ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The TBCF provides non-repayable contributions to eligible Aboriginal clients and organizations interested in starting or expanding a business. Eligibility is based on the business model of each proposal, the applicant’s ability to provide cash equity and the ability to obtain additional financing for project implementation. Project promoters may apply for financial contributions to assist with business planning, business support, business start-up and acquisitions, business expansion, and marketing.
Working with clients and partners, we provide a range of services and support that is helping to promote the growth of a strong Aboriginal business sector in Canada. Our support varies depending upon the needs of the client, the availability, and sources of funding, the eligibility of costs, the economic benefits, and the reasonableness and timing of financial returns on investment.
• Help you determine whether your proposed project is eligible for TBCF assistance before you submit an application.
• Help you develop your business plan by providing you with advice as well as financial support.
• Help you access the lenders you will need for the commercial financing requirements of your business. This may include referring you to an Aboriginal Financial Institution.
• Provide financial assistance, most often in the form of a non-repayable contribution.
• Provide advice and financial assistance to facilitate business partnership.
• Provide financing towards eligible costs of management training and for business advisors, once your business is operating.
• Provide financial assistance for conferences and workshops.
Are you eligible?
Clients must be individuals of Canadian Aboriginal heritage – Status or Non-Status Indian (on or off-reserve), Métis or Inuit – or a majority-owned Aboriginal business.
To be eligible for support, you should also be involved full-time with the proposed business in a management capacity and must be able to provide some level of cash equity to support the project.
What kind of support can the Program provide you?
Many Aboriginal entrepreneurs and communities can qualify for business development support. Depending on the nature of your project, you may be able to obtain funding to assist with a wide range of activities, including:
• Business planning.
• Establishment (capital) costs.
• Business acquisitions.
• Business expansions.
• Marketing initiatives that are local, domestic, or export oriented.
• New product or process development.
• Adding technology to improve operations and competitiveness.
• Operating costs in association with capital costs.
• Financial services, business support, business-related training, and mentoring services.
How much funding is available?
Individual Aboriginal entrepreneurs may receive up to $99,999 in funding assistance. For community-owned businesses, this assistance can be up to $1 million. The level of support will depend on a number of factors that you will need to discuss with your TBCF Development Officer.
Requests for financial support are assessed on each project’s viability and merits. Factors include the scope of the project, the need for financing, and whether other sources of financing are available – including funds received from government departments and agencies. A successful application requires a balanced financial package, involving debt financing from other sources and a minimum level of your own cash equity.
The minimum level of equity for each project depends on the following factors:
• For youth applicants (over 18 and under 36), the minimum cash equity requirement is 10% of eligible capital costs.
• For applicants who are 36 years of age or older, the minimum cash equity requirement is 15% of eligible capital costs.
• For applicants applying as a legal entity, the minimum cash equity requirement is 15% of eligible capital costs.
The level of support for your business project depends on a number of factors, which your Development Officer will discuss with you. While there are ceilings for the average contribution offered, the actual investment from the TBCF will be limited to what is required to ensure your project proceeds and is viable. The following table illustrates typical contribution levels for various costs. These will depend upon need. Talk to your Development Officer about inventory and operating costs.
PROJECT COST TYPICAL CONTRIBUTION LEVEL
|PROJECT COST||TYPICAL CONTRIBUTION LEVEL|
|Developing business plans, marketing plans or feasibility studies||Up to 75%|
|Establishing a business or acquiring information technology||between 30% to 50%|
|Expanding/acquiring a profitable business or developing new products services or production processes||Between 30% to 50%|
|Implementing marketing initiatives||Up to 60%|
|Project-related management training||75%|
|Accounting and processional business advice after you start your business||75%|
PROJECT COST TYPICAL CONTRIBUTION LEVEL
The majority of TBCF contribution will be made to small and medium-sized businesses and are in the form of non-repayable contributions.
In the case of larger, community-based projects, other conditions will be taken into account in order to determine contribution levels and repayments.
HOW TO APPLY
Applying to TBCF for financial assistance for your business is a three-step process.
To be eligible:
• You must demonstrate Aboriginal heritage.
• Have a balanced financial package (including debt financing from other sources, as well as your own equity).
• Have a viable business opportunity and experience in your sector.
Contact the TBCF Development Officer Ron Murray. He will provide further clarifications on eligibility requirements and will be your ongoing contact person.
If you think you may be eligible for support, submit a completed application form. You can also download a copy from our website, or you can request a form from our office.
The Development Officer will review your application and present it to a screening committee. If you are eligible for support, you will then be asked to submit a business plan to determine the viability of your business venture.
The time needed to approve your application for support will depend on the complexity of your project. The Development Officer will discuss the timelines when you apply.
HOW TO CONTACT US
Your inquiry will be directed to your Development Officer who is your ongoing point of contact with TBCF. This person is responsible for assisting you through each phase of the financial support process. The Development Officer can provide you information on:
• Your eligibility and that of your business venture to receive financial support.
• What personal financial resources you will need before you are eligible to receive support.
• What kind of business experience we expect you to have.
• Other funding and information sources including individuals, groups, and organizations that may assist you in planning and implementing your business venture.
• How to apply for financial support.
When you first contact us about your business idea, you are beginning an ongoing working relationship. Be sure to give us your complete contact information so we can reach you. Once you initiate an inquiry to the TBCF, the Development Officer will contact you.
Remember, you should not proceed with any purchases for your project prior to receiving your TBCF approval. Any costs for which you have made a legal or monetary commitment prior to project approval will not be eligible for support.
HOW TO SUBMIT A BUSINESS PROPOSAL
The Business Proposal is a short outline of your proposed business venture. This form provides your Development Officer with the necessary information to assess your basic eligibility for financial support under TBCF guidelines. You can use the Business Proposal Application Form (French|English). If you need assistance completing the form, please contact the Development Officer.
Along with the Business Proposal, you must also provide your Development Officer with the following information about each of the principal owners of the company:
• Evidence of Aboriginal ancestry.
• Evidence of sufficient personal financial cash resources to undertake the project you are proposing – 10% for youth applicants or 15% for applicants 36 years or older.
• A résumé that highlights experience, training, and/or education related to your business activity.
• A copy of recent financial statements (up to three years, if available) for existing businesses.
• A commitment that you will have substantial involvement with the proposed business in a management capacity.
When you submit a completed Business Proposal form your Development Officer will review it. He may ask you to provide additional information, or may request clarification of the information you submitted.
Once your Development Officer has received all of your information and clearly understands your plans, he will present your business proposal form to a screening committee. This process helps to ensure that all projects are handled consistently on a project-by-project basis.
Eligibility is evaluated using the following considerations.
Note: A credit history verification will be completed at this stage to determine your ability to access other forms of financing.
A number of other policies and guidelines pertaining to specific situations may have an impact on a project’s eligibility for support. Ask your Development Officer about these policies and guidelines. After your proposal has been reviewed by the screening committee, your Development Officer will contact you.
HOW TO SUBMIT A BUSINESS PLAN
Once you and your application have been deemed eligible for TBCF financial support, your Development Officer will request a complete business and/or marketing plan. You may complete the plan yourself, or you may request assistance from an arm’s length third party consultant. If you do work with a consultant, you should nonetheless be actively involved in the preparation of your plan.
If you complete the plan yourself…
There are a number of resources you can use to complete your business plan. Your Development Officer will be able to direct you to these resources and guide you through the process.
1. Management plan: How do you plan to manage your business?
2. Market assessment/marketing plan: What products and services do you intend to sell? To whom? How do you plan to price your products or services? How do you plan to promote your business? What methods will you use to distribute your products and services?
3. Operational plan: How do you plan to operate your business on a day-to-day basis, including purchasing, working with suppliers, manufacturing processes, human resources requirements, and meeting federal, and provincial or territorial government regulations?
4. Financing plan: What is this proposed business project going to cost? How do you intend to finance it?
5. Financial projections: You must submit financial projects for your business, for up to three years, if possible. These usually contain a monthly cash flow projection, projected income statements, projected balance sheets and projected sources and uses of funds statements. Include any assumptions made with respect to your financial projection.
Please contact your Development Officer to ensure that your business plan contains all the necessary information to provide us with a full understanding of your business opportunity.
If your plan is already completed, please contact your Development Officer to ensure that your business plan contains all the necessary information to provide us with a full understanding of your proposed business endeavor.
If you request a consultant to assist in preparing your business plan…
If you need help from a consultant, your Development Officer can provide guidance on what to look for in a third-party consultant and what is required from them. TBCF may provide assistance for costs associated with the contracting of consultant services to develop a business plan.
Consultants must be at arm’s length. in fact, we may request that you obtain multiple quotes for consulting proposals in order to ensure competitive prices and allow a comparison of consulting approaches.
Although we will evaluate the ability of the consultant to undertake the work and will make an assessment of the overall project budget, you must decide on which consultant you will be able to work with most effectively. It is essential that you choose a consultant that will best suit your needs.
Please allow yourself sufficient time for the preparation of your business plan. this document is vital to the success of your application and that of your business venture. In our experience, preparing a business plan can take weeks, even months, depending on the complexity of your project.
A work plan detailing the work to be completed and the timeframe in which it will be completed.
• A description of the methodology to be used in completing the work.
• A detailed budget that identifies the number of days required to complete the project,the per diem rates to be charged, as well as any out-of-pocket expenses for travel or administration.
• A detailed list of the direct, related experience of the company hired to prepare the plan.
• Résumés demonstrating the capability or expertise of the individuals on the project team who will be completing the work.
Although we will evaluate the ability of the consultant to undertake the work and will make an assessment of the overall project budget, you must decide which consultant you will be able to work with most effectively. It is essential that you choose a consultant that will best suit your needs.
Please allow yourself sufficient time for the preparation of your business plan. This document is vital to the success of your application and that of your business venture. In our experience, preparing a business plan can take weeks, even months, depending on the complexity of your project
Once your business plan is submitted, your Development Officer will complete a thorough analysis of the plan in order to determine the levels of assistance that TBCF could potentially provide toward the project implementation costs. The length of time this process may take will vary and is dependent on different factors such as the relevance of the information provided, whether consultations with your Project Officer are required, ability to obtain financing, etc.