Community Economic Development and Diversification (CEDD) in the Prairie provinces

Are you a not-for-profit tasked with sustaining and growing your local economy? Are you all about building a stronger and inclusive Canada? Do you need more resources to enhance community capacity and economic resiliency?

Through the Community Economic Development and Diversification (CEDD) program, PrairiesCan makes targeted investments that aim to generate sustainable, inclusive economic growth and help communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to fully participate in and benefit from economic opportunities.

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CEDD program objectives

The CEDD Program advances PrairiesCan’s strategic priorities and supports economic development initiatives that help communities across the Prairies grow and diversify. Through this program, PrairiesCan enables communities to leverage their capacity and strengths to:

  • sustain and grow their economies
  • respond to economic development opportunities
  • adjust to changing and challenging economic circumstances
  • build inclusive economies that support:
    • Indigenous peoples
    • women
    • youth
    • entrepreneurs with disabilities
    • official language minority communities (OLMC)
    • other underrepresented groups

Eligible activities

Eligible project activities help develop and diversify the Canadian Prairies economy. The economic and/or employment benefits resulting from these activities should accrue primarily within the Prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba).

Examples of eligible activities include:

  • Community Development – includes activities to stimulate economic growth or diversification that capitalize on community capacity, strengths and opportunities.
  • Community Adjustment – includes activities to support Prairie communities facing economic shocks, challenging economic circumstances and/or depressed economic conditions.
  • Inclusiveness - includes activities that help women, youth, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, official language minority communities and other underrepresented groups participate in the economy

Get inspired by reading some of our success stories!

Eligible applicants

Eligible applicants are organizations that support community economic development and/or diversification projects in Alberta, Saskatchewan and/or Manitoba. They may include:

  • incorporated not-for-profit entities (e.g. industry associations, economic development organizations, cultural organizations, and societies)
  • post-secondary institutions
  • First Nations, as led by Chief and Council, Tribal Councils, and Treaty Organizations.
  • Métis Settlements
  • provincial/municipal crown corporation/organization/ministry or any other provincial government entity (provided that the funding goes fully into the project, and not into the entity’s capital or ongoing operations)

All eligible applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements.

Expected outcomes

The CEDD program is expected to result in stronger and more diversified economies in communities across the Prairies. On a project-by-project basis, examples of the outcomes that should include, but are not limited to:

  • number of businesses created, maintained or expanded
  • number of jobs created or maintained
  • number of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) assisted
  • number of people trained
  • number of contributing partners engaged in advancing community-based projects
  • number of businesses served
  • number and type of community-based projects funded
  • value and type of community-based projects
  • number of participants trained
  • number of clients receiving business services
  • value of expenditures in research & development ($)
  • business sales growth resulting from commercialization or adoption ($)


The CEDD program generally provides non-repayable contributions by reimbursing costs that successful applicants have paid.

However, projects that are commercial in nature, such as those that directly enhance or develop products or services sold in the marketplace (in other words, generate revenue), are eligible only for repayable contributions. Repayable contributions are normally repaid at 0% interest over 5 years in monthly installments beginning 1 year after the project end date.

PrairiesCan considers all other sources of funding available to the applicant. We give preference to projects that leverage funding from all levels of governments, the private sector and other non-government sources (non-PrairiesCan funding typically should represent at least 50% of total project costs).

Financial assistance from government programs may have tax implications for an organization. Be advised that it might be treated differently than grants and loans from other sources. We recommend that applicants get advice from a qualified tax professional.

Eligible costs

Supported costs must be reasonable and necessary for project implementation. They must also be incremental meaning that they are beyond the normal operating boundaries of an organization and are directly attributable to implementing the project. Examples of eligible costs we can support include:

  • operations, maintenance
  • personnel: salary and benefits
  • equipment purchase and lease
  • information management and information technology acquisitions
  • legal, administrative, accounting, licensing, permits and consulting fees
  • rents, leases and leasehold improvements
  • acquisitions of proprietary processes
  • interest charges, insurance, fees and taxes
  • supplies and transportation
  • capital improvements related to projects

Ineligible costs

Generally, refinancing of existing debt, costs of amortization, land and building acquisition, contingencies and goodwill are not eligible costs.

Costs incurred prior to the proposed project funding start date are ineligible. Costs incurred prior to submitting an expression of interest (see below) also cannot be covered.

Project costs incurred without a signed funding agreement with PrairiesCan, are at the sole risk of the applicant.

The application process

The CEDD program uses a 2-stage continuous intake approach to which you may apply at any time:

  1. Expression of interest (EOI): This abbreviated on-line application form lets you describe the proposed project purpose, rationale, eligibility, activities and budget. We use it to determine if your project should advance to a full application.
  2. Full application: If your project advances to the second stage, we invite you to provide more details about their project through our online portal. This may include financial statements, confirmation of other sources of funding and other project information

We encourage you to contact Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) prior to submitting an EOI. A PrairiesCan officer would be happy to answer your questions and help in any way needed.

Please refer to the EOI help guide for instructions on how to complete the expression of interest form, and, if your project advances to the second stage, refer to the applicant guide for instructions on how to complete the full application form on our online portal.

Application review

There is no deadline to submit an EOI. If we invite you to complete a full application, a PrairiesCan officer will be available to work with you and respond to any questions you may have on completing it.

Completed applications undergo a due diligence process where we further assess them against the following criteria:

  • alignment to program objectives
  • strong project rationale (in other words, the project addresses a clear and significant need and/or market gap and there is a demonstrated demand for the project)
  • measurable economic results for the Canadian Prairies (in other words. jobs created or maintained)
  • effective governance measures and management team to carry out the project
  • financial statements showing how the organization/project will be financially self-sustaining
  • confirmed funding from the applicant and other partners, including provincial governments, the private sector and other non-government sources

Within 30 days of the EOI submission, PrairiesCan will invite selected applicants to submit a full application for funding consideration. If you have not been contacted, your project will not be considered further.

However, should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any of our offices by email, telephone, fax or mail (contact information below).

Contact Us

For additional CEDD information, contact us directly at one of our local offices or by calling 1-888-338-9378.

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