Frequently asked

See below for answers to frequently asked questions about the IEF FALL 2023 Micro-grants.

Do you have questions that are not answered below? 

Please email us at 

What are the Innovators & Entrepreneurs Foundation Micro-grants?

The Innovators & Entrepreneurs Foundation (IEF, or “the charity”) Micro-grant program is designed to provide a financial boost to Canadian small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that are already operational, generating revenue, and who need a small cash injection to improve their business operations.

The goal of the IEF Micro-grant program is to support founders belonging to equity-seeking and/or racialized communities across Canada overcome financial obstacles and achieve growth, sustainability, and success in their businesses.

IEF Micro-grants offer its recipients a business $5000 CAD cash injection to be used to fund various business activities such as marketing campaigns, digital enhancements, employee experience, international expansion, equipment upgrades, and other business expenses. IEF collaborates with its micro-grant partners and sponsors to determine the eligibility requirements for each micro-grant category.

How many FALL 2023 Micro-grants are available?

The charity is thrilled to offer 11 cash micro-grants, each valued at $5000 CAD!

What are the FALL 2023 Micro-grant Categories?

The charity and its sponsors have the following five (5) FALL 2023 Micro-grants categories:

Product Innovation Micro-grant, sponsored by UPS

One x $5000 CAD micro-grant available

To be granted to an entrepreneur who has successfully launched a novel product that offers a significant advancement  in its business’ industry category.

Product Innovation Micro-grant additional eligibility: New product must be already on market and generating revenue.

Global Export Micro-grant, sponsored by UPS

One x $5000 CAD micro-grant available

To be granted to a small Canadian business to aid in launching its products into new international markets.

Woman Business Owner Micro-grant, sponsored by TD

Six x $5000 CAD micro-grants available 

To be granted to empower women business owners through financial aid to fuel their entrepreneurial endeavors and achieve their business goals.

Indigenous Business Owner Micro-grant, sponsored by Intuit

Two x $5000 CAD micro-grants available

To be granted to Indigenous entrepreneurs to provide financial support to sustain, advance, and scale their businesses and to foster economic growth in their communities.

Social Impact Small Business Micro-grant, sponsored by CIRA

One x $5000 CAD micro-grant available

To be granted to a business with a clear social mission and a commitment to measurable business outcomes that add value to its community and/or the environment. 

Social Impact Small Business Micro-grant additional eligibility: Applicants must present a compelling plan for measurable positive change and sustainable practices within its business operations model.

What are the eligibility requirements?

The Innovators & Entrepreneurs Foundation (IEF) FALL 2023 Micro-grant application is open to any natural person who meets all the eligibility requirements listed below, and each micro-grant category’s specific requirements when noted. 

All IEF FALL 2023 Micro-grant applicants must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Be at least one of the following for the business the application is based on: founder, owner, co-founder, co-owner, person who owns or co-owns the entity or trademark for brand, product name, or service.
  • Be an active senior leader and key decision-maker for the business.
  • Have a business founded and based/headquartered in Canada.
  • Have a business that has been operating and generating revenue/funding with a product or service available in the market for a minimum of one year.
  • Be a member of an equity-seeking or/and racialized community(ies), per the charity’s definition (see definition below). 
  • If specified in the micro-grant category, the applicant must be a member of the equity-seeking group identified in the category name and/or description. 
  • Meet the additional categorical requirements that are specified in the IEF FALL 2023 Micro-grant category for which the applicant is applying. 

Innovators & Entrepreneurs Foundation exists to support entrepreneurs and innovators belonging to equity-seeking and/or racialized communities across Canada. We align our definition of racialized and equity-seeking groups with definitions used by United Nations, and that used by the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health; defined as members from groups and communities that experience social, cultural, political, educational, and economic discrimination and exclusion because of unequal power relationships across economic, political, educational, social, and cultural dimensions.

How do I apply?

Applications for the FALL 2023 Micro-grants will only be accepted through the charity’s website Micro-grant application portal.

When do I apply?

Open call for applications for the Fall 2023 micro-grants will run from October 2, 2023, 9am ET to 11:59pm PT on November 12, 2023. Applications will not be accepted after the charity’s website portal is closed.

Can I receive a copy of the FALL 2023 Micro-grants application questions in advance of submitting the application?

Yes, a PDF version of the application questions are available on the charity’s website for applicants/nominators to review and prepare their responses prior to submitting the application through the application portal.

Can I book an applicant meeting with the charty for the Fall 2023 micro-grants?

No. Due to the volume of applicants, to avoid any perceived bias toward any potential applicant, and given the intentional simplicity of the micro-grant application, the charity cannot conduct applicant meetings to discuss the Fall 2023 micro-grants. If you have questions about the Fall 2023 micro-grant program not answered on the charity’s website and in the FAQs, please email with your inquiry.

Can I nominate someone for a FALL 2023 Micro-grants who meets the qualifications?

Yes. Applications can be submitted by individuals or organizations, by a third party or by a nominating partner. The application must be completed in full, and the person named as the applied recipient of the micro-grant must be informed of and be prepared to comply with all terms and conditions of the application.

Can I apply for more than one FALL 2023 Micro-grants category?

Yes, one can apply for as many FALL 2023 Micro-grants categories as they qualify for.

Can I apply multiple times for the same FALL 2023 Micro-grant category to increase my chances of being selected as a recipient?
No, only one submission per applicant per category will move onto the adjudication process, provided all eligibility requirements are met. For duplicate submissions from one applicant/nominee for the same category, only the first application will be considered. Duplicate submissions from the same applicant in one category will be disqualified.
Can an applicant receive more than one FALL 2023 Micro-grants?

No, an applicant/nominee will not receive more than one micro-grant.

What is the selection and adjudication process for the FALL 2023 Micro-grant recipients?
  • All applications will be adjudicated equally and fairly.
  • Applications not meeting the Fall 2023 Micro-grant eligibility requirements will be disqualified.
  • Incomplete applications will be disqualified. 
  • Duplicate applications for the same micro-grant category will be disqualified. 

Innovators & Entrepreneurs Foundation Micro-grant Adjudication Process

  • The first adjudication panel consisting of the IEF team, Board of Directors, and IEF volunteers will work with the existing parameters of each micro-grant category to shortlist applicants per category. 
  • The business information questions asked in Section One of the application are required and will aid in determining eligibility but are not graded.
  • A new adjudication panel consisting of the IEF team and Board of Directors will individually adjudicate the shortlist and each individually select the top 10 applicants per adjudicator using a five-point grading scale applied to the Section Two Application Questions in the application. 
  • A second adjudication panel will each independantly rank the top six (6) applicants. 
  • Each adjudicator’s rankings are aggregated to determine the recipients of each micro-grant.

Please note that each adjudicator works independently to rank and grade the shortlist applications. Each adjudicators’ grading and ranking remains confidential to other adjudicators during the adjudication process.

When will the FALL 2023 Micro-grant recipients be notified and publicly announced?

The charity will notify all recipients of the FALL 2023 Micro-grants no later than November 28th, 2023. Upon receipt of the recipients head shots and personal and business briefs the charity will publicly announce and begin to promote each recipient in December, 2023.

Who do I contact for additional questions about the FALL 2023 Micro-grants?

If you have any additional questions not answered in the FAQs or on the charity’s website, please email for any FALL 2023 Micro-grants-related questions.

How can I help support the FALL 2023 Micro-grants?

As a national charity, Innovators & Entrepreneurs Foundation relies on the support of its sponsors, partners, and donors to execute all its programming, including the FALL 2023 Micro-grants. 

  • Each applicant will be asked to make a $15 donation upon application submission to cover the application administrative fees. Donations are not mandatory and will not impact micro-grant adjudication. Donations made will be retained in confidence from the adjudication team. 
  • For sponsorship and partnership inquiries, please contact Natasha Morano, IEF’s Director of Partnerships at
  • For volunteer opportunities please contact the charity at

Donations to the charity can be made here.

Will I receive feedback from the charity if I am not the recipient of a FALL 2023 Micro-grant?

No. Due to the charity’s anonymized micro-grant adjudication process (see above), combined with the volume of applications received, the charity is unable to provide feedback to applicants who do not receive a micro-grant.



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