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:


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:

Eligible beneficiaries of projects delivered by successful applicants include:

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:

C) Strategic Community Economic Planning

Eligible activities are those that enhance the economic base, sustainability and competitiveness of southern Ontario's Francophone communities, including:

Some examples of projects:

III. Eligible Costs

Eligible costs may include:

IV. Ineligible and/or Unsupported Costs


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:

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.

Application Process

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

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:

    1. Demonstrated participation and support of the project from the Francophone community;
    2. 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;
    3. 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;
    4. Complete project description, implementation plan and schedule;
    5. Substantiation of project cost estimates including clear description of project leverages other significant financial resources;
    6. Clear demonstration of the organization's capacity to undertake and manage the incremental project and past track record;
    7. Compliance with all relevant statutes, regulations and other funding agreements; and
    8. 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.

Reporting Requirements

Recipients must submit to FedDev Ontario reports of project expenditures and completion of deliverables, including achievement of performance indicators identified in contribution agreements.

Contact Us

For more information on FedDev Ontario's Economic Development Initiative, please email FedDev Ontario or call 1-866-593-5505.

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