Prairies Rural Opportunities Fund 2.0
Rural Opportunities Fund Project Application
Process & Methodology:
The goal of the Prairies Rural Opportunities Fund (ROF 2.0) is to support Prairies Economic Development Canada’s (PrairiesCan) Community Futures organizations to:
- Assist with the development of innovative business strategies
- build business and community capacity through partnerships
- devise solutions to assist rural communities face the challenges posed by an aging population and the closure of major local employers
- promote and assist with the development and adoption of advanced technologies
- offer specialized training that will enable businesses to reach their goals, and
- facilitate the transition of rural small businesses
Funded initiatives are expected to promote, support and/or facilitate sector development and the building of greater capacity in rural communities and small businesses, including startups, existing businesses, young entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, Indigenous entrepreneurs, new Canadians, and co-operatives. It is also anticipated that ROF 2.0 funded initiatives will help generate new business opportunities, and include the engagement of other community partners.
ROF 2.0 initiatives should strongly align with the mandate and strategic priorities of PrairiesCan, as well as with the mandate of the Community Futures Program to support Community Economic Development (CED) and build the self-reliance and capacity of communities to realize their full sustainable potential.
The objectives of the Community Futures Program in support of this mandate include fostering economic stability, growth, and job creation; helping to create diversified and competitive local rural economies; and helping to build economically sustainable communities.
Community Futures Pan West Network invites PrairiesCan Community Futures organizations (CF) to apply for funding support under the ROF 2.0 project.
Depending on the volume of applications received, funding requested in an application may not be the amount approved.
Preference will be given to applications demonstrating the following criteria:
- Benefit multiple CF organizations or be easily replicated by other CF’s
- Not duplicate existing supports or initiatives
- Propose measurable impacts/benefits aligned with project indicators
Preference will also be given to projects that:
- Involve multiple CF organizations
- Engage and leverage supports from other community or service delivery partners
- Support service delivery to federal government target client groups such as women, Indigenous people, youth, new Canadians, or persons with disabilities
Approved applications will be eligible for an advance of funds, based on approved project cash flow.
All approved ROF 2.0 funding must be spent by March 31, 2026 or as specified in the Prairies Rural Opportunities Fund 2.0 Project Agreement. There will not be any extensions past this date.
Projects can be multi-year but must be completed by the deadline as listed in the Rural Opportunities Fund Project 2.0 Project Agreement.
The following entities are eligible to receive ROF 2.0 funding:
- Community Futures organizations in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan
- Community Futures provincial associations in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan
The fund will support the following types of activities: Community-based projects and special initiatives that:
- facilitate the development of business innovation and capacity building, including coaching
- assist businesses with the challenges they face in adopting and utilizing advanced technologies
- provide specialized training
- assist communities in dealing with the challenges of an aging population
- facilitate the transition of businesses to new owners, and/or
- develop new business opportunities, with a special emphasis on helping young entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, Indigenous entrepreneurs new Canadians, or cooperative organizations
Projects may vary considerably from one community to another and include a wide range of initiatives focused on, but not limited to:
- Business Innovation, technology solutions, automation
- Integration, partnerships and collaborative projects
- Cyber security training and the use of technology to improve business operations
- Promoting/facilitating business transitions, succession planning
- Providing training to help build business capacity and improve the leadership and management skills of business owners/operators
- Providing on-site technical assistance (Specialized Training)
- Support for training in marketing, social media, and the use of customer management software
- Assisting businesses achieve an online presence
- Support for specific training to enable businesses to meet the challenges of a changing economy
- Developing new business opportunities in rural communities
It is anticipated that Community Futures organizations will play a lead role in ROF 2.0 funded initiatives and will be the proponent of the application for ROF 2.0 funding.
Projects will be limited to maximum ROF 2.0 funding per project of $300,000.00 and minimum funding per project of $25,000.
Eligible/Ineligible Project Costs:
All proposed costs should demonstrate how they are essential to the implementation of the project and incremental to those expenditures incurred in the delivery of the Community Futures program as identified within the Community Futures organization’s operational plans.
Costs that are deemed unreasonable, and/or not directly related to project activities will be ineligible for reimbursement. These include, but may not be limited to:
- Costs incurred before project approval
- Losses on investments, bad debts and associated expenses, other projects and contracts
- Refinancing of existing debts
- Provisions for contingencies or commissions paid to consultants to secure funding
- Lobbying activities
- Donations, dues and membership fees
- Entertainment expenses as per treasury board guidelines
- Capital Expenditures
- Leasehold improvements
- Business grants
Project Reporting Requirements:
Projects must demonstrate clear, measurable economic outcomes for rural Prairies Canada in accordance with PrairiesCan’s strategic priorities:
- Recovery: PrairiesCan will equip communities, businesses, and organizations for a successful post- pandemic economic
- Growth and Transformation: PrairiesCan will invest in projects and help businesses and communities to grow and develop capacity in emerging sectors such as clean technology, digital technology, value-added agriculture, and precision healthcare.
- Inclusivity: PrairiesCan will help increase economic participation by Indigenous people, Black Canadians, women, and youth
Applicants receiving ROF 2.0 project funding approval are required to provide quarterly reports to the Community Futures Pan West Network that include updates on the progress being made in reaching the following targets:
The quarterly reports are to be provided on the following dates: July 15, October 15, January 15 and April 15 each year, for the duration of the project.
A final report will be submitted within 30 days of the agreed upon project end date. The final report will include all the above performance indicators, as well as the following:
- Project Summary Lessons learned
- Project framework and/or lessons learned transferred to other CFs or CED organizations
- Project – Budget to Actual reporting
Expected Results/Methodology & Timing
The Recipient shall continue to provide information and reports with respect to the Performance Indicators, as requested by the Minister, until the Final Client Reporting Date.
Progress on funded projects shall be evaluated against the performance indicators which are defined as follows:
- # of HQP jobs created: Refers to the number of jobs that are considered highly qualified personnel (HQP)
- # of Indigenous HQP jobs created: Refers to the number of majority-owned Indigenous businesses that are considered highly qualified personnel (HQP)
- # of women HQP jobs created: Refers to the number of businesses that are majority-owned by women and are considered highly qualified personnel (HQP)
- # of youth HQP jobs created: Refers to the number of businesses that are majority-owned by youth and are considered highly qualified personnel (HQP)
- # of non-HQP jobs created: Refers to the number of jobs that are not considered highly qualified personnel (HQP)
- # of Indigenous non-HQP jobs created: Refers to the number of majority-owned Indigenous businesses that are not considered highly qualified personnel (HQP)
- # of women non-HQP jobs created: Refers to the number of businesses that are majority-owned by women and are not considered highly qualified personnel (HQP)
- # of youth non-HQP jobs created: Refers to the number of businesses that are majority-owned by youth and are not considered highly qualified personnel (HQP)
- # of businesses created, maintained or expanded: Refers to the number of businesses created, maintained or expanded as a result of this project
- # of community-based projects funded: Refers to the number of community-based projects that received financial support as a result of this project.
For More Information
Community Futures offices can apply via the downloadable application below. Upon completion, applicants must email their submission to ROF Project Manager, Ron Trepanier at ROF@communityfuturespanwest.ca
If you have any questions about the program or need support filling out the application, email Ron Trepanier, Project Manager, ROF@communityfuturespanwest.ca or call 1-866-453-2998 ext 3.
Please note, there are two downloadable documents for the application process. One being the fillable PDF and the second a excel budget spreadsheet which are required when you submit your application to the ROF Project Manager.
Should you have any technical difficulties with the template, please email email@example.com
Frequently Asked Questions
A – Yes, this would be part of your project cost if needed.
A – Yes.
A – Ages 18 - 34
A – No. The committee will take partnerships into consideration when reviewing projects, however, the maximum per project remains at $300k.
A – Once a month.
A – There is no requirement for % leveraged. However, the committee would welcome partnerships.
No, letters of support are not required, however the committee would welcome them.
A - Yes, include GST in project budget.