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Frequently asked questions
Question marled by an asterisc (*) were added after the webinar held on October 31.
Can a proponent submit more than one application to the IRP 2022-2023?
Only organizations that have received funding of $20,000 or less can apply for a second time for the IRP. However, the new application must be for a brand-new project
I am an organization that has received IRP funding in 2019-2020. Can I re-apply for new funding?
Yes, however, the new application must be for a brand-new project created by the organization, not for the project that was originally funded in the first phase of the IRP.
I have already accessed loans in the past and have received or currently receive recurring grants. Am I still eligible for the IRP?
Yes, the IRP can fund any project which, in the end, will allow the organization to access other investments, whether it’s the organization’s first time or whether they have done it before.
*Does the organization’s eventual investment after the IRP is completed have to be in the form of a loan?
Yes, the objective of the program is to make organizations ready to access loans from the Canada Social Finance Fund or other forms of loans. The program does not fund business development activities such as preparing for fundraising or the issuing of bonds.
I am a well-established organization. I however have a new project in mind. Am I eligible for the IRP?
Yes, whether starting up or well-established, an organization is eligible as long as the project allows them to become investment ready.
* Is a community organization with less than 40% of revenue from market activities admissible for the program?
Yes, as long as it is in an entrepreneurial process and the project submitted demonstrates that it prepares the organization to access loans. The Chantier de does not impose a minimum percentage of revenue generated by the market activities to be eligible. In the framework of the IRP, it is the entrepreneurial approach that is decisive as well as the demonstration that the project prepares the organization to access investments.
*In the case of a for-profit company with a social or environmental mission, it must be demonstrated that at least sixty percent (60%) of net profits are directed to the social or environmental purpose of the company. How can this profit distribution be demonstrated?
This is demonstrated in financial statements and financial projections as well as in an internal policy or formal resolution that frames and limits profit distribution. No more than 40% of net profits can be distributed to shareholders. The proposal must demonstrate that profits are reinvested in the business and not simply directed to a social or environmental cause as a charitable donation.
Does the investment readiness project have to have a notion of social innovation or is the business itself, by its form and sector of activity, eligible on its own?
One of the many criteria for analyzing projects is the demonstration of an innovative business model that addresses an unmet need or a new market. The project submitted to the IRP must be in line with the organization’s (social) mission and must demonstrate that, in the long term, it will enable the organization to be better positioned to seek other investments (regardless of their source and nature) and, therefore, will allow it to increase its social mission.
If our project is promising, but we cannot determine a viable business model, can we be funded to actually design and think about the business model? Do we have to pay back the money if we don’t end up with a viable business model?
Yes, the IRP is the right tool to fund this type of process. The IRP finances the intermediate steps (R & D, canvassing, etc.) that will ideally lead to a solid project that is attractive to other investors. However, it is possible that in the end, you will find that the project funded by the IRP will not work out. This is an important step in a social innovation process. You have at least invalidated a hypothesis, which is a step forward. We will not be asking for reimbursement in this case.
Is the minimum budget $100,000 or can it be less?
The IRP finances 80% of the project up to a maximum of $100,000. Thus, the (monetary) value of your project does not matter. The IRP can cover up to 80% of the total amount, up to $100,000.
*Can the 20% of the financial package coming from other sources of funding be from other levels of governement?
Yes, the 20% cash contribution can come from other levels of government.
*How do you define in-kind contribution?
In-kind contributions are non-monetary goods or services that may be provided to the project by your organization or other sources. These other sources cannot claim reimbursement for these contributions. In-kind contributions may be in the form of equipment, services or huiman resources that are necessary to carry out the project and would otherwise have to be purchased and paid for.
Are expenses for engineering and architectural services, for example, to produce building plans an eligible expense under the IRP?
Yes, they are an eligible expense in the «Professional services» category. Please note that you must include the service offers for each professional service funded under the IRP with the rest of the mandatory documents when applying.
Are the expenses for carrying out structural solidification work prior to the project accepted?
We consider that these expenses are related to the development of your project itself (not the readiness phase) and therefore are excluded from the IRP. We can however cover expenses that have a direct positive impact on your investment readiness.
Are the expenses related to paying staff for the development and implementation of our cash and inventory management system (SMS system) eligible?
The only eligible human resources expenses are those for a project manager/coordinator for the activities for which you are requesting funding from the IRP. The IRP doesn’t cover current staff costs or unrelated to investment readiness.
Can we modify/improve our funding application during the analysis phase or is it firm and final as soon as it is sent?
We need all the required documents as well as the completed form to process your application. Once sent, you cannot change the answers provided in your form. However, if we receive your file and a document is missing or have questions regarding the eligibility of certain expenses, we will contact you and upon our request, you can provide an amendment to your application, if needed. Once your application is complete, it goes on to the analysis phase. The analyst will contact you to discuss certain aspects of your project in order to inform their analysis, so there will be an opportunity at that moment to communicate any new or additional information, if necessary.
The end of the program is March 31, 2024. Can we submit a project until that date?
No. We are awarding funds on a rolling basis until they are exhausted. We believe we will be able to process all projects received before February 9, 2023. Projects submitted after that date will be placed on a waiting list. Funded projects must be completed by February 15, 2024.
How log after applying can we expect an answer on whether we will be funded or not?
You will get an answer, whether it be positive or negative, within four months of submitting your application. Please note however that the four months begin as soon as we have a complete file (duly filled form and all mandatory documents attached).
Is it possible to pay staff retroactively if the funding arrives after their work has begun?
You can start allocating expenses to the IRP from the project start date indicated in the funding agreement signed between your organization and the Chantier (and not from the application date).
Does the project have to be at a certain stage of completion in order to receive the final payment from the Chantier?
In order to receive the final payment, you must submit a final report and a financial report. The report templates and questions to answer will be provided to you in due course.
When can I start claiming eligible expenses under the IRP
The IRP covers project expenses from the project start date indicated in the signed agreement (not the project submission date).
Does anyone from the IRP team stay in contact with us to follow up on our project?
As soon as the agreement is signed, you will be in the hands of our administrative assistant for payments and reporting. The rest of the IRP team remains available, if need be, through the usual telephone number and e-mail address.