There are many different ways to find funding and development support for your business.  See below for some examples of what is available in Thunder Bay and region.  Still not sure of where to turn?  Come and see PIE for help on deciding on what type of funding works best for your business.

The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre

The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre helps companies quickly identify the funding opportunities available for their particular needs and assist with the application process. They have helped companies obtain over $15 million in funding, we are a great place to start your research. Check out The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre

Thunder Bay and District Entrepreneur Centre

The Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre is funded through a partnership between the Province of Ontario and the City of Thunder Bay. We help you determine what you need to do before, during and after launching your business.

The Entrepreneur Centre provides:

  • Free consultations with a qualified business consultant
  • Internet and computer access for business research and planning
  • Review of business plans
  • Consultations through a lawyer/accountant referral service
  • Up-to-date, leading-edge information geared to the needs of the entrepreneur
  • Access to current resource materials, including directories, trade indexes and books that entrepreneurs can peruse on-site
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Guidance on licenses, permits, registration, regulations and other forms and documents required to start and build a business
  • Import and export information
  • Information on patents, copyright and trademarks
  • Mentoring and networking opportunities

Check out The Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre



SmartStart Seed Fund is an exciting new opportunity for Ontario’s next generation of entrepreneurs to access much-needed funding to take their companies to the next level. Open to young entrepreneurs from the ages of 18 to 29 and non-youth led start-ups from the age of 30+, the program provides both seed financing and financing for entrepreneurship skills training to help recipients grow their companies and make them investment and customer ready. Read more about SmartStart.


FedNor is the Government of Canada’s economic development organization for Northern Ontario. Through its programs and services, and through its financial support of projects that lead to job creation and economic growth, FedNor works with businesses and community partners to build a stronger Northern Ontario. Visit FedNor

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) is working to build strong, prosperous northern communities and we are pleased to offer unique programs to help foster hope and opportunity across Northern Ontario.  Visit The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund

Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund

Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund is a non-profit Aboriginal Financial Institution (AFI) providing commercial financing, leasing and business support services to Aboriginal entrepreneurs to establish, expand or acquire a business in remote, rural and urban communities in Northern Ontario. Visit Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund

The Ontario Art Council

The Ontario Art Council’s mandate is to foster the creation and production of art for the benefit of all Ontarians. OAC offers more than fifty funding programs for Ontario-based artists and arts organizations, with funds from the Ontario government. Grants provide assistance for a specific activity, support for a period of time, or for ongoing operations. OAC also offers awards, prizes and scholarships from private funds managed by the Ontario Arts Foundation. Visit Ontario Art Council

Thunder Bay Ventures

Thunder Bay Ventures is a non-profit organization committed to fostering community economic development in Thunder Bay and region.  Visit Thunder Bay Ventures


BDC offers a wide range of services to help you grow your organization, such as a business loan to start or acquire a company, or purchase commercial real estate or new equipment. You can also access consulting services to help you with your business plan or finacial planning. BDC does not offer grants, interest-free loans or lines of credit. If you have any questions concerning the eligibility of your project, please contact your local business centre.  Visit BDC Thunder Bay

Canada Business Network

Canada Business Network. Find out about government grants, loans, and other financing available for your business.  Visit the Canada Business Network

Northern Ontario Angels

Northern Ontario Angels connects Northern Ontario entrepreneurs with the right investors and resources to help them build and grow their businesses. Visit Northern Ontario Angels


BizPaL is an online service that benefits Canadian businesses by helping them identify which permits and licenses they require and how to obtain them. Entrepreneurs simply select the business activities they plan to undertake and BizPaL then automatically generates a list of all required permits and licenses from all levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal), along with basic information on each, and links to government sites where the entrepreneur can learn more and, in some cases, apply online.  Visit BizPaL

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