Financing Your Business in Nunavut

Entrepreneurs who are looking to open a business in Nunavut often require external funding in the form of loans or grants. While there are a few financial institutions in the regional centers, community organizations and the local government also offer support to startup businesses.

Government Programs

The Small Business Support Program individuals, organizations, and enterprises and includes three funds, the Sustainable Livelihood, Entrepreneur Development, and Small Business Opportunity Fund. The Sustainable Livelihood Fund offers support to address bookkeeping and legal issues, cover tourism operators’ liability insurance, and finance activities in the harvesting, arts and crafts, and tourism sectors. The Entrepreneur Development Fund offers support for training, including risk management, tourism safety, bookkeeping, and accounting. The Small Business Opportunities Fund supports wind-down, business expansions, start-ups, and pilot projects and offers assistance with marketing and business plans.

The Community Tourism & Cultural Industries Program offers financing to a wide category of individuals and groups, including municipalities, artist cooperatives and studios, artists, societies, and trappers and hunters organizations. Eligible applicants also include artist organizations, tourist establishments, and outfitters.

Private Lenders

Smart Borrowing has detailed list of private lenders that you can contact. Visit: or visit Refresh and Home Trust

Nunavut Business Credit Corporation

Funding of up to $1,000,000 is available to non-Inuit and Inuit businesses and residents, including food producers, artists, retail outlets, outfitters, and hotels and airlines. The types of financing that applicants can choose from are irrevocable standby letter of credit, interim construction financing line of credit, and term loan. Other credit facilities for businesses include indemnify bonds available through bonding companies, provide bonds, and guarantee loans. To apply for financing, borrowers are asked to provide documents such as shareholders register, certificate of incumbency, articles of incorporation, and certificate of compliance. They also need to provide information about key professionals such as their legal counsel, insurance brokerage, and accounting or bookkeeping firm. Additionally, applicants present a business plan that includes their budget, pro-forma financial statements, and resumes of key management and owners. Finally, all applicants are required to submit an environmental checklist with details such as construction date of buildings, property historical use, environmental assessments, and planned use of property (undeveloped, recreational, residential, industrial, etc.)

Nunavut Development Corporation

The corporation offers investment capital to operations based on demonstrated income-generation and job creation potential, commercial viability, and co-investment. Businesses are asked to fill in an equity financing application form and due diligence checklist, including history of the company and important events such as dispositions, acquisitions, mergers, and startups. Other details to identify are strategic priorities, value statements and corporate mission, and any subsidiaries, divisions, and shareholders.

Inuit Funding Organizations

The main Inuit organizations are Kivalliq Partners in Development, the Kakivak Association, and the Atuqtuarvik Corporation. Kivalliq Partners in Development offers financing in the form of grants for business relief, expansion, startup, and pre-startup. Funding up to $125,000 is available to Kivalliq businesses. The Kakivak Association offers grants and loans to businesses across sectors, including secured term loans and grants for expansion and startup and pre-startup. Small tool grants are also available to assist businesses with purchasing sewing machines and carving tools. The Atuqtuarvik Corporation offers equity investments and loans to Inuit-based businesses, including partnerships and sole proprietorships. Applicants are asked to present a business plan with details such as skills, training, and personal assessment, management, operating requirements, and project funding and costs. Other requirements to meet are to obtain a certificate of compliance, business number, and a license from the local community office. The latter is required for businesses in communities with a city, town, village, and hamlet status.