Economic Development Initiative Guidelines
The Economic Development Initiative (EDI) is a national program delivered by the regional development agencies across Canada. This program seeks to address the economic challenges and build upon regional strengths of each region to facilitate sustainable growth in Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs).
Funding is available as of April 30, 2018. All project activities must be completed by March 31, 2023.
FedDev Ontario will provide funding to eligible projects that support:
- Economic Development and Diversification of OLMCs: Respond to the unique needs of Francophone communities in southern Ontario, including the implementation of region-specific growth strategies.
- Business and Economic Development within OLMCs: Respond to the needs, and foster economic growth of industry sectors including knowledge-based and manufacturing industries.
- Strategic Community Economic Planning: Enhance the economic base and competitiveness of Francophone communities and small- and medium-sized enterprises.
I. Eligible Applicants
Eligible applicants normally include Francophone or bilingual organizations located in southern Ontario that provide programs or services in French to the Francophone community. This includes:
- Community economic development corporations;
- Not-for-profit organizations and sector associations; and
- Post-secondary institutions that offer full-time programs of study in French.
Eligible beneficiaries of projects delivered by successful applicants include:
- Francophone organizations working in collaboration with eligible project beneficiaries to undertake projects aimed at resolving problems, overcoming challenges and taking advantage of possibilities at the local and regional level in Francophone communities. These project beneficiaries include: not-for-profit organizations including municipalities and Francophone municipal organizations; commercial enterprises, including individuals, partnerships, and Francophone cooperatives; post-secondary institutions, and Indigenous organizations.
II. Eligible Activities
Eligible activities include incremental business and economic development activities. This normally includes activities undertaken in French by, or for the benefit of, a Francophone client group. Incremental activities are considered to be new activities that will increase the services and/or products of an organization that are above and beyond the organization's current day-to-day operations or already funded activities.
A) Economic Development and Diversification of OLMCs
Eligible activities are those that aim to strengthen the implementation of a local and regional strategic plan. Priority may be given to projects related to tourism, the social economy (early childhood, integration of newcomers, etc.), women, clean technologies and youth.
B) Business and Economic Development within OLMCs
Eligible activities are those that respond to identified needs and foster the economic growth of Francophone community identified industry sectors such as knowledge-based and manufacturing industries, including:
- Access to capital;
- Supporting business start-ups and market expansion for existing businesses;
- Providing training, mentoring and business counseling to support new business development;
- Integrating Francophone immigrants into the business and economic development community;
- Enhancing access to economic and business information and services (e.g., awareness and promotion of French as an asset for economic and business development);
- Promoting Francophone internships, workers in transition and entrepreneurship initiatives (e.g., youth entrepreneur days and other business events that celebrate and value Francophone entrepreneurship); and
- Developing and expanding export markets.
C) Strategic Community Economic Planning
Eligible activities are those that enhance the economic base, sustainability and competitiveness of southern Ontario's Francophone communities, including:
- Strategic and community planning;
- Community mobilization and networking;
- Labour market development;
- Feasibility studies;
- Business planning;
- Marketing studies; and
- Export market research.
Some examples of projects:
- Research development of a multi-service model to coordinate Francophone services;
- Skills gap analysis;
- Development of a French-language visitors' strategy; and
- Business and industry sector studies and business plans.
III. Eligible Costs
Eligible costs may include:
IV. Ineligible and/or Unsupported Costs
- Any costs determined not reasonable and/or not directly related to the eligible project activities;
- Costs incurred prior to the eligibility date as defined in the FedDev Ontario Contribution Agreement;
- Any cost incurred after March 31, 2023;
- Any cost that is ineligible under the Agency's terms and conditions and program policies; and
- Acquisition of land and buildings.
Priority may be given to larger-scale projects and projects that demonstrate benefits to multiple communities.
In addition, priority may also be given to projects related to tourism, the social economy (early childhood, integration of newcomers, etc.), women, clean technologies and youth.
Not-For-Profit Recipients: Conditional on approval for EDI funding, not-for-profit recipients will be eligible for non-repayable contributions of up to $500,000 per year for no more than:
- 70 percent of eligible costs under component A) Economic Development and Diversification, and B) Business and Economic Development.
- 90 percent of eligible costs under component C) Strategic Community Economic Planning.
For-Profit Beneficiaries: Through third-party partnerships ensuring program execution, private sector beneficiaries will be eligible for non-repayable contributions of up to 50 percent of the project's total eligible costs.
EDI is a two-phased application process. In Phase 1, applicants must complete and submit an Expression of Interest including an overview of the project along with its benefits and advantages. If selected to proceed to Phase 2, the Applicant will be required to provide additional details in the form of a comprehensive proposal.
All Expressions of Interest and applications will be screened initially for completeness and to determine the project's eligibility. Incomplete applications cannot be assessed and considered for funding. Complete applications are those that include all prescribed documentation containing all information needed to complete the review. Information should be accurate, verifiable, relevant and consistent.
All applicants will be informed of decisions in writing.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online at www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca/EDI.
If you are unable to access, complete or submit your application online, please call the FedDev Ontario toll-free line at 1-866-593-5505.
Phase 1 (Expression of Interest)
EDI is a continuous intake process and applicants may submit an Expression of Interest at any time.
In 2018, the first submission date for Expressions of Interest closed May 25, 2018. The second submission closed September 28, 2018.
Upon written confirmation from FedDev Ontario that the project can proceed to the second phase, applicants will be asked to provide additional details in the form of a comprehensive proposal.
Phase 2 (Full Application)
If selected to proceed to Phase 2, the Applicant must provide additional details in the form of a comprehensive proposal (including a business plan) with the following eight criteria included:
- Demonstrated participation and support of the project from the Francophone community;
- Description of how the project responds to a priority and need of the Francophone community, as identified in a local, regional or provincial strategic and/or community plans;
- Anticipated project results and how it will generate clear and measurable long-term economic benefits for the southern Ontario Francophone community including substantiation of the proposed opportunity and projected impacts;
- Complete project description, implementation plan and schedule;
- Substantiation of project cost estimates including clear description of project leverages other significant financial resources;
- Clear demonstration of the organization's capacity to undertake and manage the incremental project and past track record;
- Compliance with all relevant statutes, regulations and other funding agreements; and
- Incorporation documents and a summary of all related and affiliated parties, governance and ownership.
Disbursement of Funding
Once a project is approved, a fully signed contribution agreement is executed. In order to be reimbursed for project expenses, the recipient must first pay the cost of the service or good, then submit a claim, including supporting documentation certifying that the cost has been incurred and paid for by the recipient. FedDev Ontario then reimburses eligible costs on the percentage basis specified in the contribution agreement.
To receive funding, approved recipients must submit claims forms that summarize eligible costs incurred and paid in a period. Generally, these periods will be of a duration of no more than once a month and no less than twice a year.
Contributions are subject to performance conditions specified in the contribution agreement and funding recipients are required to report to FedDev Ontario on results achieved.
Recipients must submit to FedDev Ontario reports of project expenditures and completion of deliverables, including achievement of performance indicators identified in contribution agreements.
For more information on FedDev Ontario's Economic Development Initiative, please email FedDev Ontario or call 1-866-593-5505.
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