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innovation | Four programs to catapult SMEs



SMEs that want to innovate are not short of options if they need money to advance their projects: a host of programs exist to support them financially in their adventure. Here are four that are as useful as they are popular.

Productivity innovation

Through its Innovation Productivity program, Investissement Québec offers term loans to finance innovative projects aimed at increasing business productivity. This may involve, for example, the acquisition of equipment or the integration of information technologies. The funding, which is a minimum of $50,000, can cover up to 100% of project costs. The program, which has a funding target of 2.4 billion over four years, also provides for a capital repayment moratorium of up to 48 months, says Benoit Labbé, senior director of partnerships and ecosystems at the Innovation Council of the Quebec. “That’s advantageous, because innovation often requires major investments, except that the fruits don’t necessarily arrive on the first day of the project. »


Set up by the Ministry of Economy and Innovation (MEI), the Innovation program aims to promote the implementation of projects such as the development or improvement of a product or process, planning stage through to the technology showcase stage. “Here, we are less in a process of adopting a technology, and more in research, development and marketing,” explains Benoit Labbé. Financial assistance takes the form of a “non-refundable contribution” equivalent to 30% to 50% of the expenses incurred within the framework of the project. “It’s a program towards which many companies are directed,” notes Benoit Labbé.

Help for entrepreneurship

The MEI’s entrepreneurship support program has relatively broad objectives: as its name suggests, it aims to develop and support entrepreneurship. This can be very useful for innovative companies, testifies Benoit Labbé. Because among the three components of the program, there is one, the third, which aims to specifically offer support to young innovative companies with high growth potential. “It is through this component that we will find the incubation vouchers”, explains Benoit Labbé. This is a financial contribution of up to $60,000 per company. “It’s been a big hit with entrepreneurs. »

Tax credits

Quebec companies with innovation projects can benefit from a good number of tax credits, notes Benoit Labbé. The credit for investment and innovation, for example, is in the order of 20% to 40% and applies in the case of a company that has incurred costs for the acquisition of a “specified asset”, such as manufacturing and processing equipment or electronic data processing equipment. “There are also leaves that are offered for the commercialization of intellectual property, says Benoit Labbé. These are all initiatives welcomed by SMEs. »

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