Program Guidelines

The Executive Talent Program is designed to help 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.

Companies can receive a repayable contribution of up to 50% toward the cost of the new executive’s salary to a maximum of $50,000. The financing can be used to hire the executive for six months of full-time employment or 12 months of part-time employment. The company will be required to contribute 50% of the cost over the program period¹ and to repay the contribution after the end of the program period. The program is intended to permanently expand the expertise of the executive team to enable new growth opportunities.

¹ Program 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, marketing, finance, regulatory, commercialization, or product and technology scale up.
  • 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.
  • The company can also use the Natural Products Canada (NPC) database of professionals and experts to assist in identifying an executive.

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.
  • This program is designed to advance a company’s ability to commercialize and grow their business. Therefore, an annual report will be required three years after the program 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 (application form follows below).
  • Applications will be reviewed by a committee comprised of NPC staff, Board members and an external industry expert.
  • Applications will be evaluated on 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 by the committee. If successful, the Applicant must enter into a contract with NPC, which contains reporting requirements, mutually agreed upon key deliverables or milestones to be achieved, and repayment terms.

Repayment Conditions

  • The repayment of the NPC contribution is interest free for up to 18 months from the end of the program period and any portion after that shall accrue interest at a rate of 5% per annum.


  • 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.

Application Form

You do not need to fill out this form in one sitting – if you require more time to gather information, there is a link at the bottom of the form labelled “Save And Continue Later”. This will save the information to our server without submitting the form and provide you with a link to continue at a later date.