboration between the academic and professional sectors, encouraging the adoption of new ideas and skills that can stimulate innovation and growth. The MITACS Internship Program represents an exceptional opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the professional world, while making a significant contribution to the development of Canadian businesses.

Accueillez un stagiaire (PSPÉ)

At a time when labour shortages are becoming increasingly acute, the "Accueillez un stagiaire" program is emerging as an innovative and inclusive solution for Canadian businesses. Designed to facilitate the integration of first-year interns and promote the inclusion of interns from diverse backgrounds, the program offers valuable assistance in the form of salary subsidies and personalized coaching.
Companies participating in the program can benefit from grants of up to $5,000 per student, and up to $7,000 for students from diverse backgrounds. These amounts represent up to 50% and 70% respectively of the gross salary of each eligible intern, underlining the program's commitment to financially supporting companies in their integration efforts. The focus on first-year interns and interns from diverse backgrounds is designed to enrich the workplace with new perspectives, and to prepare the next generation by meeting specific skills needs in various sectors.
Eligible expenses under the program focus on employee salaries, enabling companies to offset some of the costs associated with hosting and training interns. This financial support is complemented by a personalized coaching service, which plays a crucial role in guiding companies through the integration process. This service aims to optimize the experience for both trainees and employers, ensuring a smooth transition and maximizing the benefits of this collaboration.
The " Accueillez un stagiaire" program therefore represents an exceptional opportunity for companies to actively contribute to the training of the next generation of workers, while at the same time meeting their immediate workforce needs. By committing to this initiative, companies can not only mitigate the impact of labor shortages on their operations, but also play a decisive role in promoting diversity and inclusion in the professional world.

Riipen - Level up

In an ever-changing economic landscape, companies are looking for innovative ways to solve their business challenges while remaining competitive. This is where the Riipen - Level Up program comes in as a revolutionary solution. This unique program offers companies the opportunity to collaborate with Canada's top student talent on fully-subsidized, short-term, on-demand online projects. These Level Up projects are designed to provide concrete solutions to business challenges, while offering valuable hands-on experience to students.
Eligible expenses under Riipen - Level Up focus on the workforce, recognizing the importance of investment in human capital. With a grant of $1,400 per student, the program commits to covering up to 100% of eligible costs, effectively eliminating financial barriers for companies wishing to innovate and grow. This approach enables companies of all sizes, from startups to large corporations, to benefit from the agility and creativity of students, who bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the table.
Riipen - Level Up acts as a bridge between the academic world and the professional sector, fostering a symbiosis where students can apply their theoretical knowledge to real-life situations, while gaining relevant work experience. For companies, this means access to a pool of motivated and innovative talent, ready to tackle a variety of projects, from product development and marketing to data analysis and technical problem-solving.
Ready to start your grant journey?
Talk with one of our advisors and learn more about the different subsidies from Invest-IA, MITACS, Novascience, Accueillez un stagiaire, Riipenand more.

Good practice in subsidies

Obtaining grants is a crucial lever for funding projects in many fields, such as research, innovation, education, and social and economic development. However, the grant application process can be complex and fraught with pitfalls, where some common mistakes can compromise chances of success. To help applicants navigate this process effectively, it's essential to highlight good grant practice and identify mistakes to avoid.

Mistake 1: Failure to comply with guidelines

One of the most common mistakes is a lack of compliance with the guidelines provided by the granting organization. Each grant program has its own specific criteria and requirements. Ignoring these guidelines can result in immediate rejection of the application. It is therefore essential to read the guidelines carefully, to respect the requested formats, and to respond precisely to each criterion.

Mistake 2: Unclear or misaligned objectives

Project objectives must be clear, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-defined (SMART method). A common mistake is to present objectives that are unclear or not aligned with the goals of the grant program. It is crucial to concisely articulate how the project meets the granting organization's priorities and to illustrate the expected impact in a tangible way.

Mistake 3: Underestimating the budget section

The budget section of a grant application is often underestimated. A poorly detailed or unrealistic budget can undermine the evaluators' confidence in the applicant's ability to manage the project effectively. It is important to provide a budget that is accurate, justified and in line with planned activities, including a detailed justification of anticipated costs.

Mistake 4: Incomplete documentation

Submitting incomplete documentation is another common mistake that can be detrimental to the application. This includes the absence of required supporting documents, such as CVs of key team members, letters of support, or necessary attestations. Ensuring that all requested documents are included is essential to demonstrate the rigor and seriousness of the applicant.

Things to remember about grants available in 2024

In conclusion, the panorama of grants in 2024 proves to be a rich and diverse ecosystem, offering a myriad of opportunities for companies and individuals wishing to advance their projects with the financial support of government and private programs. As presented during the webinar organized in collaboration with Panna Ventures, the varied programs testify to the ongoing commitment to innovation, digital transformation, internationalization, and support for research and development. To successfully navigate this complex landscape, it's imperative to adopt rigorous practices and guard against common mistakes.
Things to remember :
  • Read grant program guidelines carefully to ensure compliance.
  • Define clear objectives aligned with grant program goals, using the SMART method.
  • Pay particular attention to the budget section, ensuring that it is detailed, realistic and justified.
  • Provide complete documentation, including all supporting documents requested by the funding organization.
By taking these elements into account, applicants can significantly improve their chances of success in obtaining grants. This will enable them not only to benefit from crucial financial support, but also to make a significant contribution to the economic, technological and social development of their communities and the country as a whole.
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About the author

Anne-Julie Therrien - Marketing and communications manager

Anne-Julie Therrien

Marketing and communications manager
Working in marketing for helloDarwin, I take care of communications between the company and Canadian and Quebec organizations, helping them learn more about various grant opportunities, financing and more, notably through informative webinars.

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