If you're an entrepreneur operating a small business or thinking of getting started, there is a variety of incentives available from both the federal and Ontario provincial governments that can provide the financial assistance you need to get started. Assistance can come in the form of grants or loans and they can be earmarked for research and development, starting a new business, developing new technology, acquiring new equipment, improving energy efficiency, developing export markets and employee hiring subsidies to name a few. Most if not all of these programs will require a detailed business plan to support the funding application and common elements that governments are looking for in a plan is new job creation and more importantly, the type of new jobs one is proposing to create. Developing new technology, energy efficiency initiatives and exporting, to name a few, are also favourable activities common to successful applicants. It is often well worth the time and energy to explore financial and non-financial incentives available to small business as government sponsored programs often have greater flexibility than traditional lenders such as banks because government programs have objectives that go beyond pure financial ROI.