Access Funding for Tradeshows and Export Marketing Projects

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Today’s guest blog post comes from Mentor Works, a business support enterprise specializing in accessing government funding. Author Jeff Shepherd describes agri-marketing grants that may be of interest to your business.

Research by REAPontario and others indicates that many immigrant entrepreneurs work long hours, have little time to explore potential business supports, and often struggle to find capital to expand their businesses. They may be hesitant to utilize government supports and to take on debt. Mentor Works is one of many resources that may be of assistance.

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Photo: Saha International Cuisine

Immigrant-owned food businesses provide some of the most highly demanded, high quality products available in the Canadian market. But while their businesses have found success in Canada, there may be additional opportunities to export their products to a wider market around the world.

AgriMarketing is a Canadian government funding program that provides grants to food producers and processors growing into new international markets. The program supports agri-business export expansion efforts by offsetting a portion of marketing expenses such as participation in trade shows or running marketing campaigns in the market of choice.

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Canadian agricultural or agri-food businesses may receive up to 50% of project expenses to a maximum $50,000 per year. The remaining portion of the project’s value must be provided in cash or in-kind contributions from the business.

Businesses Eligible to Receive AgriMarketing Grants for Food Producers and Processors

Canadian food producers and processors may receive up to $50,000 if they meet all of these criteria:

  • Produce or process agriculture, food products, fish, or seafood
  • Have completed market research and are ready to begin exporting
  • Maintain fewer than 250 employees
  • Earn less than $50 million in annual revenue
  • Can enter a legally-binding agreement with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)

Is Your Project Eligibile for AgriMarketing?

Small agricultural or agri-food businesses who are developing new export markets are most likely to receive Canadian government funding support for the following projects:

  • Print or electronic advertising in the export market
  • Product demonstrations
  • Trade show, seminar, and conference participation where the business can inform potential buyers about their product’s advantages
  • Branding or market development strategies that drive demand for the products

Projects that cannot receive government funding through AgriMarketing include:

  • Marketing activities inside Canada or in markets where there is no clear intent or opportunity to export
  • Marketing activities in countries that have been economically sanctioned by the Government of Canada
  • Market exploration or feasibility projects
  • Attending, but not exhibiting at a tradeshow
  • Technology research and development projects
  • Employee training programs
  • Website design

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How to Access AgriMarketing Export Market Development Grants

To receive AgriMarketing grants, businesses are required to submit an application package that includes:

  • A complete and accurate application form
  • A budget and Project Work Plan
  • Additional supporting documents outlining the significance of the project

Would your agriculture/agri-food business benefit from receiving up to 50% of export marketing costs to a maximum $50,000 per year?

If you are interested in the AgriMarketing program and would like to speak with a government funding professional who can confirm your eligibility or get started with the application process, please contact Mentor Works, the Canadian Government Funding Planners.

Jeff Shepherd Mentor Works

Jeff Shepherd obtained his Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Guelph-Humber. He has combined his passion for marketing and economic development in his role of Marketing Analyst at Mentor Works, a business support organization specializing in Canadian government funding. This Ontario-based business has helped hundreds of businesses build and execute their funding strategy through a mix of federal and provincial government grants, loans, and tax credits. Mentor Works offers free online resources, funding webinars, and news via

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