SFEP – Details


Notice: Applications are now closed. Please continue to check back for updates.

The Step Forward Entrepreneurs Program (SFEP) enhances innovation and commercialization for incorporated for-profit businesses who demonstrate the potential to create jobs and grow the economy. The SFEP is targeted toward businesses 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. Emphasis will be placed on companies who identify business growth opportunities and are looking to reach new markets and expand sales. Here are just a few of the options that your business could be eligible to receive funding for:

New: Business opportunity assessments are now eligible for support under the SFEP

Is my business eligible?

Applications are subject to a monthly competitive review process; the last working day of every month is the submission deadline for applications. It is recommend that companies submit applications in advance of this date to allow IION time to provide comments or suggested revisions. Applications must be received prior to incurring costs associated with the project. Approved projects will be reimbursed upon receipt of final invoice(s) and proof of payment to be completed within a 6-month time frame (or by the programs deadline).

Update – Companies can utilize SFEP funding multiple times for separate, independent projects. Companies must complete their current SFEP application along with corresponding claim before submitting a new application.

Are there costs to me?

The SFEP will support up to 50% of eligible costs, before tax, at one of four funding levels.

Level 1: $2,500 grant for a minimum project spend before tax of $5,000

Level 2: $5,000 grant for a minimum project spend before tax of $10,000

Level 2: $7,500 grant for a minimum project spend before tax of $15,000

Level 3: $10,000 grant for a minimum project spend before tax of $20,000

Successful applicants will be required to register as an IION client, complete a mandatory post project short results survey as well as an annual survey. This allows IION to continue to provide ongoing support to the business community.

How do I get started?

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


Contact Matthew:
705-845-0616, or by email at 






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