Community Opportunity Readiness Program (CORP) - Program Guidelines

Effective: April 1, 2014

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Objectives and results

The Community Opportunities Readiness Program (CORP) provides project-based funding for First Nation and Inuit Communities for a range of activities to support communities' pursuit of economic opportunities. Where First Nation and Inuit communities, or their representative organizations, identify opportunities and lack the financial resources to pursue them, the CORP will allow them to submit proposals to seek additional funding.

The CORP is expected to increase economic development by providing proposal based financial support to First Nation and Inuit Communities to assist in their pursuit of, and participation in, economic opportunities. Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) assesses proposals based on their immediate or future ability to attract private sector funding and on their community economic impacts, and supports projects that will leverage the most from other funding sources, including the private sector, and that will have the greatest impact on their community.

The expected results of the CORP align with the long-term objective of which is for First Nation and Inuit communities to implement economic and business development opportunities, while leveraging private sector funding and opportunities.

Eligible recipients

Eligible recipients are:

Any non-Indigenous organization or association seeking financial assistance under the CORP will require approval from the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board (NAEBD) prior to ISC project approval.

Eligible projects

Eligible initiatives under the CORP include:

  1. Support to pursue economic opportunities
    • An economic opportunity is defined as an opportunity that has the reasonable potential of generating incremental community economic benefits (employment, training, creation or expansion or contracts to local businesses, government revenues, community infrastructure).
  2. Support for Community Economic Infrastructure development not related to a specific eligible business
    • Community Economic Infrastructure usually refers to a set of fixed structures with the following characteristics: long-term useful lives, whose creation involves a considerable development period, that have no short- to medium-term substitutes and support the activation of the community's economic assets (land, natural resources, human resources and capital) and the production of goods and services.
  3. Support for the establishment, acquisition or expansion of a community owned business where there is an equity gap
    • Equity gap funding provides financial support in response to proposals, for viable, community-owned businesses where there is an equity gap. Equity gap is the amount of money needed to finance a business after all other funding sources have contributed their maximum. An equity gap funding does not replace the requirement for business proponents to provide their own equity funding or to replace any other programs currently available; it completes a financing package where no other financing can be obtained. The financial support enables a business to obtain conventional debt financing to carry out a viable business plan for a business start-up, expansion or acquisition.
  4. Support for business planning, advisory services and training, commercial development and market development for a single community-owned business

Specific considerations for business development proposals

For CORP proposals seeking financial support for planning or advisory services (soft costs) for a community-owned business, such as business plans, feasibility studies, engineering or architectural designs, marketing or product development strategies, legal costs, and environmental costs. The applicant should submit their CORP proposal to ISC. However, since Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFI) have the authority to receive and fund community proposals up to $250,000, the applicant community has the flexibility to submit their application to an AFI. In either case, the ISC regional office should be made aware of all community business development proposals, especially those that will lead to an application for the capitalization of a community business, and for which a proposal seeking more than $250,000 will ultimately be submitted to an ISC regional office.

For capital costs related to the start-up, acquisition or expansion or a community business, if the amount of financial support requested is greater than $250,000, First Nation and Inuit communities are expected to submit their proposal to their ISC regional office. If the amount requested is below $250,000, communities will be required to submit their applications to the AFI serving their respective territory. For a list of AFIs, please refer to the list below.

CORP summary table

Eligible projects Where to apply Maximum funding ($) Maximum funding (%) Examples (not limited to)
Economic opportunities CORP $3,000,000 80%
  • Feasibility studies and business plans (not specific to a single business)
  • Economic Impact Assessments
  • Pre-negotiation planning
  • Development and implementation of negotiation partnerships
  • Identification of opportunities
  • Development of promotional strategies (including community consensus)
  • Activities and products to promote First Nation participation in economy
  • Removal of economic barriers
Community Economic Infrastructure CORP $3,000,000 66.67%
  • Water supply and treatment systems
  • Sewer and waste collection or disposal systems
  • Electrical and energy systems
  • Fuel storage and distribution systems
  • Community roads and sidewalks
  • Curbs, culverts, ditches and signs
  • Ferry transportation, marinas, buses, boats and floats
  • Airstrips and wharves or docks
Equity gap > 250k, CORP
< 250k, AFI
$1,000,000 30% (acquisitions expansions)
40% (start-ups)
  • Costs related to the establishment, acquisition or expansion of a community-owned business
Business planning and advisory services CORP / AFI $250,000 80%
  • Feasibility studies and business plans for a specific business
  • Business advisory services including, but not limited to:
    • Legal and accounting
    • Licenses, permits, regulations and registrations
    • Export or import
    • Patents, copyrights and trademarks
    • Mentoring and networking
    • Training initiatives
  • Commercial development
  • Marketing development

Eligible expenditures

Eligible expenditures in relation to eligible projects include:

  1. project specific salaries, wages, and benefits;
  2. travel
  3. overhead, including but not limited to: rent, utilities, supplies, minor repairs and maintenance, accounting and audit services and insurance
  4. minor machinery and equipment
  5. communications, including but not limited to: development of content, translation, dissemination, advertising and signage
  6. professional, consulting, advisory, and other services, including fees, transportation, meals, accommodations, allowances and report production
  7. land surveys and appraisals
  8. feasibility studies, marketing, advertising and promotion
  9. costs related to economic infrastructure including but not limited to: planning, design, identification, capitalization and acquisition of rights and rights-of-way
  10. capital costs relating to the establishment, acquisition, expansion, or modernization of a First Nation and Inuit business

Ineligible expenditures include:

Application requirements

Application requirements include, but are not limited to the following project information:

The application must be complete and in detail in keeping with the level of funding being sought. Applicants may submit a brief Statement of Intent prior to submitting a full application. After reviewing the Statement of Intent, ISC will indicate whether the project meets program criteria, and will advise the applicant on the development of the full application.

Project assessment criteria

Project assessments will be based on the following criteria:

Project approval criteria

Project approvals will be based on the following criteria:

Funding levels

Assistance will be commensurate with assessment of the risk involved, the resources of the recipient, and the benefit to the First Nation and Inuit community. Assistance will generally be determined on the basis that the amount and level of funding are the minimum required to ensure that the project can proceed. Assistance will be provided only to those initiatives that, in the opinion of the minister, would not otherwise proceed in the proposed location, proposed scope, or proposed time without such assistance.

ISC will determine funding levels for approved eligible projects using the following criteria:

Funding limits are per project, not per recipient. The stacking limit maximum level of funding to a recipient from all sources (including federal, provincial, territorial, or municipal) for any one activity, initiative, or project is 100% of eligible costs.

Reporting requirements

Recipients will be requested to submit data, schedules, plans, and reports in sufficient detail to enable ISC to:

A monitoring plan will be developed for each project. The purpose of the monitoring plan will be to provide periodic information regarding the progress of the initiative against the milestones proposed in the application and to identify unanticipated risks or impediments to achieving intended results. The proposed level of monitoring will correspond to the level of risk associated with the project.

Reporting requirements will be determined by ISC for each project or initiative. Progress and financial reports will be required at a minimum on an annual basis by recipients. Recipients will also be required to submit a final report at the conclusion of a project, in accordance with the terms of the funding arrangements.


Community Opportunity Readiness Program (CORP)


Maritime Centre, 1505 Barrington Street
16th Floor, Suite 1600
Halifax NS B3J 3K5
Telephone: (902) 426-0663


320 St-Joseph St East, Room 400
Place Jacques Cartier Complex
Quebec QC G1K 9J2
Telephone: 1-800-263-5592 option 6


655 Bay Street, Suite 700
Toronto ON M5G 2K4
Telephone: (647) 920-9516


365 Hargrave Street, Suite 200
Winnipeg, MB R3B 3A3
Telephone: (204) 250-1801


1827 Albert Avenue
Regina SK S4P 2S9
Telephone: (306) 502-3964


630 Canada Place
9700 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5J 4G2
Telephone: (780) 495-2787

British Columbia

1138 Melville St, Suite 600
Vancouver, BC V6E 4S3
Telephone: (604) 562-6865

Northern British Columbia

300 Main Street, Room 415C
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2B5
Telephone: (867) 667-3391

Aboriginal Financial Institutions


Ulnooweg Development Group Inc.
835 Willow Street
P.O. Box 1259
Truro NS B2N 5N2
Telephone: (902) 893-7379
Fax: (902) 893-0353
Web: Ulnooweg Development Group Inc.


Tewatohnhi'saktha Business Loan Fund Ltd.
P.O. Box 1110
Kahnawake QC J0L 1B0
Telephone: (450) 638-4280
Fax: (450) 638-3276

Corporation de développement économique montagnaise (CDEM)
Suite 110
1005 Laure Blvd.
Sept-Îles QC G4R 4S6
Toll-free: 1 800-463-2216
Telephone: (418) 968-1246
Fax: (418) 962-2449

Société de crédit commercial autochtone (SOCCA)
2936, Faune Street
Suite 200
Wendake QC G0A 4V0
Telephone: (418) 842-0972
Fax: (418) 842-8925
Web: Société de crédit commercial autochtone (SOCCA)


Waubetek Business Development Corporation
General Delivery
Whitefish River Community Centre
Birch Island ON P0P 1A0
Telephone: (705) 285-4275
Fax: (705) 285-4584
Web: Waubetek Business Development Corporation

Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF)
106 Centennial Square, 2nd Floor
Thunder Bay ON P7E 1H3
Telephone: (807) 623-5397
Fax: (807) 622-8271
Web: Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF)


Louis Riel Capital Corporation (LRCC)
Floor 3, suite 340
150 Henry Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3B 0J7
Telephone: (204) 589-0772
Fax: (204) 589-0791
Web: Louis Riel Capital Corporation (LRCC)

First Peoples Economic Growth Fund (FPEGF)
315 – 260 St. Mary Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0M6
Telephone: (204) 942-6026
Toll free: 1-888-942-6026
Fax: (204) 942-6441


Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation Inc. (SIEF)
202A Joseph Okemasis Drive
Saskatoon, SK S7N 1B1
Telephone: (306) 955-8570
Fax: (306) 373-1969
Web: Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation Inc. (SIEF)

SaskMétis Economic Development Corporation (SMEDCO)
237 Robin Crescent
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan  S7L 6M8
Telephone: (306) 477-4350
Fax: (306) 373-2512
Web: SaskMétis Economic Development Corporation (SMEDCO)


Apeetogosan (Metis) Development Inc. (AMDI)
Suite 302
12308 111 Avenue NW
Edmonton AB T5M 2N4
Toll-free: 1 800-252-7963
Telephone: (780) 452-7951
Fax: (780) 454-5997
Web: Apeetogosan (Metis) Development Inc. (AMDI)

British Columbia

Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation (NEDC)
7563 Pacific Rim Highway
Port Alberni BC V9Y 7M2
Telephone: (250) 724-3131
Fax: (250) 724-9967
Web: Nuu-chah-nulth Economic Development Corporation (NEDC)

Tale'awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation (TACC)
Suite 508, 100 Park Royal South
West Vancouver, BC V7T 1A2
Toll Free: 1-800-779-7199
Telephone: (604) 926-5626
Fax: (604) 926-5627
Web: Tale'awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation (TACC)

All Nations Development Corporation
520 Chief Eli LaRue Way
Kamloops, BC V2H 1H1
Telephone: (250) 828-9770
Fax: (250) 372-2585
Web: All Nations Development Corporation

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