The Government of Canada today launched a call for applications from youth employment providers for the second stream of the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP), Boost Your Business Technology, which aims to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) develop effective digital adoption plans and provide opportunities for student placements.
As part of this stream, selected not-for-profit organizations will be awarded up to $139.3 million in funding to employ up to 16,800 students and young Canadians to support SMEs looking to adopt digital tools and technologies, announced Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade.
Eligible SMEs will benefit from financial support in the form of a grant to offset the costs of retaining an advisor to create a digital adoption plan. The grant may cover up to 90 per cent of the cost associated with developing the plan, to a maximum value of $15,000, according to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).
SMEs will have access to a roster of experienced, vendor-neutral digital advisory service providers across Canada to develop curated and comprehensive digital adoption plans. In the coming weeks, the government says, a call for applications will be announced for interested digital advisory service providers.
In addition, SMEs will be able to access a zero-interest loan (up to $100,000) through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to finance the implementation of their digital adoption plan. They will also be able to apply for a wage subsidy of up to $7,300 to pay for work placements of students and recent graduates to support their digital transformation efforts.
Who can apply?
Prospective applicant organizations will need to demonstrate that:
- They are well established.
- They have a strong track record of delivering youth placement services and can place students and recent graduates with SMEs across the country.
- Their network of students and recent graduates is capable of supporting the digital transformation efforts of companies that are eligible for funding under the second stream of the program.
The call for applications for stream two will close on September 8, 2021, at 2:59 p.m. EDT.
All you need to know about CDAP
Announced in Budget 2021, the CDAP is an investment of $4 billion over four years, comprising two streams aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises transform digitally. It will include the provision of $2.6 billion in zero-interest loans through BDC to help Canadian businesses adopt new technologies.
The first stream, Grow Your Business Online, the applications for which close on August 6, 2021, at 2:59 p.m. EDT, will fund selected not-for-profit organizations to support small businesses in the development and implementation of their e-commerce strategies.