Grow Your Business Online: Application process

Current status: Closed

Thank you for your interest in the Call for Applications for Service Providers for Stream 1: Grow Your Business Online. The call for applications is now closed.

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Canada Digital Adoption Program

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada announced the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) to support Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the development and implementation of digital adoption strategies, and to create training and work opportunities for young people.

Grow Your Business Online is a $337 million investment that aims to help up to 90,000 customer-facing small businesses digitize and take advantage of e-commerce opportunities and receive advice and support from a network of up to 11,200 youth digital advisors.


Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants must be Canadian incorporated (federally or provincially) not-for-profit organizations such as:

  • A business and entrepreneur support organization;
  • A research/innovation hub;
  • An Indigenous organization;
  • A Provincial/Territorial Crown corporation, agency or other entity created by a provincial/territorial government or provincial/territorial ministry;
  • A business accelerator or incubator; or,
  • A consortia of not-for-profit and for-profit organizations/entities where the not-for-profit organization is the lead proponent (i.e. the holder of the contribution agreement).

Ineligible applicants include for-profit organizations. However, a private organization can be a partner in an application, but cannot be the lead partner.

Eligible activities

Eligible activities must include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Delivery of financial support (e.g., micro-grants), including assessment, approval, and disbursement, to support eligible small businesses with the costs associated with adopting digital technologies;
  • Activities that facilitate capacity building and skills development for small businesses to help them digitize and develop e-commerce capabilities, such as training and education, strategic business and/or financial planning, mentorship and coaching, and advisory services;
  • Innovative business development and deployment supports and/or strategies for digital adoption related to e-commerce capabilities;
  • Establishing or strengthening inclusive networks among the eligible recipients to share best practices and success stories;
  • Communication related activities including marketing, promotion and communication activities to recruit businesses and disseminate information on services that are available;
  • Coordinating the collection of qualitative and quantitative data to gather intelligence and insights to inform policy-making, and/or measuring existing entrepreneurship ecosystem supports; and,
  • Other activities that support the objectives of Grow Your Business Online.

Eligible costs

Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Cost of labour (e.g. salaries and benefits) and of materials used;
  • Operating costs that are incremental and directly related to the project: management fees or working capital;
  • Costs related to marketing, publicity/promotion, and communication;
  • Professional fees (e.g. consultants, research, IT, technical expertise, legal, translation, digital and social media production);
  • Costs related to recruiting, hiring and training young Canadians who will act as youth digital advisors;
  • Costs associated with procuring space or equipment necessary to carry out the project, including for workshops, events, and meetings;
  • Costs associated with operations and maintenance necessary to carry out the project, including, but not limited to, translation, printing, evaluation and audit, and reporting;
  • Costs associated with travel necessary to attain program objectives;
  • Costs that support the use of tools and products for capacity building and skills development (e.g. educational licensing, third-party software);
  • Reimbursement of funds awarded to small businesses and youth digital advisors; and,
  • Other necessary costs that align with CDAP objectives, as approved by the Minister or the Deputy Head, if authority has been delegated.

The administrative costs for an Eligible Recipient will be limited to a maximum of 11% of the amount of the total amount of micro-grants for businesses and youth digital advisors that the applicant is seeking funding. For example, an organization seeking to support 5,000 businesses and hire 1,000 youth digital advisors can seek up to $2,123,000 (((5,000 x 2,400) + (1,000 x $7,300)) x 11%).

Ineligible costs

Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Costs associated with the repayment or refinancing of an existing debt;
  • Costs associated with the purchase of any assets for more than the fair market value of the said asset;
  • Costs of amortization;
  • Costs of land, building, or vehicle acquisition;
  • Costs of goodwill;
  • Dividend, bonuses, or other fees to the project management team, or any form of compensation to the Board of Directors;
  • Costs related to the routine administration and operation of the applicant and partner organizations, except the reimbursement of salary and administrative costs specifically identified and related to CDAP; and,
  • Costs related to honoraria, gifts, donations, and hospitality and entertainment expenses.

Assessment criteria and review process

Review process

Step 1: Initial screening

All applications will be screened to ensure that they are complete and meet the eligibility criteria. If an application is incomplete or fails to meet the eligibility criteria, applicants will be notified in writing that their application will not be considered further.

Step 2: Review process

Eligible applications will be assessed against the defined assessment criteria. Please note that the assessment criteria for each section are included in the Application Guide.

Step 3: Decision

Funding will be based on the results of the evaluation of the applications, government priorities, and available funding. Once a final decision is made, all applicants will be notified in writing.  Decisions cannot be appealed.

How to apply

Download the Grow Your Business Online Application Form and Project Budget Form (see ZIP links below) and complete them as instructed in the Application Guide, attach all mandatory additional documentation, and click "Apply now" when finished to submit. Receipt of your application will be acknowledged within two business days.

The forms are in PDF format and will open automatically within Internet Explorer when you click on the ZIP link below.

Grow Your Business Online Application Form (updated July 14, 2021, PDF, 92 Kb, 3 pages)

ISED Project Budget Form (PDF, 103 Kb, 3 pages)

If you are encountering problems opening the forms, please consult the "About the application process section" of Quick Facts.  All request for help with the forms must be received 24 hours prior to closing date.

Application intake

The deadline to submit an application is August 6, 2021 at 17:59 Pacific Daylight Time.


If you require further information or clarification about the application process, please contact us:


Please be advised that the generic email account is unsecured and should not be used if you are sending sensitive or personal information.