Program Guidelines

The Executive Talent Program helps Canadian SMEs or start-ups within the natural product sector achieve key growth milestones through a new hire of a C-level or other senior-level executive within the company.

NPC will contribute up to $125,000 toward the cost of the new executive’s salary. The company must demonstrate the ability to finance salary costs that exceed $125,000. The NPC contribution will be in the form of a 50% non-repayable grant and 50% repayable loan. The financing can be used to hire the executive for part-time or full-time employment for a maximum of 12 months (project period¹). The Program is intended to permanently expand the expertise of the executive team to enable new growth opportunities.

Companies interested in applying to the Program are strongly encouraged to contact the NPC Program Director (kim@naturalproductscanada.com).

¹ Project Period is the executive’s employment period approved by NPC for funding.

Company Eligibility Requirements

  • Canadian SME or start-up
  • Has a novel product, technology, service or market innovation in the natural product sector.
  • Potential to achieve $10M to $15M in annual revenue within a reasonable period for the market or sector.
  • Member of Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster.

Executive Eligibility Requirements

  • Demonstrated senior level experience of the executive (15+ years) in strategy development, operations, sales, marketing, finance, regulatory, commercialization, or product and technology scale up or other executive function identified by the company.
  • The executive must be a new hire and not previously a full-time employee with the company. The company can have an executive identified at the time of application or can recruit the executive after the application submission, but the executive’s resume must be submitted to NPC for review prior to final approval of financing.

Financing and Reporting

  • An advance of 50% of the NPC contribution will be made upon receipt of the fully executed contract. A progress report and financial claim are required at the midpoint. NPC will release the remaining portion its contribution upon receipt of the final report and financial claim. Invoices and proof of payment must be provided with the financial claims.
  • An annual report will be required during the project and for each of the 3 years after the project ends to comply with NPC’s funding agreement with the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).

Application Process

  • Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.
  • Applications will be reviewed by a committee comprised of NPC staff, Board members and an external industry expert.
  • Applications will be evaluated on the eligibility requirements, and the novelty of the natural product, technology or service and/or market innovation; market opportunity; business model; competitors; financial position; investment-readiness level; and the qualifications of the executive being considered.
  • Applicants will be notified once the application has been reviewed. Successful applicants must enter into a contract with NPC that contains reporting requirements, mutually agreed upon key deliverables or milestones to be achieved, and repayment terms.

Repayment Conditions

  • The 50% repayable loan portion of NPC’s contribution is due 24 months from the end of the project. The loan is interest-free for the first 18 months and then shall accrue 5% interest for the remaining 6 months of the repayment term.


  • All applications will be treated as confidential information. The applications will only be seen by those directly involved evaluation of the applications.
  • For more information, contact Kim Johnstone at kim@naturalproductscanada.com or 902-213-0539.