Hire an export manager and receive up to $80,000 in funding

Here’s a step-by-step guide for a successful application

The government is always looking at ways to encourage businesses to increase export sales and bring foreign dollars into the country. If your company exports, is looking to hire someone for export sales, and place the individual on your payroll, you may be entitled to receive up to $80,000 toward the new employee’s salary.

Funding available

Funding will cover 50% of eligible costs associated with hiring an experienced export manager who can develop an international business plan, implement the plan, and create strategies to access international export markets. The maximum grant amount is $80,000 over a two year period. In order to qualify, you must be hiring someone in Ontario.

Requirements for the export manager

In order for the export manager to qualify they must:

  • Have a minimum of five years of professional exporting experience in a management capacity 
  • Be hired for at least 24 consecutive months
  • Not be a current company employee
  • Not be employed by a subsidiary or parent company
  • Not be a family member
  • Requirements for the company

In order for your company to qualify for funding, it must meet the following requirements:

  • Employ between five and 500 employees.
  • Have between $3 million and $20 million in sales, with export sales 10% to 50% of annual sales.
  • Be a registered company in Ontario that has been in business for at least two years.
  • Be able to provide completed financial statements prepared by a Canadian accountant for the two most recent fiscal years. 
  • Maintain an insurance policy for commercial general liability to an inclusive limit of no less than $2 million per occurrence. This insurance policy must include products and completed operations, and contractual liability insurance.
  • Have not received money from other sources for the export sales manager.

International export business plan

Part of the export manager’s job must be to develop an international business plan that should include: 

  • An overview of the organization’s current business, including both products and/or services offered and past success in the domestic market.
  • An assessment of the organization’s capacity to expand internationally. This includes past exporting success and lessons learned, production capacity and utilization, product design and adaptability to foreign markets, proprietary technology, human resources, financial resources, and supply chain management.
  • A detailed assessment of the target market and potential market size for the company’s products and services:
  • Identification of target markets and your reasons for targeting these markets
  • Trends in the target markets with potential to impact market success
  • Political, economic, social and technological factors, in the target markets, which could impact the market development strategy
  • Competitive environment in the industry
  • The international market expansion plan SWOT analysis and identification of critical gaps to address:
  • Strategy to leverage the firm’s competitive advantages
  • Objectives, timeframes and milestones to meet the stated objectives
  • Specific market entry strategies and tactics (e.g. distribution agreements, licensing)

In determining eligibility based on export sales as a percentage of total annual sales, export sales to the US will not be considered if those sales result in the company moving above the 50% threshold.

How to apply for funding

Go to:  ontarioexporters.ca/home/

Review the eligibility criteria.

Review the application guidelines for detailed program information and conditions for participation.

Access the application form and terms of conditions.

Complete the application form and press submit, along with all the required supporting documentation. At the end of the form you can email yourself a copy.

To find out more:

Louie DiPalma, Director, SME Programs
programs@occ.ca • 647-243-3539


Bonny Koabel CPA, CGA is President of AKR Consulting Canada a Mississauga, ON firm specializing in Government Grants, Subsidies, Tax Credits, Refunds and Rebates since 2003.