Rules + Regulations

Make sure your business is eligible before you apply!


This page was written by our lawyers, so read it fully because it’s important. The Alberta Central Big Future Innovation Grant is open only to Alberta businesses that, at the time of entry, qualify as eligible for-profit small businesses (as defined in the small business criteria section). Applicants must be legal residents of Alberta who at the time of entry are independent owners/operators or authorized agents of an eligible for-profit small business and at least 18 years of age.

Applicants must be able to show proof of their existing business within their application through a corporation number or business license. Winners will need valid government issued ID and a credit union business account to receive the grant money, which will be deposited into the credit union business account. Limit of one application per business.

Small business criteria

To be considered an “eligible for-profit small business” for purposes of this grant, the business must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Based in Alberta;
  • Currently active, lawful, and have all necessary and required licenses and registrations;
  • In good standing with the requirements of applicable legislation as of the date of submission and must remain so through the end of the notification period;
  • Have no more than 99 employees on its payroll at the time of submission (sole proprietors are considered as an employee and part-time employees are included); and
  • In continuous operations for not less than one year as of October 1, 2022.

The following are excluded:

  • Business owner or an investor in the business is a previous or current employee of Alberta Central, any cooperatives under Alberta Central or any joint ventures of Alberta Central;
  • Business is in any way affiliated with a credit union as a vendor or supplier;
  • Business is a non-profit;
  • Primary purpose of the business is in competition with Alberta Central or any cooperatives under Alberta Central;
  • Business or business owner that has a criminal record or is listed on any Canadian or United Nations sanction list;
  • Business or business owner that is under bankruptcy protection or has judicial liens or attachments; and
  • Business or business owner that has previously won an Alberta Central Big Future Innovation Grant.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions, we have you covered!

What is the Alberta Central Big Future Innovation Grant?

The Big Future Innovation Grant offers an opportunity for two small business owners to each receive a $25,000 grant to support growth and encourage innovation. The grant is a program offered in partnership by Credit Unions of Alberta and Alberta Central, the central banking facility for credit unions in Alberta.

What is the amount of the grant?

We are awarding two grants of $25,000. Two Alberta small business owners will each receive $25,000 deposited into a business account at their local credit union.

Who is eligible to apply for the grant?

To be eligible, your business must be an Alberta-based, eligible for-profit small business in operation for a minimum of one year and have 99 or fewer employees. Applicants must be legal residents of Alberta and 18 years of age or older.

Businesses that are affiliated in any way with Alberta Central, or are non-profits, or whose primary purpose is in competition with Alberta Central, or are under bankruptcy protection or have judicial liens or attachments are not eligible to apply for this grant. Please refer to the Rules + Regulations for more details.

What can I use the grant for?

We are awarding the Big Future Innovation Grant to small businesses who have demonstrated innovation. The grant funds can be used in any way that furthers business innovation.

How do I apply?

Apply online at The application form opens October 25 and the deadline has been extended to November 21, 2022 or once 100 applications are received.


When is the deadline to apply?

The application deadline has been extended to November 21, 2022 at 11:59:59 p.m. MST or until 100 applications are received. We encourage you to submit your application early as the applications come in fast.

How will you choose the winners?

The first 100 applications will be reviewed by a panel. We’ll announce a shortlist of five finalists on November 28, 2022 and those applicants will be asked to complete a 15-20-minute presentation to the judging panel on December 9, 2022. The judges will then select two recipients who will each receive $25,000, deposited into a business account at their local credit union.

What information do I need to apply?

In addition to basic business information (name, email, website, social media handles and business license or corporation number), you must answer a series of questions related to your business. This includes a business profile, what solution you provide to the marketplace, your business goals, how you support your community, how your business demonstrates innovation and how you would use the finds to continue innovation.

You can also upload visuals to accompany your application. Please refer to the online application for more details.

How will I know that you’ve received my application?

After submitting online, you will receive a confirmation message that your submission has been received. If you do not see a confirmation message, email

Can I start my online application and finish at a later time?

No, you will need to complete and submit your application in one session. We suggest preparing your submission in a separate document before submitting the final version online.

How will I know if I am one of the five finalists?

We will notify five shortlisted applicants by November 28, 2022. The shortlisted applicants will then be asked to make a 15-20-minute presentation to the judging panel on December 9, 2022. Winners will be notified by December 12, 2022.

If I am awarded a grant, do I have to pay it back?

No, the grant does not need to be paid back.

Is the grant taxable?

Yes, in accordance with the Government of Canada, the grant is considered a source of income and must be claimed. Please consult with your financial manager for more information.

When will the grant be distributed?

We will distribute grants to two Alberta small businesses on or before December 31, 2022, pending all documentation is provided.

What documents are required to validate my business?

When submitting your application, please be prepared to demonstrate proof of business ownership including but not limited to valid government issued identification, business license or corporation number and previous income tax forms. If awarded a grant and you do not currently have a business account with a credit union, you may have to provide information for a registry search, credit check or other requirements specific to your local credit union.

Who is Alberta Central?

Alberta Central is the central banking facility, service bureau and trade association for Alberta’s credit unions. Our innovative products and services, thought leadership and advocacy on priority issues advance the collective voice of the credit union system as we work to increase awareness of the credit union difference.

What is a credit union?

Credit unions are people-focused organizations that offer the same products and services as other financial institutions. But instead of being just another customer, with a credit union, you’re a member and an owner. Visit for more details.