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Business Scale-up and Productivity in Western Canada

Please note that the Business Scale-up and Productivity program expression of interest intake closed on April 14, 2021, 2:00 pm MDT.

For information on other available business support, please visit Innovation Canada.

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) makes strategic investments in key economic sectors and also supports the development of leading industry geographic clusters through its Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) program.

BSP supports high-growth* businesses that are scaling up and producing innovative goods, services or technologies. It offers interest free repayable funding to incorporated businesses.

*Definition of a “high-growth business”

A high growth business can be defined as any for-profit company that has notable and/or consistent revenue increases year over year. Typically, this means an increase of at least 20% year over year. Businesses that are negatively impacted by the current pandemic would be eligible if they met this definition prior to March 31, 2020.

Here are examples of a high-growth business:

Example 1:

ABC is an innovative Canadian medical devices firm. ABC is a relatively young company operating in North America and would like to expand its product into new markets like Europe and Asia. ABC has generated significant sales growth (i.e. 26% year over year). ABC has profitable reinvestment opportunities and, rather than paying dividends to shareholders, decides to reinvest earnings back into the firm to capitalize on its investment opportunities in order to maintain this high sales growth.

Example 2:

XYZ is an innovative Canadian digital software developer. XYZ is a young company operating in Canada and the USA but would like to introduce its new software, which is in the late stage of development, in order to grow and diversify existing Canadian and American markets. XYZ has generated significant sales growth (i.e. 22% year over year). XYZ has recently received a round of investments that will assist with its growth.


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The BSP program is open to incorporated high-growth businesses that have been operating in Western Canada for a minimum of 2 years. Preference may be given to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with less than 500 full-time employees (FTEs).

Businesses must meet the following mandatory criteria:

Note that preference will be given to proposals with a demonstrated focus on:

Eligible costs

Up to 50% of eligible project costs:

Incremental costs essential to the project. For example:

Ineligible costs

Costs deemed unreasonable, non-incremental and/or not directly related to project activities, for example:

Donations, dues and membership fees are ineligible.

Expected results

WD is looking to support projects that have a viable plan to produce strong economic outcomes.

Applicants must quantify, substantiate and later report on the following expected results:

WD is working to improve the economic participation of Indigenous persons, women and youth.

Applicants are encouraged to report on efforts to support inclusiveness. Refer to the Government of Canada’s Inclusive Innovation Agenda

When to submit an expression of interest

WD’s latest intake closed on April 14, 2021 at 2:00 pm (MDT). The next intake period will be announced at a later date.

Within 30 calendar days of the close of the intake, WD will invite selected companies to submit a full application for funding consideration. If you have not been contacted, your project will not be considered further.

WD will accept only one expression of interest (EOI) per business for each intake. In addition, businesses will be limited to one successful application per year. EOIs that have not been invited to submit an application, will not be automatically considered in subsequent intakes. Re-submission of your EOI in a future intake will be required.

How to submit an expression of interest

  1. Go through the BSP EOI help guide before submitting. We strongly recommend that you download or bookmark the guide now for reference while completing the EOI form.
  2. Prepare the following documents to submit along with your EOI:
    • financial statements for the past 2 years, as well as interim financial statements for at least the last 6-month period
    • other supporting information (e.g. business plan, pitch deck) detailing your organization, how it meets the high-growth definition, and details about the proposed project
    • confirmation of other funding sources (e.g. bank statements, unused portion of lines of credit, official letters of intent, funding agreements, signed term sheets):
      • funding provided by applicant:
        • current bank statements detailing existing cash balances or the unused portion of lines of credit
      • funding provided by third-party sources:
        • official letters of confirmed/conditional funding
        • funding agreements
        • signed term sheets

Note that we will not accept the following as confirmed funding:

After submitting an expression of interest

Invitation to apply

Funding decisions

Note: EOI application volumes and completeness may impact timelines.

Assessment process

Applications will be evaluated on their ability to achieve the BSP objectives and on their relative strengths in the following areas:

Although WD may engage companies directly on outstanding questions or issues, applicants are advised to submit a complete and thorough application.

Not all applications undergoing a detailed assessment will receive an offer of funding.

A technical assessment may be conducted by National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) for projects using novel technology.

Sustainable Development Technologies Canada and Clean Growth Hub will be consulted on projects related to clean technology and clean resources.

Elements of a strong project

Funding disbursement

WD provides funding based on submitted claims.

WD will reimburse based on approved portion (i.e. 50%) of eligible project costs that have been incurred and paid.

Other funding considerations

Repayment terms


For additional BSP information, contact us directly at one of our regional offices by calling 1-888-338-9378.

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