Overview

Alberta small businesses contribute more GDP per capita than small businesses anywhere else in the country. In addition to providing good jobs in our hometowns and neighbourhoods, they inject about $100 billion a year into our economy.

Government programs and service providers across the province help Alberta small businesses access:

  • advice and coaching
  • financing and training
  • information about market expansion and grant funding

Key government programs

Programs offer support to Alberta entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Program Start-up support Advice and coaching Tax credits Training Market expansion
Alberta Export Expansion Program          
Canada-Alberta Job Grant          
Self-Employment Training Program          

Alberta Export Expansion Program

The Alberta Export Expansion Program provides funding support to Alberta small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), municipalities, industry associations, Indigenous communities and economic development organizations promoting Alberta exports through outbound international business travel or bringing international buyers to Alberta.

Canada-Alberta Job Grant

The Canada-Alberta Job Grant is an employer-driven training program where employers and government share the cost of training new and existing employees to increase their knowledge and skills and meet the needs of Alberta’s changing economy.

Self-Employment Training program

The Self-Employment Training program supports unemployed and marginally employed individuals who have a viable business idea and require additional training to become self-employed. The program is available in:

  • Calgary
  • Edmonton
  • Lethbridge
  • Medicine Hat
  • Red Deer
  • Other rural areas in central and southern Alberta

Government staff are available to provide information on industry-specific supports. Contact the numbers below for more information.

  • Agriculture business supports: 310-FARM (3276)
  • Tourism business supports: 780-641-9326
  • Labour laws and regulations (pay, vacation time, hours, over time): 1-877-427-3731

Alberta-wide service providers

Service providers support small businesses based in communities across the province with advice, services and support.

Program Start-up support Advice and coaching Financing Training Market expansion
Alberta Innovates Yes Yes Yes Yes No
ATB Financial Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Business Development Bank of Canada No Yes Yes No Yes
Business Link Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Community Futures Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Futurpreneur Yes Yes Yes No No

Alberta Innovates

Alberta Innovates provides access to programs, funding, business supports and research facilities to accelerate entrepreneurship and technology-based innovation across the province.

ATB Financial

ATB Financial provides coaching and advice at Entrepreneurial Centres in:

  • Edmonton
  • Calgary
  • Grande Prairie
  • Lethbridge

ATB also offers traditional loans as well as non-traditional lending options.

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) provides tools, workshops, resources and loans to women entrepreneurs. AWE also delivers PeerSpark, a business accelerator program, and NextStep, a business plan learning series for Indigenous women.

Business Development Bank of Canada

The Business Development Bank of Canada supports small and medium-sized businesses through access to financing, advisory services and capital.

Business Link

Business Link helps small businesses start and expand anywhere in Alberta by providing expert, confidential  one-on-one support, market research for business plans, events and training, as well as small business services for Indigenous, French and immigrant entrepreneurs.

Community Futures

Community Futures has 27 locations across Alberta and provides small business support, including small business loans.

Futurpreneur

Futurpreneur offers mentorship and loans to entrepreneurs aged 18 to 39.

Contact

Talk to a small business advisor at Business Link to get free advice and referrals to business supports by submitting your question online, or contacting them directly:

Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-7722
Toll free: 1-800-272-9675 (Canada only)

Other supports are available. For additional resources, explore other supports for: