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:
- 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.
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 Women Entrepreneurs||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Business Development Bank of Canada||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Conseil de développement économique de l'Alberta||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
Alberta Innovates provides access to programs, funding, business supports and research facilities to accelerate entrepreneurship and technology-based innovation across the province.
ATB Financial provides coaching and advice at Entrepreneurial Centres in:
- Grande Prairie
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 provides customized business advice and support for entrepreneurs navigating building, running and growing their own businesses. It provides one-on-one support and guidance, market research, access to experts, training, networking opportunities, and specialized support for Indigenous and immigrant entrepreneurs.
Community Futures has 27 locations across Alberta and provides small business support, including small business loans.
Conseil de développement économique de l'Alberta
Conseil de développement économique de l'Alberta (CDEA) offers support to Francophone entrepreneurs throughout the business life cycle, from start-up to succession. It provides help in establishing a business in Alberta, business model development, marketing and sales techniques, financial planning, training, networking activities and more.
Futurpreneur offers mentorship and loans to entrepreneurs aged 18 to 39.
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: