What are the Canada Digital Adoption Program eligibility requirements?

COVID-19 changed the world. As mandatory quarantines were put in place, businesses had to change how they attract, convert, and retain customers. But that turned out to be easier said than done. The mandatory lockdowns were replaced by the Great Resignation, a lagging economy, and confusion about technology and digital marketing best practices.

But Canada has responded to the challenge by providing $4 billion in federal grants to help small and medium-sized businesses strengthen their online presence and fully leverage the use of digital tools for business.

So, how does the program work and how can you verify your Canada Digital Adoption Program eligibility?

Canada Digital Adoption Program Eligibility - two people looking at a laptop

What is the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)?

The Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) is a government-funded grant to help small and medium-sized businesses access the tools and advice they need to grow their business online. You’ll work with a certified digital advisor who will assess your business needs and develop a digital adoption plan to effectively utilize technology and digital marketing to grow your business.

Why is the Canadian government funding the grant?

As COVID-19 demonstrated, businesses need to have an online presence to continue generating revenue during any kind of business continuity crisis or evolving changes to day-to-day business operations.

Additionally, the grant is intended to help Canadian businesses compete on a global level. With the proper guidance and Canada Digital Adoption Program eligibility, small and medium size businesses can level the playing field of digital marketing and stay relevant in an ever-changing global economy.

Canada Digital Adoption Program eligibility  requirements infographic

What are the Canada Digital Adoption Program eligibility requirements?

The first step in determining your Canada Digital Adoption Program eligibility is to see if your business meets the following criteria:

  • A for-profit, privately owned business.
  • Generated a minimum of $500,000 in annual sales in one of the last three tax years.
  • Employ 1-499 employees full-time.
  • Incorporated federally, provincially, or are a Canadian resident sole-proprietor.

Some businesses won’t qualify for the CDAP grant.  Businesses that are not eligible for the Canada Digital Adoption Program eligibility include:

  • Corporate chains, franchises, or charities.
  • Representatives of multi-level marketing companies.
  • Real Estate brokerages.
  • Non-profit organizations.

What can the grant be used for?

The grant is used to create a digital adoption plan that will act as a roadmap for your business to implement new processes/technologies, enhance your current digital activities, and ensure that your business is ready to compete in a digital marketplace.

Once the digital adoption plan has been created you may be eligible to access a 0% loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) or other funding to assist in implementing the recommended action steps.

We Make Stuff Happen Canada Digital Adoption Program poster

What is a Digital Advisor?

A Digital Advisor is a person or organization that has been approved by the CDAP program and meets the criteria to deliver digital advisory services to eligible Canadian businesses. Digital advisors are required to provide vendor-neutral advice in the provision of advisory services and digital adoption plans must meet the requirements identified in the CDAP digital adoption plan guide.

To access the grant, you must work with a registered CDAP digital advisor.

How do I find a Digital Advisor?

We Make Stuff Happen has been approved by the CDAP program and is a registered CDAP digital advisor. We can assist you in determining Canada digital adoption program eligibility, help you complete your grant application, and provide you with a comprehensive digital adoption plan. All you need to do is schedule a CDAP eligibility appointment to get started.

Hands writing on laptop upclose

What is a Digital Needs Assessment?

After your grant application has been approved, your digital advisor will meet with you, and your team members, to learn about your current digital marketing activities. We’ll look at how your business has evolved over the last few years and evaluate how digital marketing and technology can help your business remain competitive. A thorough, insightful digital needs assessment is the foundation of your digital adoption plan.

What is a Digital Adoption Plan?

Your digital adoption plan will include recommendations across your business operations to help you achieve specific goals and make transformative changes to your business to help it grow and thrive. The plan will be specific to your company and include the steps you need to take to make impactful changes to your digital business structure.

A digital adoption plan is vendor-neutral, meaning it will not include recommendations to work with a specific online tool or service. For example, you may be encouraged to utilize a CRM tool to increase sales, but your digital advisor will not recommend a specific tool or service. By remaining vendor neutral, you can be assured that the recommendations are solely based on what’s best for your business.

Infographic on how to apply for the Canadian Digital Adoption Plan grant

How can I apply for a CDAP grant?

The first step to applying for a CDAP grant is to schedule a 30-minute eligibility/application appointment with a registered digital advisor. Your digital advisor will confirm your eligibility and help you complete the online grant application. Once your application has been approved your digital advisor will proceed with the assessment phase of the process. Your digital advisor will guide you through every step of the process and will create your digital adoption plan.

Meet with a digital advisor to confirm your Canada Digital Adoption Program eligibility! 


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