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CanExport SMEs

Grants to Canada Businesses to Pursue
Global Marketing Opportunities

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Trade Commissioner Service (TCS)

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Grants to Canada small and mid-sized businesses to pursue global business opportunities. Funding is intended for activities to expand the applicant's overseas target markets. Eligible projects develop export options for Canadian products and services in all industry sectors, including agriculture and agri-food.

CanExport SMEs is a funding program designed to promote and enhance Canada’s trade diversification efforts. It offers grants and contributions to Canadian companies to help them prepare for and establish a presence in international markets where they currently have little or no sales.

The program focuses on export marketing activities of existing products and services in foreign markets. 

CanExport SMEs supports exploratory activities as well as activities that contribute toward a longer-term strategy for internationalization. Companies may opt for a multi-year project, or submit a new application to build upon a previous project. Including up to 5 international markets helps companies accelerate their growth and pursue a regional expansion strategy. The choice of 7 activity categories allows for a high degree of project customization.

CanExport supports the following non-travel activities:

  • Gathering market intelligence (custom research, reports and studies)
  • Applying for intellectual property protection in international markets
  • Applying for certification in international markets
  • Seeking expert legal and business advice
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Translating, adapting or creating marketing materials
  • Attending virtual trade shows, networking functions, meetings or conferences

When travel resumes, CanExport also supports:

  • Visits to foreign markets
  • In-person participation at trade shows, networking functions, meetings or conferences
  • Participating in a trade mission

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 191178

Estimated Size of Grant:

The program reimburses up to 75 percent of eligible costs to offer between $15,000 and $75,000 in funding per project.

Companies participating in trade missions organized by Global Affairs Canada for groups under-represented in international trade (women, LGBTQ2+ and Indigenous exporters) may exceptionally submit a project of less than $20,000 for consideration. Approved projects are funded at 75%.

Term of Contract:

Support for multi-year projects is available.

If you submit an application between April 1 and December 14, the start date of the funding agreement (the date that your expenses are eligible) will be the date that you submitted your project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Your company must meet the following to be eligible:

- Be for-profit
- Be an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP)
- Have a Canada Revenue Agency business number (unless Indigenous-owned or led)
- 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)

Ineligible companies and projects:

- Third-party representatives Third-party representatives are generally not eligible for CanExport SMEs funding. These would include: agents; promoters; consultants; trading houses and export brokers (unless for the agriculture and agri-food sector)
- Cannabis and tobacco related projects

For ineligible expenses, see the Applicant Guide page below.

Pre-Application Information:

In order for a new application to be considered it will need to be submitted by June 11th, 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

The program funds up to 75% of eligible costs for $15,000 to $75,000 in funding per project. The applicant is responsible for the remaining 25% (in-kind contributions are not permitted).

Contributions work on a reimbursement-basis and have additional reporting requirements. For contributions, applicants must have sufficient cash flow to fund their proposed activities in their entirety, prior to reimbursement.

Working with the Trade Commissioner Service: The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) helps Canadian companies navigate the complexities of international markets and make better business decisions.
- Applicants can find a trade commissioner responsible for their sectors in Canada and in international markets:
- For assistance with domestic Canadian markets, we invite applicants from the agriculture and agri-food sector to consult with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada:

Impact of COVID-19 outbreak on CanExport SMEs applicants and recipients:
During this extraordinary time, CanExport encourages you to make informed decisions in order to minimize risk and protect your health and the health of your employees.
1. Consult program-specific advice at for information about how your application or approved activities may be impacted
2. Refer to for the latest information from the Government of Canada

Applicant's Guide:

How to apply:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

If you have questions not covered in the applicant’s guide or the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), contact the following e-mail address:

TCS Enquiries Service
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

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