TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM ISED’s WEBSITE… The registration process starts with an online digital needs assessment (DNA) that identifies the SME’s business and digital strengths and weaknesses across several parameters, such as strategy, business model, products and services, customer experience, operations, technology, organization and cybersecurity. This DNA will allow SMEs to obtain their current perceived overall level of digital maturity. Once completed, SMEs will be able to move to the next step in their application.
  • For eligible SMEs that have successfully completed the DNA, CDAP will pre-approve them for a grant covering up to 90% of the cost of the digital adoption plan evaluated at a maximum of $15,000.
  • Eligible SMEs will then have access to an online marketplace of qualified digital advisors called the digital advisor marketplace in order to retain the services of a digital advisor to produce a digital adoption plan.
  • During their search, SMEs may contact as many digital advisors as they would like. When making initial contact with prospective digital advisors, SMEs are encouraged to share the results of their DNA as well as an overview of their business and objectives.
  • It is important for an SME and digital advisor to agree on the terms of work, including objectives, timing and associated costs before they begin working together.
  • When the SME finds a digital advisor who they consider to be the right match for their business, the parties will sign an agreement to develop a digital adoption plan.
  • The SME and the digital advisor will work together to develop a digital adoption plan that meets the CDAP requirements. Upon completion, the SME will upload their completed digital adoption plan and invoice to the CDAP portal. Once accepted, the grant will be issued to the SME.
  • With a digital adoption plan in hand, the SME is now eligible to access a zero-interest loan from the BDC as well as a subsidized youth work placement to implement their plan and adopt new digital tools for their business.