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Entrepreneur Support

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This program provides funding to entrepreneurs and small businesses to help with start-up, business expansion, market and product development, capacity building, operational support, and film support.

Funding Available

Under the Entrepreneur Support program, up to $25,000 in support can be provided in five categories:

  • Startup Funding
    • Assistance may be provided for costs associated with planning, engineering, start-up working capital or other developmental costs deemed to fall within this category by the Regional Superintendent.
  • Capital Asset Acquisition
    • In Level 2 Communities only, capital assistance may be provided to:
      • assist with the purchase of capital items,  
      • help provide Equity necessary to leverage loan financing, or
      • help take advantage of a business opportunity. 
    • Assistance provided must:
      • support the continuation of a business where lack of new investment would result in job losses,
      • directly create employment, or
      • improve the efficiency or Capacity of a business in order to stay competitive or access new markets.
  • Market and Product Development
    • Assistance may be provided:
      • for new market or product development designed to increase sales of NWT products,
      • to promote the NWT as a travel destination, or
      • to participate in trade shows (excluding attendance at conferences). 
    • Assistance may also be provided:for the marketing of existing tourism, arts and crafts, and renewable resource products through trade show participation, print advertising, internet marketing, or similar activities.
  • Operational Support
    • Assistance may be provided to
      • increase business skills and Capacity;
      • Identify and address problems faced by the business;
      • Develop a recovery or restructuring plan;
      • Provide emergency relief to effect business recovery; or
      • Assist with the cost of "winding down" a business which has a minimal net worth and cannot meet its financial obligations and which could hurt other businesses and employment opportunities if allowed to fail in a disorderly manner.
  • Support for Film
    • Assistance may be provided in the areas of Film Development, Marketing and Promotion, Film Sponsorship, and Special Partnerships. For more information on Support for Film, please visit the Support for Film webpage.

There are minimum Equity Requirements, these are determined by community:

  • Group 1 communities (Yellowknife, Hay River, Fort Smith, and Inuvik) – 30% of project costs
  • Group 2 communities (all other communities within NWT) – 20% of project costs


Funding is available from April 1 to March 31st annually.


NWT Businesses and entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply.

How to apply

It is strongly recommended that you contact your regional Economic Development Officer to discuss your idea prior to the development of your proposal.

Complete an application form and attach all required documents identified in the application checklist.

Submit the completed application form to your regional office.

PDF icon SEED Application Form767.32 KB
PDF icon SEED Brochure - Bilingual 4.2 MB
PDF icon SEED Policy228.17 KB