Step Forward Entrepreneurs Program – Worth a Cheque

Pour l’information en français cliquez ici

The primary objective of the Step Forward Entrepreneurs Program (SFEP) is to enhance innovation and commercialization for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Innovation is defined as a new or refreshed process, product or service that creates value (economically) for a start-up, individual entrepreneur, existing organization or company in transition.Up to $5,000 in assistance for a variety of costs. Here are just a few of the options that your business could be eligible to receive funding for:

  • Trade Shows and related Travel Expenses
  • Training, Certifications or Licenses
  • Market/Product Research or Market-entry Fees
  • IP Assessment / Protection
  • Marketing and Promotional Materials
  • Business Growth Expertise
  • Export Development

Is my business eligible?

The SFEP is targeted toward entrepreneurs who are trying to challenge the status quo, innovate, create new products and services, disrupt existing industry or usher in a new way, and show the potential to create jobs and grow the economy.

To access the program, a client must be located in the following catchment areas: Districts of Nipissing, Timiskaming, Parry Sound or Muskoka.

As well, a client must be a for-profit entity that is registered as either a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or corporation.

Are there costs to me?

Yes. Projects are supported up to 85% of eligible costs, before taxes. Therefore, to obtain the full amount of $5,000, SME applicants must have a minimum project spend of $5,900.

How do I get started?

Contact the staff at IION by calling 705-474-7600 extension 5602, or email at today! The program has a continual intake process, with monthly reviews. The last day of every month is the submission deadline.

*To ensure clarity on the program and it’s qualifying conditions, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact IION prior to submitting an application.*

Please visit to obtain for information.



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