Saturday, October 05, 2013

Accessing Government Funds for the Aerospace & Space Industry

Bernadeen McLeod. Photo c/o Mentor Works. 

An expert in Canadian small business grants and loans wants to assist aerospace firms to access new funding opportunities.

According to Bernadeen McLeod, the owner and CEO of Mentor Works, an Ontario based business consultancy, the real secret to both government and private funding is that "funding is best developed by forward thinkers as part of the initial business development process."

McLeod spoke at the Ontario Aerospace Business Opportunities and Government Funding Forum, which was held in Toronto, Ontario on October 2nd. The event was sponsored by the Ontario Aerospace Council (OAC).

In an interview after the event, McLeod explained that recent federal and provincial commitments to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research and development (R&D) activities have led to the development of a range of provincial and federal funding programs focused around jobs and revenue growth, which can be accessed by aerospace firms.

These programs are often "stackable," in that federal and provincial programs can be added together and focused around four core areas relating to business expansion, capital equipment, R&D, HR hiring and training.

"The HR hiring programs are smart ways to reconsider how you continually secure top young graduate talent under 31 years old into your firm. The funding is typically a $20k non-repayable contribution for new graduates," according to McLeod.

The programs are also designed to fund R&D activities even if the manufacturing operations end up being eventually located elsewhere. This makes them especially useful in the aerospace industry where, as outlined in the September 16th, 2013 post "Government Should Support Small Aero & Space Firms," Canadian players typically outsource their manufacturing to lower cost international markets.
An example of how aerospace firms outsource aircraft manufacturing to a variety of international subcontractors. Graphic from the July 29th, 2011 Wall Street Journal article "the New LearJet: Now Mexican Made."

Well known as a business coach, McLeod was even listed in the March 7th, 2013 post on the Smart Business Trends website as being one of the "9 Business-people, Influencers and Extremely Successful People to Follow on Twitter," along side other luminaries such as Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson.

For those interested in learning more, the next Mentor Works workshop is on November 5th.

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