Hiring your team is most likely always at the top of your mind. Some of the questions you might have include: When is the right time to hire? Who do I hire? Do I hire experts and pay more? Or do I hire less experienced professionals and pay less, but invest in training? These and many other questions are important. But most importantly: are there hiring grants? Yes, there are!

Let me walk you through them.

OCE TalentEdge

TalentEdge has two components:

  • TalentEdge: for undergraduate or graduate students
  • TalentEdge Fellowship: for PhD graduates

Both components are very similar. The big difference is, of course, in the amount of funding and the project duration. The TalentEdge program is shorter, only 4 months long. It is intended for students coming back to school after the project to do their final year of study. Unlike many other similar grants, this one is for both university and college students. The amount of funding is $10,000 with the company providing $10,000 (from which $5,000 can be in-kind).

TalentEdge Fellowship helps you to hire students for more advanced projects. Typically, they are 2 years long and involve a significant research component. The amount of funding is $35,000 per 12-month period. Thankfully the projects can run for up to 2 years. The company provides $25,000 cash towards the graduate’s salary and another $25,000 as in-kind contribution.

Mitacs Accelerate

All sectors are eligible for this funding, including both for-profit and non-profit organizations. This program will support hiring graduate students from any Canadian university in any discipline. The funding starts at $7,500 for a minimum 4-month internship. The internship can be renewed and the company can hire several students under this program. (There are no limitations on how many people you can hire under this program). The company needs to provide a matching $7,500. If you need more information, please contact us or visit the Mitacs website.

NSERC Experience Awards

This program is designed to help you hire natural sciences and engineering undergraduate students. The work term is 16 weeks and the award value is $4,500. The company contributes at least $1,125. More on this can be found here: NSERC Experience Awards.

Canada Summer Jobs

Canada Summer Jobs is a federal government program that allows you to get funding for 50% of the minimum wage paid to a student to work at an organization during the summer. Specifically, the program focuses on employing youth, those who are 15-30 years old. The program typically opens for application in December.

Export Expert

The Ontario Exporters Fund will help you cover the cost of hiring an export expert. The funding is up to $80,000 for two years of employment. As an employer, you will need to contribute a matching amount of $80,000.

This grant applies to most industries and is one of the most generous hiring grants. To be eligible for this grant, you need to have sales between $3M and $20M with some part of it coming from exports (10%-50%). In other words, you need to be already exporting before applying for this funding.

Final Thought

I would like to finish with an inspirational quote from Steve Jobs: “Hiring the best is your most important job.”


ConnexFund specializes in grants and funding for innovative companies and start-ups with a focus on technology and manufacturing. Many Canadian businesses are aware that there is some free money available for them. But not so many know where to find it, how to access it and how to prepare a grant application that is successful. And this is exactly what ConnexFund does!