How to improve workplace equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) through business grants

Did you know there are many grants that will give you additional funding to hire underrepresented workers?

Improving workplace equity, diversity and inclusion is an achievable goal, especially through grants that specifically cater to underrepresented groups. Some grants even provide additional funding when you hire from underrepresented groups.

But how do I know which grants they are and where do I find them?

These grants are found across a range of industries and purposes. In this blog, we want to highlight several grants that cater to underrepresented groups.

Talent Opportunities Program (SWPP)

The Talent Opportunities Program is open to all Canadian employers, providing 50 percent of the wages (to a maximum of $5,000) for each “net new” placement.

But this program is one of many that will provide a higher wage subsidy for “net new” positions for underrepresented groups including: Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, first-year students, visible minorities and/or women in STEM. For each “net new” position catering to one of those groups, a 70 percent wage subsidy will be provided, up to a maximum of $7,000.

Generation Power Youth — Employer-led Pathway

Ever wondered how you can make your workplace a safer place for underrepresented groups? This might be a good place to start. This employer equity training will help build cultural awareness in the workplace and teach employers how to attract and retain Indigenous talent.

The training also grants you access to the Indigenous Clean Energy network. There is an optional opportunity with this grant to hire an Indigenous youth with an 80 percent wage subsidy up to $32,000.

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Small Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program — Business Online Sales & Marketing Supports

Calling all small Manitoba and Saskatchewan entrepreneurs with disabilities! This grant provides $750 in support to small entrepreneurs in this region. It is designed to access professional services to move business sales online, enhance online services or improve online marketing.

WES Inclusive Women Venture Capital Initiative

This three-year non-repayable contribution program seeks to strengthen and build a more inclusive venture capital environment for Canadian women. It will fund projects and initiatives that strengthen the capacity of women entrepreneurs to access venture capital funding, contribute to increasing representation of women in the venture capital industry or reduce biases in the venture capital industry.

Non-profit organizations are eligible and the project must be completed by March 31, 2025. The project must have a minimum budget of $600,000 but a maximum of $5 million.

Nova Scotia — Innovate to Opportunity

This Nova Scotia grant allows graduates to begin their career while sharing expertise and innovation in their field.

There are two streams for this grant: The Innovation Stream provides 35 percent of the graduate’s annual salary in year one, 20 percent in year two and 12.5 percent in year three. The Advanced Innovation Stream provides 50 percent for year one, 25 percent for year two and 12.5 percent for year three. Both streams are up to a maximum annual salary of $100,000.

This grant is another that allows underrepresented groups to receive a higher salary subsidy. An additional 10 percent can be added in years one and two for both streams if the graduate is a woman in an underrepresented occupation, self-identifies as a racially visible minority, is Indigenous, is an international student or a person with a disability.

Mitacs Accelerate Student

From 2009 to 2019, international students enrolled at Canadian universities increased from 6.4 percent to 16.2 percent. Yet, a lot of grants deem international students as ineligible hires. But, Mitacs Accelerate Student allows for the hiring of Canadian students, permanent residents and international students alike!

Your business contributes $7,500 and Mitacs provides a $15,000 research award for a four-month internship. Take advantage of ALL of the talent available at Canadian universities with this grant.

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There is over $5.9 billion in grant funding available to Canadian businesses every year, and yet funding continues to be a leading barrier to entrepreneurship — disproportionately impacting underrepresented founder groups. The team at Pocketed is on a mission to power economic growth by democratizing access to non-dilutive funding.

Funding doesn’t have to be a massive barrier for your business. Create your free Pocketed account today and start finding all the funding opportunities right for you.

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